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Old 09-15-2016, 12:16 AM View Post #11 (Link)
Infinity_Man (Offline)
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Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Okay thanks you make some really good points. The case is high profile, cause some of the kidnappings caught media attention, prior in the story. The police do not divulge details surrounding the arrest though, and they do not divulge who the victim witness, is, to the public. So she is kept secret from the public.
I still find it difficult to believe that someone wouldn't figure out who it was. Investigative journalists and tabloid journalists are the bane of police investigations for a reason. They unearth things that aren't released to the public. Even if they couldn't get their hands on that information, surely the defense lawyer would still have access to the witness--I don't know how it actually works, but someone who represents the defense must have to meet her to ask the questions and hear the testimony, surely? The cops can't just say "don't worry, we have a really good witness who puts this one in the bag" and expect everyone to go along with it? There must be measures in place that, even if the witness's identity is being protected, the legal system has to work as intended. Which, again, leads to my assumption that any good defense lawyer would jump on the fact that the "victim" doesn't actually say she was kidnapped.

As for the high profile thing, if you establish that it is high profile earlier in the story then I'd accept, upon reading/watching, that this is a high profile case. Good enough for me.

Basically the lawyer told me two things, which is what made me write it this way. Basically the woman is not going to tell the police right away, that it was a game her and the guys were playng, cause the police is going to ask her for their names, and she has to wait till the chase is over, and wait for them to get past any police road blocks to get away. She has to wait to see who is arrested, because otherwise she will not know what lie to tell. She also doesn't know what the police know, so she has to wait for all the facts to get in first.
This is all reasonable, although I do wonder what the length of "the chase" is and how far they have to go to get past any road blocks. I'm sure this is addressed in the text. My other concern looks to be addressed in the next paragraph...

However, the lawyer, told me that since the character calls a lawyer and asks him what to do, the lawyer would advice her to not speak to the police at all. Cause she would have to cover up the fact that she does not know the other gang members' names. And if the police spot any dishonesty in any statements she makes, it can be used against her as evidence.
Again, reasonable, although I'm confused--does she actually not know any of the gang member's names?

This is why lawyers always tell their clients to not open their mouths to the police. So I wrote it that she doesn't speak at all to the police and avoids the questions, cause that's what a lawyer said he would advise his client to do.
The only thing really keeping me from "go with the anonymous orgy" excuse is the fact she needs to wait to figure out what's what, and doesn't want her story clashing with the other guy's. Still, calling for a lawyer and silence--from the victim--seems just as damning. Like, why wouldn't she say anything? Maybe she plays the trauma angle and acts like she's too bent out of shape to talk, but there are a lot of ways this could go where she would draw suspicion to herself.

Also, do the police expect her to name people? In a kidnapping? That's sort of the impression I'm getting, but you haven't outright said so, so I just wanted to double check. That seems like an odd thing for them to ask from someone who's been kidnapped.

I also asked a couple of lawyers if the prosecution needs the testimony of the victim to go to court, if the victim is not talking.

They both said that if the victim doesn't talk, that legally a court does not need the victim testimony, to go to a preliminary hearing, if they have eyewitness testimony from officers, as in this case.
Hmm, interesting. Now I know. So how does that affect the woman's involvement in the case? Do they basically let her go, and she is no longer relevant? Because it sounds like you want her to be there through the case (since you said part of the payoff is her and the other guy getting off scot-free) but it also doesn't seem like, if she's not cooperating, she wouldn't be part of the trial.

I am open to writing it, so that the suspect gets off the charges in the first act. I can move it from the midpoint till the first act. But in order to write things correctly, I need to figure out why the lawyers see things differently than the readers, who are not law experts. I need to figure out what I have gotten wrong, or what I am miscommunication, since I put some stock in the lawyer's opinions.
I mean, I think you're going about this the wrong way. I said it before, but I'll say it again: going to court seems like a bad angle for you, unless you're specifically writing a courtroom drama (and considering this only goes until the midpoint, it doesn't really sound like a full-blown courtroom drama). But, hey, it's your story.

