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I am having problems with a possible plot hole, could I get some advice?

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Old 08-06-2015, 10:42 PM
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Default I am having problems with a possible plot hole, could I get some advice?


Hello there. I am new here. I am aspiring filmmaker and write screenplays of my own which I direct. I have a new one that I sent to a writing consultant for feed back and she said there were some plot holes, but there is a big one in particular I am having trouble with. I wonder if I could get some help.

This part of the story has some controversial subject matter, so I am just giving a friendly warning and I hope no one takes offense. But if it's offensive then it's something maybe I need to work on as well, story wise.

Basically in the story, a gang of criminals recruits a new member, they think will be useful. But they want to make sure he is not an undercover cop. The cops are interested in their activities, and they do not want this newcomer to be one, so they take precautions.

Basically in real life, a lot of gangs will give the newcomer a test to pass. A felony he/she has to commit to get in. Usually it's called a blood in, since it involves spilling the blood of another person, or hurting a person quite physically.

But the gang does not want to give him a real test, in case he is undercover. If he is, then the gang could be caught and be charged with the crime of the test as well, if that makes sense. Like for example, if the gang tries to get the cop to kill someone, then the cop arrests them, they could be charged with conspiracy to murder or something like that.

So they give him a fake test, but want him to believe it's real. He only knows one member of the gang so far, the rest are new, when they bring him to test. One of the members of the gang is a woman and she agrees to be pretend to be a tied up kidnap victim, who is gagged and blindfolded.

The gang tells the newcomer that in order to get in, he must rape her. That way they know if he is committed and for real.

Now the reason why the gang does this is because in case he is undercover, and he decides to bust them right there, since he cannot go any further without committing rape, he may have back up waiting nearby, monitoring the situation.

They search and know he's not wearing a wire, but they know that back up could still be following him and could be nearby, and they could be listening in with parabolic microphones.

The reason why they got a fellow member to pretend to be a kidnapped hostage, is because if the undercover cop, chooses to arrest them right now, and back up comes and swarms the building, the gang will not be charged with kidnapping and assault of the hostage.

Since the hostage is one of them, their plan is to say that they were all roleplaying and she consented to being tied up, and having sex with the guy they brought in, and she will give the same story.

This means that they can not be charged with any felony if busted right here. A mischief misdemeanor perhaps, but nothing near as great as kidnapping, assault, etc.

But I was told by other writers, that this makes no sense and no gang in real life, would initiate such a complex test with such a fail-safe to it. If a gang wanted to see if a new guy could pass a test to get in, they would just have him mug or kill someone. They wouldn't set up a fake rape, with one of their own members, posing a hostage, just to create plausible deniability, if they are busted at that moment.

They said that it's a huge plot hole, and I need to rewrite it. However, the cops do bust in and the gang is arrested but they get off. But a lot of twists and turns and consequences comes out of this scenario that take up about a third of the story, so I might have to change the entire story, if one one third to fix this hole.

But in order to fix it, I need more input of what can be done. Because the writing consultants I asked emailed me back saying the situation is implausible and a plot hole, but they didn't give me any specifics beyond that.

Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to change it or what the problem is exactly? Thank you .


Last edited by ironpony; 08-06-2015 at 11:05 PM..
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:23 AM
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It does sound a wee bit implausible but really whether it works or not is down to how you write it.

If the guy refuses to do it, it may not be because he's a cop, he may just not be a rapist. If he does go ahead with it, and he is an undercover cop, it gets potentially complicated because though she is willing, he doesn't know that so there is the question of intent on his part.

Why not give the guy a gun (or better still if he has his own), send him out and tell him to be back in 15 minutes with $1000? They aren't specifically inciting him to commit a crime. It's down to the guy himself how he gets the money. And you'd just have to follow him to see if he gets it out of an ATM or holds up a store or something.
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Old 08-07-2015, 05:19 AM
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Okay thanks. The reason why I want it this way is because once the cops come in to arrest them, everyone stays silent about what happened, till it goes to court. The reason being is because once they get to court, it's easier to get off, as oppose to saying it was all consensual scenario in the station. If you say in the station, anything you say can be used against you, but if you wait till court , then you get off off and not have to worry about being charged with it again because of double jeopardy. But in order to get double jeopardy, you have to wait till court.

Another thing is, is that the police believe the woman is a kidnap victim so they get to talk about what happened, and how she was kidnapped, etc. This gets her to lead the police on a false goose chase, and she ends up misleading them to fake evidence, that plays a part later. So I need the witness in the case, to be working with the villains, and lead the police on that fake goose chase for the rest of the plot to work.

This is the reason why I wrote that the gang test the undercover cop this way, in order to get that fake goose chase later.

