Need help with a scene

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Preacher
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Need help with a scene

Post by Preacher » January 21st, 2011, 8:18 am

My main character caught on to the fact that somebody was watching the house of a man he needed to talk to for information. The man wasn't home, also realizing he was being watched. My main finds the man he is looking for and has decided the the best move is to go and get the guy doing the following. The follower has been watching from a supposedly empty houses that is basically across the street.

My main character only knows the head-on approach. How would you approach getting this guy? Do you just break into the house where the watcher is and go from there? Is there another way? Maybe a plot or plan to drag him into the open and confront him.

The chapter starts off with this simple sentence - Preacher had a man to see, but no real plan.

Any hints or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Watcher55
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Re: Need help with a scene

Post by Watcher55 » January 21st, 2011, 8:41 am

He could stand in the yard of the guy who is being watched and make a show of taking pictures of the "empty" house.

Rent a big panel truck and park it between the two houses

Pretend to be the President of the neighborhood watch and stage a door knocking recruiting campaign. He can be persistent and tap on the windows and walk around the house...generally act like a well meaning pest until the guy actually answers the door.

If he can manage to get a picture of the guy he can post a "Have you seen me" flyer on the telephone pole in front of the house then make a point of looking at the window as he staples it up.

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polymath
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Re: Need help with a scene

Post by polymath » January 21st, 2011, 12:21 pm

One of the earliest writing methods taught in grammar school is asking and answering the W questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

A man needs to see a man about what? A man needs to see a man why?

The who, when, and where are given somewhat. How? is the question posed. Clarifying why and about what? might offer insight for direction.

Tracking it back, a man needs to see a man. An intervening man spooked the target, but the seeking man suspects the intervening man might know the target's whereabouts or at least his habits sufficiently to lead him to the target. But why does the seeker need to see the target?

Frankly, though the intervening man is an added complication, potentially powerful for its possibilities as a bridging complication, witholding why the seeker seeks the target by imposing a detour might not be a best practice. It is, however, a potent opportunity to introduce the why and/or about what the seeker seeks from the target. And it is a setback, also a discovery and a reversal. The seeker discovers the target isn't home. It's not going to be as simple as at first thought. A reversal. Setback. That's a completed action for a scene. A transition to the next scene is indicated.

Anyway, how to engage the intervening man: frontally or obliquely? The intervening man has an advantage from being inside the target's house. The high ground, so to speak. A frontal approach might not be the best strategic maneuver. I don't know the characters' behavioral or personality traits. Whether frontal or oblique, whichever way could be an opportunity to begin building characterization.

An oblique tactical ploy might draw him to the seeker's advantageous, so to speak, position. A phone call over to the target's house, say, confirming an appointed meeting could summon the intervening man to a more tactically advantageous location, for instance. Assuming an answering machine receives the call? Or the intervening man picks up, which could characterize him, and he takes the message? The intervening man then goes off to prepare to intercept the target. Meanwhile, the seeker searches the target's house. Later, they meet up at the seeker's field of advantage.
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Beethovenfan
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Re: Need help with a scene

Post by Beethovenfan » January 23rd, 2011, 3:08 am

Perhaps you could scare the begeesers out of him somehow. Smoke him out, so to speak.
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ljkuhnley
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Re: Need help with a scene

Post by ljkuhnley » January 24th, 2011, 7:55 pm

I wasn't sure what you meant by "get" the guy but they could do a number of things:

- if the house is supposed to be empty they could call the police and say the man is trespassing.
- they could hire a private investigator to watch him (he has to leave sometime right?) and discover his identity.
- if it were a comedy there could be any number of ways they might try to lure him to the door such as kids selling cookies, having a really large package delivered, or some sort of prank like ringing the doorbell incessantly or the classic flaming bag of dog poo.
- if it's more of a thriller they could wait for him to leave, break in and be waiting when he comes back. Breaking in while he's there seems a real risky move unless they watch him, learn his habit patterns and break in while he's in the shower or asleep.