So new question: Have you planned, before all this talk on this forum, on how/why the gang member gets off? Do you know what kind of legalese is used to get them off? Or do they get off on a loophole, or a corrupt system, or something like that? It's often helpful to work backwards; if you decide that, say, the gang member gets off because he can't beyond a reasonable doubt be convicted, what kind of things could be included to cast doubt on the case? The most obvious, based on what you've shared, would be doubt in the cop's abilities/judgement. This would depend on the characterization for the cop, but let's say (for the sake of this example) that your protagonist likes to drink, and the day he found the woman was his day off, and he was coming home from a bar--a competent defense lawyer might find proof that the cop was coming home from a bar, and use it to discredit him; or maybe the cop broke protocol in the way he apprehended the accused, or something.

I won't know how to rewrite it to fit naturally, to I hear more legal information on the situation first. But you make some good points. I can move it to the first act, so they got off before court if necessary. However, a good portion of the story, is the gang, worried that the woman told the police something, and they want to stalk her to find out what she knows and silence her if they get too worried.
They can do this without a court case, though. They can be worried about this the same night she gets captured, or the next day after, or pretty much any minute of any day up until the point when the case is dropped; after that, it's still reasonable they might doubt her, but it seems less likely since, you know, they won.

So I would still like to have this for my plot, since this is where I wanted it to go. Could they still want to silence her, and think that she told them too much, even if the suspect has already gotten off in the beginning, for any reason?
Sure. Use your imagination. Maybe she made a deal to go undercover for the cops and dig up more dirt on the gang (they wouldn't have trusted her if she helped accuse their fellow gang member, so they had to let that guy go). Maybe she actually does talk to the cops, and her testimony is used, but it's somehow not enough to convict the guy (although how he'd go free after testimony like that is beyond me right now). Or maybe there is no reason. Maybe they're just paranoid gangsters who are used to violence first, reason second, and trust her just because they don't trust her.

As far as this being a flawed premise, I wouldn't say that the blood in being busted is the premise. The premise is the gang creating this past kidnapping crimes which the public and the media, are in an uproar about. The blood in, is really just the inciting incident, to carry the premise through to a conclusion, if that makes sense.
When I said premise, I didn't mean the premise for the whole book. I meant the premise of the situation you presented us with.

I can have a different inciting incident, if that's better. The new recruit who is doing the blood in, is also being blackmailed by the gang. He ends up wanting out of the gang, and betraying them later in the story. The gang secretly videotaped the blood in though, and is going to use it as collateral to keep him from talking, cause of he smears the gang, they will smear him.
Eh, I think this works fine as an inciting incident. It's the rising action afterwards that I've been questioning.
I have a bit of trouble parsing this, largely because I can't separate character knowledge versus reader knowledge versus author knowledge from these summaries. Is this something you actually have planned already, or is this what you're saying the new inciting incident could be?

Technically he didn't commit any crimes, since the woman agreed to the blood in, but on the video, his face is there with the rest of the gang, who the public knows is responsible for the past kidnappings. So the traitor will not talk, if it means his reputation being publicly tarnished, by being part of a gang.
I mean, if it's fear of getting arrested, generally the police are more lenient towards people who are willing to name names for them, especially if they're not guilty of many crimes.
On the reputation thing, it seems a bit bland when presented in summary like this, so I guess it would depend on how you wrote it. I guess I could see it working, if you did it right (but then again, that's true or just about everything).

The readers are also not law experts, so why do they question the material with such certainty, when they do not even know what the law is, that accurately, compared to the lawyers. Should I just to write so that is the law? Like what if I wrote it so that other characters in the story, cannot believe it, so if the characters are just as surprised as the reader, as to what the law really is, would that help?
That would probably help, yes.
As to the actual question, just look at me as an example. I don't know crap about law, and all I've got going for me is hearsay and decades of television examples to fuel what I think I know about law.

Look, readers are... well, stupid's not the right word. But there's such a thing as Book Logic, or TV Logic, or Film Logic. You've probably noticed it in reverse--things in books/TV/film are simplified (think fighting, hacking, most computer stuff, driving, etc) so that the audience doesn't have to think about it too much. The audience is willing to accept a lot of things that aren't actually real or true, as long as it makes sense in the story.

For example, the other night I watched the movie Locke. One of the subplots is that the title character is involved in construction, and is preparing for what he refers to as one of the largest concrete lays in the world. He even refers to how much concrete is coming in at one point with a number and a measurement (which I cannot currently recall). Watching this, and not being an expert on concrete, I accepted this number, recognized that it sounded large, and carried on. Well, it turns out, that not only was the number not that big at all (like, several orders of magnitude smaller than a normal concrete lay) but the unit of measurement he gave wasn't even the proper unit of measurement for concrete. I didn't know that, and it didn't really affect my opinion while watching.

