tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

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Preacher
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tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Preacher » June 2nd, 2011, 8:15 am

Got a thing. Could be a bad guy tactical error or just a mistake by me, the writer. Either way, i think this needs a fix, or someone to show me reasoning that says it was not an error.

Here goes: My main bad guy has gone and abducted my female lead (not the full lead, she works alongside the main character) He has abducted her to his compound. This is where he does all of his bad stuff. Does it make sense for him to remove this female to where he is? What would be the reasoning? Would it have been smarter to just have her killed where she is as opposed to abducted. I am not aware of the possible tactical advantages by the abduction. Any suggestions?

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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by polymath » June 2nd, 2011, 9:29 am

As long as the bad guy has a credible motive for delaying killing her, I don't see any reader disturbing coincidence. Actually, I see an opportunity to further develop the bad guy's characterization.
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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Preacher » June 2nd, 2011, 9:54 am

Thats the problem - i am not sure if there is a credible motive for not killing her. I dont know if there is any tactical advantage for the abduction. Bad guy abducts her, knowing it will only further motivate the main character and killing her wont be a deterrent. I think that will also only serve to motivate the main character. This is my dilemma.

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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Watcher55 » June 2nd, 2011, 10:17 am

The usual motive for an abduction is extortion. If, however, the abduction will motivate the MC, perhaps that's what the bad guy intended. The bad guy could use the female lead as bait or a distraction to give the bad guy time or access to a certain space in order to work towards his own goal. "Hell, I'll let the good guy save her, I'll be over here, doing..."

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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by polymath » June 2nd, 2011, 10:41 am

Is the bad guy a nemesis or a villain? Carefully defining his role should answer the dilemma. A nemesis contends with a protagonist for the same mutually exclusive outcome. In other words, only one can win the goal. A villain, on the other hand, explicitly, is a character wreaking impersonal-seeming, self-serving havoc and mayhem. A protagonist then is summoned by circumstances to end the villain's career.

Possession of a still-living kidnap victim pending execution raises stakes plot-wise, and internally for a protagonist. Also, the bad guy could credibly have sociopathic motives for delaying her execution, a time-date-place-method specific ritual, in front of witnesses or not, for example.
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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Preacher » June 2nd, 2011, 11:01 am

This is definitely a villain. Not a nemesis. The kidnap victim definitely adds focus to the goal of the main character. I just didnt know if it could have been considered a good tactical move by the villain. There is no extortion here. The villain isnt going to tell the protagonist to go away or give up and if he doesnt then the hostage is killed. That, too me, would not make any sense. I wonder if she could be a final piece of insurance. Meaning when the protagonist actually finds the villain, the villain tries to use her as leverage.

It has been a debate for a while for me on whether to kill this female lead or not. He could have killed her earlier as opposed to abducting her only to kill her at a later date, i think. Logically, the protagonist knows it is the villain who has taken her and, therefore, his quest to find the villain, who he has not met yet, will not change. The protagonist and lead female, by this point in the story, have already become intimate. Is there a solution where maybe she gets killed earlier, say very shortly after the intimacy. Maybe the lead leaves his apartment and she is killed there. The mistake there being the villain had expected to kill them both in one shot.

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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by polymath » June 2nd, 2011, 11:30 am

Why does she have to die plot-wise? What does it mean to the plot when or if she dies? Plot-wise, her death should raise great doubt the protagonist will accomplish his main purpose. It should raise the protagonist's and the villain's stakes. Therefore, it should occur by or before roughly the nine-sixteenths' mark, perhaps as the tragic crisis where the protagonist is at the darkest scene.

Why should she die? To add to the protagonist's complications and compel his escalating efforts. Therefore, it should occur in roughly the first half as a major turn, a major setback, perhaps at the realization crisis scene, where the protagonist first fully realizes how daunting accomplishing his purpose is, roughly at the three-eighths' mark, and questions whether to proceed, then soon thereafter makes a momentous decision.
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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Louise Curtis » June 2nd, 2011, 6:21 pm

Not everyone likes killing, even bad guys (apparently it's, like, emotionally difficult the first time. . . or so I hear).
Also, a hostage is more useful for bargaining than a corpse.
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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Mike R » June 2nd, 2011, 6:28 pm

Your villain can do illogical things. He can even acknowledge that they are illogical and still do them. People do stupid things all the time knowing they are counter to their interests. All he really has to do is want to. The want can be unreasonable, he can acknowledge that and still do it. As long as you deal with it, I'll buy it and so will most readers.

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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Falls Apart » June 2nd, 2011, 6:56 pm

I've been in that situation before. My solution has generally been to . . . kill her. There's a reason only two (very evil) characters survive the story idea I currently have mapped out. That reason being that I have probems.

But if you aren't a bloodthirsty maniac taking out anger management issues on your fictional creations . . . I've seen some solutions in books/tv. He could torture her for information. He could be a bit of a perv and do the whole I Have You Now, My Pretty thing, although this really bugs me when it's not pulled off right. He could hold her as a hostage. He could be chivalrous and not like hurting women. The book could hint that he has feelings for her, in his own twisted way. She could remind him of his mother/sister/great-great grandmother who died the year after he was born.

Etc.

But honestly? I'd just kill her . . . *evil grin*

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Re: tACTICAL ERROR BY THE BAD GUY?

Post by Preacher » June 3rd, 2011, 1:30 am

One of the earlier posts suggested villains can do "stupid things" and my initial thought was the reader would want to know why this person was kidnapped as opposed to killed, thereby increasing the possibility that the protagonist gives up his quest. I had also considered there being a hit ordered on BOTH protagonist and lead female and having the protagonist not there. I had the idea for it to happen the morning after they have sex for the first time. He wakes early and takes the dog for a walk to get coffee and comes back to a dead woman laying in his bed.

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