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Would this character not recognize this character in a plausible way? (1 Viewer)

ironpony

Senior Member
For my story, I was told how its' confusing as to who the main character is because the first scene is told from the villains point of view, before switching to the main character's point of view.

The villains commit a crime which goes wrong, some witnesses call 911, and then the main character, a police detective, arrives to investigate. But I was told this is confusing, because I switch POVs and I should make it more clear who the main character is from the beginning.

I could write so that the main character is a cop on patrol and spots the villains right away before the crime is committed. I could have him spot some suspicious activity and decide to keep watching. However, one of the characters involved in the crime is someone the main character knows, and I don't want the MC to know that character was there at first, because of how the plot goes.

Could I write it so the main character spots the crime in progress but does not recognize the one of them he knows, because that person may be wearing a hat or sunglasses, or is that kind of stretch and you think the main character would still recognize someone they know well, even if a hat and sunglasses were on?

What do you think? Thank you for any information on it! I really appreciate it!
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
If you wanted to stay with the opening scene is from the villain's POV, you could put it in a prologue. I have seen that done successfully.

The other option you suggest seems a bit awkward, but you could make it work. I'm not sure what the crime is, but many villains wear disguises, like your archetypal bank robbers and cat burglars. Perhaps they all have a disguise on, that would make more sense. Like full face masks and hoodies. I think just a hat and sunglasses are iffy.

But I'm not clear on the course of events. If he gets there before the crime, then when does it go wrong and witnesses call 911? Also, I think to really help on this we need to know what suspicious activity he spots.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh okay for sure, thanks! Well the crime is a gang initation test, in which a gang of villains wants to recruit a new member and have them do a test in order to get in. So that's the crime. The new recruit is the one I do not want the protagonist to not know is there, but still want him intercept the crime nonetheless.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Ok, so this is the same scenario you have mentioned before. In that scenario it would make sense that all of the gang members are in disguise. I believe there is also a victim, so they would not want the victim to identify them. Would it work if they all wore a mask and a hoodie?
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh well when they go to pick up the new recruit, would they wear disguises then, or if they are outdoors, would they want to blend in. I don't think he would wear a mask though because wouldn't that attract attention while waiting to be picked up?
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I don't understand this scene. If he is being picked up, why is your protagonist seeing this? I thought he was watching the crime scene.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh I meant if the protagonist saw him get picked up which is the start of the crime in progress. The crime happens indoors, so the protagonist needs to see this happen outdoors in order to become suspicious first, or so I thought?
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
Well maybe you're not giving enough information, but I don't see how getting picked up is suspicious unless he knew a gang member was driving the car. I still don't see how sunglasses and a hat will cut it. At least add a hoodie. If you can't make this work with disguises, then maybe use the prologue idea.
 

ironpony

Senior Member
Oh well they search him for a weapon and a wire, which the protagonist thinks is suspicious, unless that wouldn't be enough maybe?
 
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