The reverse of this, which is what is more relevant to you, is when people start to think TV Logic is the real Logic. The best example I can think of, off the top of my head, is actually really relevant here: it's the idea that, if asked, an undercover cop has to admit that they're an undercover cop--or else it's entrapment or something. This isn't true. It would be incredibly dumb if undercover cops had to blow their cover if they were asked, outright. But it gets used in movies all the time as a moment of tension, and there are people out there who, if they were to watch something with an undercover cop, would call entrapment if he lied about being a cop.

The truth is, I don't really know what to tell you about this, because I don't tend to write things that are as complicated as real life law. This is part of the challenge, though. Having characters react to the laws in a "I can't believe TV lied to me" way isn't a bad idea, but you can't always do that with everything without it being awkward. The best advice I think I can give you is to trust that your viewers/readers are smart enough to go along with it, and just make sure that the character reactions are reasonable, and make sense in context.

You'll note that a lot of my objections have had to do with what the characters would do, not so much what the law is, and a lot of these issues have seemed more reasonable to me now that you've gotten into the character reactions and motivations. I don't think you need to worry so much about the law, but worry more about the writing. It's just been difficult for me to tell if these things are clear/good because you're just giving me plot summaries.

Which brings me back to a point you've heard hundreds of times now: Post your writing. Or at least share it with someone who has knowledge of law. Get someone's opinion after they've actually read the script. Until then, you're just going to get general questions and criticisms that, in the long run, probably don't help you all that much.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:59 AM View Post #12 (Link)
ironpony (Offline)
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Well when you say you find it hard to believe that the media would be able to figure it out, are you talking about the woman? The woman doesn't want to talk to the media. Cause she has to not say who the others are. If she talks to the media, she will have to lie about how she got a group of strangers to her place to play some sort of game. That is just another lie, in which the police are going to look for flaws in.

So the woman has motive for talking to the media. The prosecution doesn't know this. He figures that if the woman is too shy to testify against her captors in court, she is certainly not going to talk about it on TV.

It is a gamble, but the prosecution is willing to take the gamble. As for the defense attorney, the prosecution will just have to hope for the best. At least this what I was told by a real lawyer. However, I was thinking of writing it so the case makes it no further than a preliminary hearing.

I was told that most defense lawyers do not question witnesses, before preliminary hearings, because that is what the preliminary hearing is for.

I already emailed the lawyer I talked to before, to answer a few more questions. I asked him what would a prosecutor do about the defense attorney speaking to the victim. Since he told me before that prosecutors have successfully tried kidnapping assault cases without victims testifying in the past, I will see what he has to say about it.

I actually agree with you that the defense will jump on the fact, that no victim came forward to say she was kidnapped. But I am going by a real lawyer, and will see if he gets back to me about that, since I asked him that as well. If this doesn't work though, then I can skip the whole court midpoint in my story and just have the suspect get off in the first act instead.

But I want to know more about the law first, before I finalize it. And yes, in my story, it is stated that the kidnappings from before, are already high profile.

And yes, the woman knows who all the gang members are and is an equal member of the gang. She just does not want to say their names, and none of them want her saying who they are either, even if it's just for a cover story, they still do not want their names mentioned to the police. They still committed resisting arrest and destruction of evidence, etc... and since the kidnappings from before are such high priority for the police, they do not want to be considered potential suspects in them, thus not wanting her to give their names.

Basically when I talked to a lawyer he said that remaining silent is better than lying about the orgy, or something like that. He says that if a person is caught in a lie, than legally it can be used against you as evidence. But it's a person's legal right to remain silent, so therefore, the police cannot use anything against her. Sure it's suspicious, but in the law, suspicious doesn't mean grounds for a search or warrant or wire tap order for example.

Where as being caught in a lie, and the lie being legal evidence, it could build a case to lead to a search warrant. Lying means warrants and authorization to go further, where as not talking is not illegal, and therefore, no warrants or anything can come of it. It may draw suspicion, but suspicion is not as bad as getting actual authorization, which a lie can do, when caught in it. So that is why lawyers always tell their clients to remain silent I was told. Does that make sense?