Is that okay, or does that make enough sense?
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:45 PM
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What if the police have set up a situation/target that they know the gang will want to go after. Perhaps they have information from former members of the gang and create a goal such as a store invasion or a shipment of new cars to steal. The undercover cop can perform the task and the gang will be convinced. Hope this sparks a few ideas.
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:46 AM
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Okay thanks. But in order for the story to go the way I want it to, I need the gang to beat the charges. This means that they have to set up a fake crime for the newcomer to commit, that the gang is able to prove never happened after. This is why I chose the hostage pretending to be a victim who is going to be raped, because then when the cop breaks cover and busts them for it, the hostage and the gang all tell the same story, that it was a consensual scenario, and no conspiracy to kidnapping or rape, took place.

That way they can beat the charges.

I could write it so that gang gets the newcomer to help in a fake abduction, with the abductee in on it with the gang, so if busted there, the abductee will just say it was all a game they were all in on and therefore cannot be charged with kidnapping.

But that has more risks, and has to be done outdoors, where a witness could see and call the cops. At least with the fake rape test, it can be done indoors, which is smarter for the gang.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:39 AM
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I've had many situations similar to the one you're dealing with. It's very frustrating and can drive you nuts.

Your post didn't explain where the hole was. What's the question?

When I find myself writing into a corner I stop working on it and get some good sleep. Sometimes I outline the entire story and start playing around with variations. Once I ID where the problem is, it's easier to find changes to get past the block.

It's very hard to give feedback on Plot. It's like trying to find out what's wrong with a blueprint for a high rise. The story is in you and you have to solve the problem.

As to the set up for the story, I think it's very creative and new. A falsely accused cop cooperating with gangbangers is new and I'd love to read it.

Have a nice writing day.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:19 PM
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He rapes the girl and becomes a trusted gang member which later leads to the largest drug bust in history.

Keep in mind most people like a happy ending. I suggest he and the rape "victim" fall madly in love and ride off into the neon lit night.

Cue to black.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaines View Post
He rapes the girl and becomes a trusted gang member which later leads to the largest drug bust in history.

Keep in mind most people like a happy ending. I suggest he and the rape "victim" fall madly in love and ride off into the neon lit night.

Cue to black.

Like a twisted version of Zack and Miri make a porno. They 'do it' for the film, but a spark happens.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Okay thanks. But in order for the story to go the way I want it to, I need the gang to beat the charges. This means that they have to set up a fake crime for the newcomer to commit, that the gang is able to prove never happened after. This is why I chose the hostage pretending to be a victim who is going to be raped, because then when the cop breaks cover and busts them for it, the hostage and the gang all tell the same story, that it was a consensual scenario, and no conspiracy to kidnapping or rape, took place.

That way they can beat the charges.

I could write it so that gang gets the newcomer to help in a fake abduction, with the abductee in on it with the gang, so if busted there, the abductee will just say it was all a game they were all in on and therefore cannot be charged with kidnapping.

But that has more risks, and has to be done outdoors, where a witness could see and call the cops. At least with the fake rape test, it can be done indoors, which is smarter for the gang.

I believe you said that you submitted the story and received the reply that the plot had a hole or wasn't believable. What do you want from those here? You need to be clear in your own mind what you want.

Do you want to be told the plot works the way it is? If yes, what would that mean, really? The story still will be not accepted.

Do you want suggestions for fixing the problem? You've shot down the ones made, so you're not likely to get more. Posting a "Thanks. I'll think about that." woild keep others more interested in helping, even if you have questions about how the change will not result in a complete rewrite.

You remind me of myself a few years ago. I didn't want to rewrite because I thought what I had was good. You know what? It was good. But when I let it sit several months and went back to it with fresh eyes and more experience, I saw the faults. So I saved what I had and rewrote from the problem point on. Some later stuff was salvageable. Some wasn't. And the rewrite was better.

My advice, for what it's worth, is to set it aside and work on other stuff. Then look at it anew later. See what you think then.

In the meantime, keep thinking about other ways to get the same result -- the trial and the gang members being (technically) not guilty. You've come this far. You'll figure it out. If I think of something, I'll post it.
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:05 AM
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A woman who agrees to take part in a "fake rape test" where she's gagged, bound up, blindfolded and then penetrated by a bloke she doesn't know, is one very screwed up lady. That's interesting. Does she suggest this? Is it routine? Nobody gets into the gang without getting into Loose Lucy, perhaps? What kind of hold does the gang have over this lady? Drugs?

If the viewer can be made to understand what's going on in her head, the scene might ring less false.
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by poirot View Post
I believe you said that you submitted the story and received the reply that the plot had a hole or wasn't believable. What do you want from those here? You need to be clear in your own mind what you want.

Do you want to be told the plot works the way it is? If yes, what would that mean, really? The story still will be not accepted.

Do you want suggestions for fixing the problem? You've shot down the ones made, so you're not likely to get more. Posting a "Thanks. I'll think about that." woild keep others more interested in helping, even if you have questions about how the change will not result in a complete rewrite.

