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View Full Version : What's a better way to make this character part of the plot?



ironpony
May 25th, 2020, 05:15 PM
My story is a crime thriller set in modern times, and the main character, a police detective, has to protect a witness who knows too much, from being harmed. But I wand the MC's wife to be part of the plot as well, and end up at the same place and time, that the MC and the witness are in, for the plot to go where I would like.

So I was thinking there are two ways I can write this so far.

1. The police do not have the resources to protect every witness whenever a case comes up, so they cannot protect her for the night. This causes the MC to take the witness to his place , where his wife is also at and watch over her for the night, even though it's not his job to do so.

2. The police do have the resources to protect her, and the MC is assigned by his superiors to watch her at some sort of safe house, and he gets his wife to bring him over some food that he likes, so she also has a reason to come see him perhaps, and therefore can arrive at the same place and time as them, for the plot to go this certain way. Or if not food, just a reason to come see him in general?

Which sounds better do you think? Or perhaps I should write it another way entirely?

hvysmker
May 25th, 2020, 06:30 PM
Did you ask your character, the police detective, what HE wants to do? Seriously!

Then, go for it. You can always back up. In the time it took to write this comment, then wait for a response, you'd already have your answer.

ironpony
May 25th, 2020, 06:43 PM
Oh well I did as the character, but it's hard to know, since the character is made up though, and I am the one controlling him.

hvysmker
May 25th, 2020, 08:25 PM
I don't try very hard to control my major characters, only to steer them in the right direction. Let him try different directions then you choose the best solution. In a real sense, you're putting a different, subconscious, level of your mind to work.

ironpony
May 25th, 2020, 08:35 PM
Oh okay. How do you know which direction is the best though, if you have different options, but they all lead to the same pay off? How do you decide which route to the pay off, is the best one?

hvysmker
May 25th, 2020, 08:44 PM
It can only be your decision on which solution best benefits the story, You can always change it later. Just as the simplest decisions can change your own life. Take your normal route to work and arrive okay, or a new route and run head-on into a bus of drunken nuns. Your choice.

Xander416
May 27th, 2020, 04:45 AM
My story is a crime thriller set in modern times, and the main character, a police detective, has to protect a witness who knows too much, from being harmed. But I wand the MC's wife to be part of the plot as well, and end up at the same place and time, that the MC and the witness are in, for the plot to go where I would like.

So I was thinking there are two ways I can write this so far.

1. The police do not have the resources to protect every witness whenever a case comes up, so they cannot protect her for the night. This causes the MC to take the witness to his place , where his wife is also at and watch over her for the night, even though it's not his job to do so.

2. The police do have the resources to protect her, and the MC is assigned by his superiors to watch her at some sort of safe house, and he gets his wife to bring him over some food that he likes, so she also has a reason to come see him perhaps, and therefore can arrive at the same place and time as them, for the plot to go this certain way. Or if not food, just a reason to come see him in general?

Which sounds better do you think? Or perhaps I should write it another way entirely?
I prefer the first one. The second one is too "out there" to me because no cop would risk putting a family member in possible danger like that.

ironpony
May 27th, 2020, 07:24 AM
Oh okay, but other readers got back to me and they said that a cop would not bring danger to his own home either, and that a cop would be fired for doing that, so it's not believable. What if I wrote it so that the wife is concerned as to what he is doing at the hotel, so she follows him there, without him knowing to see what he is up to, and she gets caught up in the plot this way? Is that better?

Willmatron
May 30th, 2020, 07:18 AM
After reading the thread the way the plot plays out in my heads has the wife being a hotel manager and the detective brings the witness to the hotel where the wife won't tell.

ironpony
May 30th, 2020, 05:49 PM
Why not have a mix up where the witness was supposed to be taken away to a safe house but the car was in a smash not too far away and disabled. So the witness then accidentally ends up with the detective who was on his way home and has to go there first before he can take the witness to be processed. A remote area?

Oh okay thanks. I thought of things like this, but I was told by a reader that a detective would not take a witness who is in danger to his house under any circumstances whatsoever. Is that true though? If so, should I just have him take the witness to a hotel, or safehouse, and the wife is concerned so she finds out where her husband is, and goes there instead, if that's more plausible?

ironpony
May 31st, 2020, 08:39 AM
Well it's the most realistic but it also presents the most complications in the plot. But maybe realism is more important than complications?

KristinJenae
June 2nd, 2020, 01:56 PM
While it's true that a normal detective probably would never do that, is your MC a normal detective? If you've already shown the MC as odd, erratic or passionate, you could have him do take her home. It's all about what the readers believe the character is capable of. Also, ask yourself what all the characters want. Does the MC want to leave his wife? Does he get off on saving women? Does the victim physically remind him of someone he's longing for? I think if your MC has a clear want/goal he's trying to achieve, whatever he does to get it could be portrayed as believable. Same with the wife. If she wants a stronger marriage, she could even be with the MC when they find the victim, and agrees to save her because she think it'll impress her husband. If she wants to know if her husband is cheating and seek revenge, she could sneak around the hotel the MC too the victim. Ultimately, I think this could be an opportunity to get to know your characters even better, because what they want should drive the story.

ironpony
June 2nd, 2020, 06:11 PM
Oh okay thanks. Well the MC doesn't want the other woman in a romantic way at all. He just doesn't want to allow her to get killed. If it's more normal for him to take her to a hotel than his own place, than I can do that. The wife will just have to find out what hotel he is at with her, and go there for some reason of her own, to become part of the plot. But since he is not allowed to give out a secret location where the witness is, to his wife, because of protocol, the wife would just have to talk him into giving it out, out of concern maybe?