When I say the police would expect her to name the others, what I mean is, is that only if she lies and says it was some kind of game or orgy. Then they would expect her to name the others. If she refuses, wouldn't that look more suspicious than acting like a traumatized victim who is too scared to talk? But again, suspicion doesn't legally mean the police can do anything, where as being caught in a lie can, so if she lies about the orgy, and still doesn't reveal their names, she would have lie about where she met them, and the police might find evidence that she was lying if they decide to follow up on it.

Where as if she remains silent, the police actually have less to follow up on. This is also why I was told that lawyers tell their clients not to talk. Does that make sense?

Basically if the prosecutor decides for the main character cop to be the witness who said he found her, the woman has a plan. Later on, she discredits the cop and makes him look like an unreliable witness, by setting him up, making it look like he threatened her to testify, as well as some other things she sets him up with. So even though she cannot legally prove he acted out of order with her, his credibility as a witness is now smeared, and the prosecutor than does not have a witness that actually found her, who is credible then. That's how she is still involved later, or at least how I planned it.

And she smears him in court too, with the public and media watching, and I thought that would be more dramatic for the midpoint, and what sets him off on his quest to nail the gang, rather than not have it happen at all, and going with something else. Basically having a preliminary hearing to prepare for sort of makes the story a ticking clock that is going to run out, and I thought that would be better, than having it all end in the first act, and having to come up with a new second act, up till the midpoint.

As for the reason why the gang is after her, I wanted it to be cause they were afraid she said something to the police since they are still going forward with the case, and only had a day till the preliminary hearing. Basically since she was not cooperating, she kept avoiding her chances to be subpoenaed. Then when she is, just a day before the hearing, the gang gets desperate, and this too, will add to the ticking time clock story structure.

But I don't really have a reason for the gang to go after her, after since she was not planning on betraying the gang. I wanted to write it so that after she smears the main cop in court as not reliable, the gang welcomes her back and she is their hero afterwards for doing that, and ruining any potential of a case.

And when I say that the new recruit who was at the blood in, betrays the gang later, and the gang blackmails him with an incriminating video, what I mean is that this was already part of my story before. I thought that the blood in, as the inciting incident would kill multiple birds with one stone, but if it doesn't work for these pay offs, perhaps I can think of a different one, but it would be tough coming up with another one that involves all the same characters perhaps. But I did come up with the betrayal/blackmail pay off, after I came up with the inciting incident though, so that one was thought of after.

As for the traitor, basically the new recruit was a cop. The gang leader knows the cop, but the cop did not know that his friend (the gang leader), was a gang leader. But the gang leader thought the cop would make a good new addition to the gang, since he knows things about the cop, that makes him similar to the gang's believes and interests.

The gang wanted to know if they could trust the cop though, and wanted to make sure the cop was not going to bust them, so they gave the cop a blood in, with a fake hostage, in case the cop attempted to bust them, and then fake hostage, would not participate in the case, compared to if they used a real one, and a real bust occurred from the cop. When the MC cop finds the blood in going on while he is on patrol, he does not see the other cop's face from his point of view, and didn't know he was there, when the rest escaped.

So by videotaping the cop with the gang, pulling the trigger of an empty gun, on a hostage as a test, they can use this video as blackmail to harm the cop's police reputation, should the cop turn on them and want to bust them or anything. So they have the cop's dirty secret of joining them with the blood in on video, and use this against him later, which leads to the pay off I want later.

As far as what people know about he law I see what you mean. I use to be the same too, and just went with what I saw on TV and movies, but then people told me I should write what I know, so I asked the real lawyers and cops the best I could.

I mean when I watch Columbo now, the villains always lie to Columbo and come up with alibis, which they have to keep changing and adding too as Columbo keeps picking the alibis and lies apart. But if the killers were to just get a lawyer, and not talk to Columbo, sure they would be bigger suspects, but they wouldn't give Columbo anything that he could legally chew on as a result, since a cop cannot chew on suspicion alone, if that makes sense. That is just an example as to how my mindset is changed after asking cops and lawyers all these questions. Whether it changed for the less believable or more, I am not sure yet.

And yes the undercover cop having to say he is an undercover cop is another example. I found out that was not true either in my research. I wonder who started that rumor.

As for what is more important to me between what is real, and what the reader will believe, I am not sure. What does the reader consider to be more important, since they are the customers?

