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Looking for an "admirable" reaction


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#1 ellie_b

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 07:10 PM

I'm a bit blocked on a scene.  I've rewritten it twice, but I'm still not happy with it.  I think it's because my sleuth character is coming across as too much of a wimp.  She's supposed to be a cool and collected Sherlock Holmes type.  However, she's just discovered that everything she's been told up until that point in the novel by someone she trusts is a complete lie.

 

The situation itself is complicated, but I'll try to come up with something close:

 

Suppose you're in a car with your sainted older brother.  He makes a wrong turn and you're carjacked.  In addition, the thieves demand a ring from him that belonged to your grandfather.  You talk to the police, but he is too shaken to speak.  For the few days he's changed for the worst, constantly on the phone screaming at the insurance company to cut him a check.  You keep asking for a case number to follow up for him and he won't give you one and yells for you to get off his back. 

 

A few days later you're in a pawnshop and you see your grandfather's ring.  You ask to see the footage of the man who brought in the ring.  It's your brother.

 

How do you react when you recognize him on the footage?  How do you react when you learn he was screaming at a phone with nobody at the other end?  You don't want to make a scene and send your brother to prison, but you have a lot of questions and you are gutted by this deception.


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#2 Tanja

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 01:44 AM

Only a thought. I would probably buy the ring back, get a receipt or the footage and question the brother for the reasons why he'd sold the ring. It appears from what you are telling, that he'd staged the carjacking. Not sure.


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#3 giffordmac

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 12:39 PM

If I really loved my brother, shock would have me standing still for a few minutes, then I'd probably turn and walk away in a daze. Maybe walk a few miles. A couple of days of ignoring his phone calls while I "to be or not to be", would be followed by another trip to the pawn shop to buy the ring back, (etc as above).

 

If I had any previous reason to distrust him, I'd go straight to (above).

 

Either way, I would eventually confront him.


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

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#4 ellie_b

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 12:45 PM

Thanks!!! 

 

Right now the stunned silence is what I have now, but since the chapter is not in her POV, I'm wondering if it comes across as weakness.  Especially since the pawnshop owner makes light of her reaction.  Maybe I should rewrite the scene from her POV?  Or is it obvious enough she'd be in shock.

 

The brother wasn't involved in the carjacking, but that is the impression she has.  He's protecting a girl who returned the ring to him. Protecting her from both the carjackers and from the police.  She's a wanted felon because she did something really, really dumb, but wasn't involved in the carjacking.  Like I said, it's complicated.


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#5 giffordmac

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 04:17 PM

I suggest re-writing from her POV. Then compare the 2 scenes and see which one you think adds the most suspense.

 

Best of luck!


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

~~~

 

 

 

 


#6 Thrash

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 10:47 AM

With sleuth characters, especially like Sherlock, they're obsession with the truth is a defense mechanism.  So maybe show her drive to get to the bottom of this (without actually involving anyone, including her brother) show her distress at the situation.  May need to develop reaction over several scenes.



#7 ellie_b

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:47 PM

Great suggestion.  So do you think it would work if her words betray her confusion while her body would betray her anger and determination?


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#8 ellie_b

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:36 PM

Not a rank coincidence.  She's put out an "APB" to the pawnshops in the area saying she'll pay top dollar for a ring of that description and has gotten a call.  She just didn't think A) the ring would actually turn up, and B) she's been played.


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Only 99c for Kindle:

4fe8d7da-5c31-4881-ba48-94b97b06708d_zps

 

And Nook:

http://www.barnesand...ster/1103950169

 


#9 Cindra

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 11:08 PM

From her POV she would likely feel very sick to her stomach.  From another POV she may be observed running outside and heaving or actually getting sick.   Barfing may not be what you meant by admirable though, LOL.


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#10 thom71gt

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Posted 26 August 2015 - 09:26 AM

Being that I spend a LOT of my time on critique sites and critique a LOT of thrillers, forgive me if I start with some specifics about your post. First off, I've been told and I've also read that it is a big no-no to double space at the end of a sentence. I noticed that you did that in your post. If you did this in your manuscript, you need to go and fix this now.

Secondly, unless this is a sci-fi thriller, things need to be realistic or your readers will call BS and put down the book. Namely, if I go into a pawn shop and ask to see a video, 99.99999% of the time they'll tell you to pound sand. You need at MINIMUM a police report and then MAYBE, if the shop owner is nice and feels sorry for you, he/she will show you the video. More than likely they'll ask for a warrant and you'll need to be accompanied by a police officer.

 

Okay, so now that that is all out of the way, if this person is an investigator, the first thing that comes to mind would be that my brother is obviously in some kind of financial trouble and did this whole ruse in order to get the insurance money. My reaction would be to start investigating my brother and keep him out of the loop until I ran into a roadblock.






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