You remind me of myself a few years ago. I didn't want to rewrite because I thought what I had was good. You know what? It was good. But when I let it sit several months and went back to it with fresh eyes and more experience, I saw the faults. So I saved what I had and rewrote from the problem point on. Some later stuff was salvageable. Some wasn't. And the rewrite was better.

My advice, for what it's worth, is to set it aside and work on other stuff. Then look at it anew later. See what you think then.

In the meantime, keep thinking about other ways to get the same result -- the trial and the gang members being (technically) not guilty. You've come this far. You'll figure it out. If I think of something, I'll post it.
Sorry I didn't mean to reject past suggestion. It's just that robbing a convenience store will not be seen as a fake crime to the police because money is still removed from the register and even if the cashier/owner is part of the gang, it will still legally be considered a robbery.

I am actually not sure what the plot hole, is that people mentioned, and they said that the whole thing does not make sense, but were not much more specific.

I took a few days off and went on vacation with my gf, then came back but I still haven't spotted it. I will keep looking.

Originally Posted by Non Serviam View Post
A woman who agrees to take part in a "fake rape test" where she's gagged, bound up, blindfolded and then penetrated by a bloke she doesn't know, is one very screwed up lady. That's interesting. Does she suggest this? Is it routine? Nobody gets into the gang without getting into Loose Lucy, perhaps? What kind of hold does the gang have over this lady? Drugs?

If the viewer can be made to understand what's going on in her head, the scene might ring less false.
They do not have anything over the lady at all. She is an equal member of the gang and doesn't mind at all being a loose lucy as a method for safely recruiting newcomers, so the gang cannot be busted by the cops by chance, cause the rapes are fake. She accepts it as part of the scheme and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. But I do not intend for her to be a sexualized character. She is a villain like the others. I could have it be her idea of the group, if that helps explain her better.

Last edited by ironpony; 08-10-2015 at 04:11 PM..
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:41 PM
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Default I am having problems with a possible plot hole, could I get some advice?

Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Sorry I didn't mean to reject past suggestion. It's just that robbing a convenience store will not be seen as a fake crime to the police because money is still removed from the register and even if the cashier/owner is part of the gang, it will still legally be considered a robbery.

I am actually not sure what the plot hole, is that people mentioned, and they said that the whole thing does not make sense, but were not much more specific.

I took a few days off and went on vacation with my gf, then came back but I still haven't spotted it. I will keep looking.



They do not have anything over the lady at all. She is an equal member of the gang and doesn't mind at all being a loose lucy as a method for safely recruiting newcomers, so the gang cannot be busted by the cops by chance, cause the rapes are fake. She accepts it as part of the scheme and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty. But I do not intend for her to be a sexualized character. She is a villain like the others. I could have it be her idea of the group, if that helps explain her better.

I don't think the plot hole can be detected by your description of the story. If we could read a chunk of it, that would help. There are writers who can make really unbelievable stuff work because they are skilled that way. Post a piece of it in members only, and change the title if you're worried about first rights.

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Old 08-10-2015, 06:31 PM
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I think most simply find it unbelievable that a woman with any amount of self-respect would agree to be raped. It's that simple.

While some enjoy reading about rape, I think publishers baulk at the idea of rape being casually accepted. You need a different way to move the story along if you want it published. Or try other publishers.
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:28 PM
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Okay thanks. I just have the outline written for people to read though, and it's no more descriptive than what you read. I haven't written any expanded drafts cause I wanted to know if the ideas worked first.

As far as a woman being self respectable, she is allowing herself to be raped. To her it's consensual since she is fooling the recruits into thinking it is, as part of their test of being able to get into the gang.

It's all an act to her, and she is consenting, so she just thinks of it as a performance. Also, she is psychotic killer villain who has no problem murdering innocent people villain so does that type of character have to have self respect?

I mean is murder for a character okay, but putting on a rape performance to fool a possible cop, crossing the line in comparison?

I don't really think of it as a story about rape or that rape is being accepted. It's just a scenario they created where if a recruit turns out to be an undercover cop, they have plausible deniability since the supposed victim will say it was all an act.

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Old 08-10-2015, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Okay thanks. I just have the outline written for people to read though, and it's no more descriptive than what you read. I haven't written any expanded drafts cause I wanted to know if the ideas worked first.

As far as a woman being self respectable, she is allowing herself to be raped. To her it's consensual since she is fooling the recruits into thinking it is, as part of their test of being able to get into the gang.

It's all an act to her, and she is consenting, so she just thinks of it as a performance. Also, she is psychotic killer villain who has no problem murdering innocent people villain so does that type of character have to have self respect?

I mean is murder for a character okay, but putting on a rape performance to fool a possible cop, crossing the line in comparison?