For my personal opinion, I think both matter in this way: It's okay to make things up at times when it serves the drama, and it's okay to keep other things more legally technical and real, if it serves the drama at those specific times. Would I be wrong in saying that?

One of my favorite movies is Cell 211. It's a hostage thriller and in that movie:

SPOILER


The hostage negotiator having run out of options in the end, calls the leader of the hostage takers and tells him the government will pardon him on his crimes if he kills his own men and saves the hostages himself. This is not real legal police procedure to tell a leader of hostage takers to do this, of course. But it made for an exciting finale for sure.

END OF SPOILER

I want to post it. Just trying to figure out how to fill in the gaps first to get from here to there in some parts, in a way that readers will buy.

But maybe I can write so that the prosecutor has different motives with going forward like he wants to pressure the defendant into cutting a deal and ratting out the others... telling the defendant, if he doesn't make a deal by the preliminary hearing, he will get the maximum penalty. The prosecutor doesn't know that the woman is on the same side as the defendant, but maybe he thinks that the defendant might cave, if the prosecutor is actually bothering to wait till the hearing date.

So maybe the prosecutor is just deciding to go to a hearing with without the victim as a scare tactic, making the defendant think the victim must have talked, if the prosecutor is giving me this ultimatum of having to make a deal by the hearing date, which is only one day a way from when the prosecutor would make it. I saw this also in a movie, but does that work better, as to why the prosecutor would take it as far as hearing?
  
						Last edited by ironpony; 09-15-2016 at 01:54 AM.
Old 09-15-2016, 02:05 AM View Post #13 (Link)
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I'm gonna try and be brief, since this has already snowballed pretty far.

Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Well when you say you find it hard to believe that the media would be able to figure it out, are you talking about the woman? The woman doesn't want to talk to the media.
This has literally never stopped the media before. I don't think you understand just how pervasive a force the media can be. Especially if this is a high profile case.

I was told that most defense lawyers do not question witnesses, before preliminary hearings, because that is what the preliminary hearing is for.
Right, but they'll still want to talk to the witness, surely? My issue isn't when the questions happen, it's whether or not they happen at all (which they should).

Basically when I talked to a lawyer he said that remaining silent is better than lying about the orgy, or something like that. He says that if a person is caught in a lie, than legally it can be used against you as evidence. But it's a person's legal right to remain silent, so therefore, the police cannot use anything against her. Sure it's suspicious, but in the law, suspicious doesn't mean grounds for a search or warrant or wire tap order for example.
Fair enough. Still, this is one of the things I'm looking at from a plot perspective, a deliberate distancing from reality, you could say.

When I say the police would expect her to name the others, what I mean is, is that only if she lies and says it was some kind of game or orgy. Then they would expect her to name the others. If she refuses, wouldn't that look more suspicious than acting like a traumatized victim who is too scared to talk?
So I think you're misunderstanding a few of the things I said.
1) I brought up the trauma victim as a "if she does this, then X makes sense, but otherwise... example. I'm not saying she shouldn't do that. Quite the opposite.
2) The example of the "orgy" wasn't so much that it was an embarrasing act, but that it feasibly is anonymous--i.e the people met online and no names were given, hence why she would choose not to name anyone. While I agree that, legally, it makes more sense for her to remain silent, I think plot-wise it could (and should) make the cop suspicious (although I guess that depends on the story itself...)

And she smears him in court too, with the public and media watching, and I thought that would be more dramatic for the midpoint, and what sets him off on his quest to nail the gang, rather than not have it happen at all, and going with something else. Basically having a preliminary hearing to prepare for sort of makes the story a ticking clock that is going to run out, and I thought that would be better, than having it all end in the first act, and having to come up with a new second act, up till the midpoint.
I don't really get how him being smeared starts a ticking clock. Can you elaborate?
Also, while I agree that silence is her better option in that situation, shouldn't her testifying then also open up a can of worms for her? Also, if she's testifying against Protagonist Cop with information he knows to be false, why does he go after the gang and not her? Does he figure out she's part of the gang? What leads him to that conclusion?

As for the reason why the gang is after her, I wanted it to be cause they were afraid she said something to the police since they are still going forward with the case, and only had a day till the preliminary hearing.
I understood this, but in your last post you asked a question and I answered it. Please don't repeat yourself like this as if I'm the one who's not understanding what's happening. It can come across as condescending, and I'm taking all this time discussing this with you in order to try and help you.