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J. T. SHEA
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Re: Need help with a scene

Post by J. T. SHEA » January 25th, 2011, 6:21 pm

Have your Main Character knock on the door of the supposedly empty house. When the Watcher opens the door your MC could pretend to be a writer and say:-

'My main character caught on to the fact that somebody was watching the house of
a man he needed to talk to for information. The man wasn't home, also realizing
he was being watched. My main finds the man he is looking for and has decided
the the best move is to go and get the guy doing the following. The follower has
been watching from a supposedly empty houses that is basically across the street.

'My main character only knows the head-on approach. How would you approach
getting this guy? Do you just break into the house where the watcher is and go
from there? Is there another way? Maybe a plot or plan to drag him into the open
and confront him.

'The chapter starts off with this simple sentence - Preacher had a man to see,
but no real plan.

'Any hints or suggestions are greatly appreciated. But, if you don't have any hints or suggestions, I'll shoot you.'

Whereupon the Watcher could reply:-

'Have your Main Character knock on the door of the supposedly empty house. When the Watcher opens the door your MC could pretend to be a writer and say:-

'”My main character caught on to the fact that somebody was watching the house of
a man he needed to talk to for information. The man wasn't home, also realizing
he was being watched. My main finds the man he is looking for and has decided
the the best move is to go and get the guy doing the following. The follower has
been watching from a supposedly empty houses that is basically across the street.'

'”My main character only knows the head-on approach. How would you approach
getting this guy? Do you just break into the house where the watcher is and go
from there? Is there another way? Maybe a plot or plan to drag him into the open
and confront him.

'”The chapter starts off with this simple sentence - Preacher had a man to see,
but no real plan.

'”Any hints or suggestions are greatly appreciated. But, if you don't have any hints or suggestions, I'll have to shoot you.'”

Whereupon your Main Character could reply:-

'We're lost in a loop here, but luckily, it isn't infinite, because J. T. Shea prefers commas to quotation marks, though he doesn't know how to use either properly. So, I'll just shoot you. BANG!'

On the other hand, you could let your word processor continue the loop for 60,000 words, and VOILA'! Your novel is finished. In more ways than one...

Sorry, Preacher. I'm prone to sudden attacks of Postmodernism on Tuesdays.

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Holly
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Re: Need help with a scene

Post by Holly » January 25th, 2011, 7:02 pm

Preacher wrote:My main character caught on to the fact that somebody was watching the house of a man he needed to talk to for information. The man wasn't home, also realizing he was being watched. My main finds the man he is looking for and has decided the the best move is to go and get the guy doing the following. The follower has been watching from a supposedly empty houses that is basically across the street.

My main character only knows the head-on approach. How would you approach getting this guy? Do you just break into the house where the watcher is and go from there? Is there another way? Maybe a plot or plan to drag him into the open and confront him.

The chapter starts off with this simple sentence - Preacher had a man to see, but no real plan.

Any hints or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
If your MC is the police, he could just go get the follower.

Or he could pretend to be somebody from the gas company, the municipal water and sewer department, or the electric company, and needs to read a meter. Sometimes water meters are inside the basements of old houses. That would get him inside.

Or he could say he's with the cable TV company. Cable guys around here wear ordinary clothes with no ID, but their vehicles have a company name -- the big cable company contracts out. Since the house is empty, he could say a real estate agency sent him there.

Or he could just say he's looking for a guy named Joe Smith, went to school with him, thought he used to live there, and he's surprised that the place is empty.

Preacher
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Re: Need help with a scene

Post by Preacher » January 26th, 2011, 1:38 pm

I wanted to thank everybody for all the helpful input and suggestions. I just finished writing the scene and went with my main character prteending to be starting a neighborhood watch. he came with a stack of flyers and pages and rang the bell and when no one answered he started snapping photos with a digital camera and went around back and kept banging, ringing, and making a general nuisance of himself until the man came to the back kitchen door. My character aggravated him some more and then smacked him in the jaw and pushed him inside where he tied the man up. He questioned him and in the end tied him outside to the telephone pole with the camera filled with photos of other houses in his pocket and a sign pointing to it that said evidence. Another sign on his chest said criminal. My character made an anonymous call to the police and went on his way.

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