How do you make a character believe something different than the other characters?

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Thread: How do you make a character believe something different than the other characters?

  1. #1

    How do you make a character believe something different than the other characters?

    I'm reading over my screenplay, and in it, a gang of criminals are framed for a murder, and the police think they did it of course, but I want one cop to think they have been framed, but I don't want him to have any proof.

    So how do you write it so that a character would believe criminals, who are not really trustworthy to the police by any means, and believe something different than everyone else, with no proof, or no other information than what everyone else has? Is there any way of making such a character different than everyone else?

  2. #2
    Everybody has a certain clue. The clue isn't about the specific event, it's a character detail. One person has a history with that detail, and the clues do not mesh with that.
    For example, "The killer stalked the victim in a loud nightclub for two hours. The clues point at Jim being the killer, although they aren't 100% conclusive. They never are. Jim is a bit autistic, and Officer Kate noticed him stimming... A lot like her brother, and she knows her brother would have had an overstimulated meltdown in five minutes in that nightclub. But that doesn't actually prove anything." Like the moment in Green Mile when the officer realized that the guy didn't know how to tie his shoes. Officer X's history means they notice that one thing that nobody else is convinced by.

  3. #3
    Different background, different faith, or different experience. Maybe this dissenter is the new guy, or the old guy. There could be a connection with one of the criminals - maybe they were best friends in grade school, now one is a serial small time criminal and the other is a cop with a stagnant career, kind of two sides of the same coin situation. Bonus trait: the small time criminal has a pretty decent honor code and the cop is corrupt, and for some reason the cop knows that saving the criminal would result in revealing the corruption.

  4. #4
    Well the person who suspects the framing is the police captain so I guess that would make him the old guy. The gang tells him that the main character, another cop framed them. One thing that might motivate the captain is that the main cop actually does hold a grudge against them, from an incident from earlier in the story. However, the gang could just be lying and saying they were framed by him particularly, because he holds a grudge, and that could also just as easily be a lie.

    So how does one convince a police captain of a framing, when it's just your word against the framers, who is also a cop? Even if that cop holds a grudge from before, wouldn't the police assume, that is why you are picking him to be the framer, because of a prior grudge?

    I mean I want the captain to believe the gang, and see a motive, and a grudge maybe, since it's there, just not sure how to get him to actually believe it, when it could easily be a lie with no proof.

    I want the captain to accuse him in front of the others telling him he knows what he did, but would he make such an accusation in front of everyone, if he has no proof?

  5. #5
    Member MzSnowleopard's Avatar
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    My suggestion- perhaps the lone officer has this gut feeling that the solve of the case is too easy, too convenient, too obvious.
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  6. #6
    Yep for sure, I even wrote it so that he tells the others that something is not right and this whole things smells fishy, but the others don't go along with him on it, and that's just it, that I don't want to make the other cops seem like fools either.

  7. #7
    Member Sir-KP's Avatar
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    Mar 2018
    Everyone has different background that leads to different mindset, personality, and traits. What kind of life experience this character had that will affect their mind and behavior.

    Let's make 3 example characters:
    - Bob is a man of reason. He is strict and allergic to non-sense. When you talk to him, you gotta prepare a tightly logical idea or proof.

    - John is an easy going man. John also highly believes in superstition. He thinks everything is already set. He does things by his feelings and he doesn't care for result as he lives life wherever the wind takes him.

    - Gregor is a jackass. He is hot-blooded and thinks he accomplish things by himself. Once things go south, he blames others. He is brash and insufferable.

    ^These three have different way of thinking and they wouldn't get along with each other pretty well.

    So what does your character have? You gotta know their backgrounds.

  8. #8
    We can't write your story, ironpony. You have ideas for how that can happen, be creative and maybe ask for feedback on your attempt. The way you described sounds fine, maybe later you tie background in.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    May 2019
    A jailhouse snitch that the captain trusts?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Personal experience that the other cops haven't had. Maybe his brother is a crook but got framed once. Make it personal/emotional so that it makes sense that the character would hold such an opinion in the face of overwhelming 'rational' evidence.
    Dead by Dawn!

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