But I don't really have a reason for the gang to go after her, after since she was not planning on betraying the gang. I wanted to write it so that after she smears the main cop in court as not reliable, the gang welcomes her back and she is their hero afterwards for doing that, and ruining any potential of a case.
If it's such a non-issue, maybe don't refer to it as one of the two main payoffs to your inciting incident. If the payoff doesn't go anywhere, that sounds like an issue with story structure.

And when I say that the new recruit who was at the blood in, betrays the gang later, and the gang blackmails him with an incriminating video, what I mean is that this was already part of my story before. I thought that the blood in, as the inciting incident would kill multiple birds with one stone, but if it doesn't work for these pay offs, perhaps I can think of a different one, but it would be tough coming up with another one that involves all the same characters perhaps. But I did come up with the betrayal/blackmail pay off, after I came up with the inciting incident though, so that one was thought of after.
Again, I don't think it's this scene (or scenes) that are a problem. I said in my last post this seemed like a good way to start the story.

All the stuff about slandering the cop joining the gang weakens the effectiveness for me. He'd still get off lighter than the others, and he could even work out a deal with the police to say he was going in as an undercover cop, in which case he'd be perceived as a hero (this probably doesn't happen in real life, but it's one of those things that could happen in your story, if you do it right). I'm not sure I buy the cop/gang member's reasoning for not going to the police.

Also, the new recruit (the cop) is the one who gets arrested by the other cop, right? Wouldn't him going to trial (or even a preliminary hearing) for suspect gang activity/resisting arrest/destruction of evidence already ruin his reputation? Like, the protagonist finds him in this situation and sets off what apparently is a high profile media frenzy, so threatening him with a video tape of that same situation doesn't really seem effective...


I mean when I watch Columbo now, the villains always lie to Columbo and come up with alibis, which they have to keep changing and adding too as Columbo keeps picking the alibis and lies apart. But if the killers were to just get a lawyer, and not talk to Columbo, sure they would be bigger suspects, but they wouldn't give Columbo anything that he could legally chew on as a result, since a cop cannot chew on suspicion alone, if that makes sense. That is just an example as to how my mindset is changed after asking cops and lawyers all these questions. Whether it changed for the less believable or more, I am not sure yet.
Yeah, Ironpony, I get that. I'm saying you have the power and challenge to choose when to apply real world logic and when to apply TV Logic.

For my personal opinion, I think both matter in this way: It's okay to make things up at times when it serves the drama, and it's okay to keep other things more legally technical and real, if it serves the drama at those specific times. Would I be wrong in saying that?
I think as long as you don't break suspension of disbelief, making up lies or stretching the truth in service to the plot is a good thing. Otherwise you spend at least seven months running in circles trying to balance crafting a good story with real-world rules.

---

All of this is getting a bit far from the point: it's not really about the legalese, it's about the story, right? I don't really want to keep going back and forth on the stuff above, so let's switch topics. Let me see if I have this opening correct:
Gang Man is a cop (former? Current?) joining a gang run by someone he knows, who wants to test Gang Man's resolve/honesty/trust by putting him through a Blood In. The blood in requires him to shoot Woman who is part of the gang, and in on the Blood In, and knows the Blood In is harmless to her.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cop basically stumbles upon this Blood In and, recognizing it as gang-related and thinking it to be a kidnapping, intervenes, managing to apprehend Gang Man and "rescue" Woman. They want to pin Gang Man for, amongst other things, Kidnapping; Woman, who knows that any lie she tells could backfire on her, doesn't know what Gang Man is telling them, and doesn't want to play along with the kidnapping story, decides to lawyer up and remain silent. The gang itself, meanwhile, is worried about what Gang Man and Woman might be telling the cops.
The case eventually gets to some sort of legal proceeding, under the high stakes of this high profile media storm. During the case, Woman appears to testify, to the surprise of Mr. Cop, who thought she would remain silent this whole time. She's actually there to slander him as a character witness, and put doubt on his credibility so that, with little other evidence, Gang Man goes free.
The result is that the gang is happy with Woman and don't want to kill her, Gang Man still wants to betray the gang he's just joined, and Mr. Cop, his reputation falling apart, doubles down on his efforts to investigate the gang and get a win for himself.
Don't fill in extra details, don't elaborate on points. Just let me know if I've got the general gist of it and if there's something I've gotten super wrong, inform me. I just want to make sure, before I discuss this further, that I have a firm understanding of the first half/act so far, as laid out in my own words.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:32 AM View Post #14 (Link)
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Okay thanks. But the villain woman is strong enough to do other things in the story. I can see her not talking to the media.

Being smeared does not start the ticking clock. I just thought it would be the icing of the cake, when the ticking clock ends. Basically the gang thinks she talked so they go after, she has to get to the courthouse while in hiding, but also to smear the cops credibility and be welcomed back into the gang.

It's just having the hearing later, creates a time limit for everything, if that makes sense.

Sorry I do not mean to repeat twice, to come off as condescending. I lost track of what I wrote before and forgot I explained it once before.

Basically the gang going after her is suppose to make the main cop believe she is in danger. He then protects her and tries to get her to the hearing, but she ends up setting him and making him look bad in court as a result, making it look like he seduced her, then threatened her, as well as some other things. So the gang coming after to keep her from talking is just sort of a bonus to get the MC to come closer to her so she can set him up.

As far as the undercover cop going in on a deal and coming out a hero, I don't think that can work. I mean he would have to report the situation to the police first and get permission to go on an undercover assignment. I asked a cop before when writing it, and he said that if a cop went to a blood in, and then ran away, without reporting it when the blood in was busted, that cop cannot later say he was undercover. Because he was never given the assignment or given a go ahead, and he did not report it at the time.

So the cop would not be a hero, but be seen as a shady untrustworthy character. He would also like be fired, as he could never be reliable ever again, if something like that came out, or so I was told that's what would happen, and that the cops would not be allowed work out a deal like that, if he told them he was at the blood in test. And I wanted to write it that to keep him held under blackmail cause he doesn't want his career to be over... if that works of course.

Sorry, I didn't explain well before. The new recruit is not the one who is arrested by the main character cop. The new recruit gets away with the others and the MC cop doesn't see him. The MC arrests another one of the gang members, who just happened to be closest to him, as the others ran away in the process.

Threatening the cop with a video tape comes way later in the story, after the hearing is long over, and the MC finds out later, that the other cop was at the blood in. Or at least that is how I have it so far.

I wont go into further details about the first half, and will just touch on your points. You pretty much got everything right in your explanation it sounds like, accept for the gang man and the corrupt cop being too different characters, but that is my fault for not explaining well enough before.

I don't mean to come off as condescending if I have. Thank you for the great advice and tips you gave me.
 
Old 09-15-2016, 03:41 AM View Post #15 (Link)
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Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Okay thanks. But the villain woman is strong enough to do other things in the story. I can see her not talking to the media.
You're not getting what I'm saying.

I know she's not talking to the media.

The media doesn't care (and doesn't need her to talk).


As far as the undercover cop going in on a deal and coming out a hero, I don't think that can work. I mean he would have to report the situation to the police first and get permission to go on an undercover assignment. I asked a cop before when writing it, and he said that if a cop went to a blood in, and then ran away, without reporting it when the blood in was busted, that cop cannot later say he was undercover. Because he was never given the assignment or given a go ahead, and he did not report it at the time.
That's also not what I was suggesting. Reread what I said.

Sorry, I didn't explain well before. The new recruit is not the one who is arrested by the main character cop. The new recruit gets away with the others and the MC cop doesn't see him. The MC arrests another one of the gang members, who just happened to be closest to him, as the others ran away in the process.
Ah, that makes sense. This is when pronoun ambiguity really hits me hard I guess.

I've talked a lot about this today, so I'm going to take a break tonight and come back to it tomorrow, or so, to expand on some stuff.
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Old 09-15-2016, 03:47 AM View Post #16 (Link)
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Okay thanks.

Sorry for not getting it. Are you saying that the media is going to figure out she is one of the gang? Is that what you mean?

So for the undercover cop, you are saying he should make a deal, and then go back in as an undercover after to sort of make up for what he did, as part of the deal, is that it?

Thank you a lot for the great advice. I really appreciate it.
  
						Last edited by ironpony; 09-15-2016 at 03:54 AM.
Old 09-15-2016, 04:02 AM View Post #17 (Link)
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Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Sorry for not getting it. Are you saying that the media is going to figure out she is one of the gang? Is that what you mean?
I mean, maybe. It might happen. Depends on how little she's bothered hiding her tracks (if at all) and how you want the story to go. It doesn't have to happen. But it's something that could happen.

So for the undercover cop, you are saying he should make a deal, and then go back in as an undercover after to sort of make up for what he did, as part of the deal, is that it?
It was a bit more relevant when I thought the guy that was already in police custody was also the cop who was joining the gang. In that case, if you wanted the story to go a certain way, I think most readers would believe if he worked out a deal to report on the gang; the police get the information they want, and all they have to do is publicly say the officer was just going undercover (thus saving his reputation). Obviously they would punish him, he wouldn't be reinstated as an officer, but that would be more... "off the books." That's where I thought you might be going with it, anyway, and it's not impossible that Gang Cop seeks the police out when he starts having doubts--but again, I thought this was a different situation.
It probably wouldn't happen in real life, but that's what I was talking about with real life logic and story logic.

I should also say--when I suggest these things, it's not because I think that's how your story should go, or I'm trying to write it for you or something. I'm just spitballing ideas to get you to think about avenues you can take to work out issues you're having in your plotting. The worst thing you can do for yourself is be too rigid in your structure. Learn to experiment, to explore, and to try new things, even if it means drastically changing the rest of your story.
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Old 09-15-2016, 04:15 AM View Post #18 (Link)
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Okay thanks, that all makes sense. Well I don't want the woman to be too much in the media spotlight cause I want her to be able to hide when the gang goes after, as well as when the MC does. However, maybe she could use the media to her advantage to get out others going after her though maybe.

As for the crooked cop, he decides to go out and get evidence on his own, on the gang. He figures that since he will most likely be fired, he might as well bring them in with proof, and go out with a bang, if that makes sense.

So he goes out to do it on his own. The MC goes out on his own against the gang too, and finds out that the corrupt cop is working with them. The corrupt cop is actually know working against them secretly, but the MC doesn't know that. The corrupt cop tries to save the MC from being harmed by the gang, but in a misunderstanding, the MC kills the corrupt cop, thinking the corrupt cop was about to shoot him for knowing too much, when in fact, he was trying to save him from being shot by other gang members in a firefight.

The MC then frames the gang for killing the corrupt cop, making it look like the gang did it. The MC cannot frame the gang for it in a way that is legally admissible though. So the police think that the gang did it, but have no legal evidence, just planted evidence since the MC planted the gang's calling card, along with a message, that appears to be sent from them. The message says he was killed cause the police interfered, and more police will die as a result.

A group of cops who were friends with the corrupt cop (not realizing he was dirty, and with the gang) decide to get revenge on the gang and kill them, or something vengeful like that, to avenge their friend, and stop other cops from being killed, like the threat said, in the MC's planted message. This builds to a climax and ending that I wanted.

I am waiting to hear back from the lawyer, more on if a prosecutor could go on with the case, with just the cops' testimony. I could move it to the first act, where the defendant gets off immediately. But then the woman has no reason to slander the cop later necessarily, and the cop's drive will not be as strong of effective. I guess she could still slander him out of spite though. I will try to find out more, to see if I can legally make it work.

Another thing someone recommended to me before was that one reason the woman could also remain silent is because she is worried that the gang man who is arrested might have caved under pressure and not kept quiet and might have made up a lie saying he and the woman do not know the gang. He could tell the police a different version of the story than her though, and she is worried about that, which is why she keeps quiet till she is subpoenaed, and then forced to say something. That was another person's idea at least.

The reason why I feel she may be hesitant to tell people that she met them on craigslist, is that maybe the police could subpoena her to appear at a grand jury in which case, she will then be forced to admit which adds on craigslists specifically. The gang could set up fake adds though that are not untraceable to them. But it depends on if they would have pre-planned all this before the blood in.
  
						Last edited by ironpony; 09-15-2016 at 04:57 AM.
Old 09-15-2016, 06:36 PM View Post #19 (Link)
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Locking this. Seriously, ironpony, no more of these threads until you post your story for critique and actually critique others. Contribute to the site, and then I'll allow these ridiculously circular threads.

And, Infinity, as amazing as you are for your patience and helpfulness, please don't reply to these threads unless ironpony has shown evidence of contributing to the site first.
 
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