I don't really think of it as a story about rape or that rape is being accepted. It's just a scenario they created where if a recruit turns out to be an undercover cop, they have plausible deniability since the supposed victim will say it was all an act.

Yeah, I'm not screenplay savvy. I'm not sure how asking a cop to commit a crime can be considered a crime. I could always say I was joking. Furthermore, I'm already a criminal. Would I care?
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:11 AM
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Plot hole, you say?

Looked like the last loo hole I used.

No, I ain't gettin' in there and cleanin' that out.
It's organic. Give it some time.

And put up a sign that clearly designates the plot hole if you expect people to get what you got goin' on here.
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:23 AM
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I think Non Serviam is on the right track.

Maybe the lady has been threatened to participate -- in a lot of gangs, the women are just property -- so maybe you need change her status. Plus maybe she's a masochist or otherwise screwed up.

But from what I've read and seen in documentaries, gang people aren't nearly as smart as they thing they are. They let undercover people in because of their egos and the belief that they can somehow spot a cop based on their instincts. Whether or not the cop succeeds is often about whether or not he has a convincing backstory and if can stay in "character."

On the other hand, I did see one thing where the cops staged an elaborate murder supposedly committed by an undercover cop -- they used movie makeup people etc. and took pics that the cop showed the gang guys to convince them he was for real. That's true -- and even that sound pretty far-fetched, doesn't it?

So I think it's up to you to make it work. Don't worry about what the vast majority of women would do. When it comes to human behavior or motivations, NOTHING is too weird.

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Old 08-11-2015, 03:15 PM
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Okay thanks. The female character though, is the lead villain, and she is the biggest risk taker of the gang compared to the others.

So since she is the biggest risk taker and the main villain, I have trouble seeing the other's threatening her to participate, rather than her putting on the performance at her own will.

You gave a good example, of an undercover operation, where one person pretended to be dead to take pictures of. Where as in mine, it's an operation from the gang's side, and you have one of them pretending to be a hostage instead. But does she really have to be threatened into playing the hostage, rather than just choosing to act like one, to fool the cop, out of her own will? I can write it so that she is a masochist if that will help.

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Old 08-11-2015, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by poirot View Post
I think most simply find it unbelievable that a woman with any amount of self-respect would agree to be raped. It's that simple.
I don't agree and I think it's really complicated.

If the woman has consented to this in the full knowledge of what's going to happen to her then it's not really rape.

Rape fantasy is relatively common among women, but only a very small number of women go beyond fantasy and experiment with bondage and sexually submissive behaviour. Even then their partner is usually well known to them. But this lady is going to put herself in a position of being sexually submissive to a bloke she doesn't know. Maybe she gets off on that; maybe she's doped out of her mind when it happens; maybe she's got no choice because the gang are holding a gun to her baby's head; these are all interesting situations to write about.

What I don't believe is that she lets herself be stripped, tied up, blindfolded and penetrated while she's fully compos mentis and she's emotionally indifferent to that.

I think it could be a fascinating scene to write and a real test of writing ability, but if you don't want to get into the psychology and ethics of this plot point, then my advice is to make it a non-sexual situation.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:32 PM
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ironpony -- that's a really good point. Kind of reverse sexism I suppose.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching true or mostly true crime shows, and truth is really stranger than fiction. People can do some really weird and messed up things.

So I guess if you're determined to stick with it, you need to make the story and character just plausible enough so people will suspend disbelief. The better the story, the more people will be willing to do that, and that includes filling in some potential plot holes.
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:39 PM
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Okay thanks.

Originally Posted by Non Serviam View Post
I don't agree and I think it's really complicated.

If the woman has consented to this in the full knowledge of what's going to happen to her then it's not really rape.

Rape fantasy is relatively common among women, but only a very small number of women go beyond fantasy and experiment with bondage and sexually submissive behaviour. Even then their partner is usually well known to them. But this lady is going to put herself in a position of being sexually submissive to a bloke she doesn't know. Maybe she gets off on that; maybe she's doped out of her mind when it happens; maybe she's got no choice because the gang are holding a gun to her baby's head; these are all interesting situations to write about.

What I don't believe is that she lets herself be stripped, tied up, blindfolded and penetrated while she's fully compos mentis and she's emotionally indifferent to that.

I think it could be a fascinating scene to write and a real test of writing ability, but if you don't want to get into the psychology and ethics of this plot point, then my advice is to make it a non-sexual situation.
She is completely aware of it, and is okay with the plan. I can even write it so that it's her idea, to test out the guy in case he may be a cop, if that makes more sense, to make it her idea.

When you say she let's herself be stripped and tied up and blindfolded, the gang does it with trying to make sure she doesn't get hurt. That way, when the guy they want to test arrives, she is already tied up and did not have to be stripped and tied up, in front of him, thereby having her to put on more of a performance of resisting.

I wasn't planning on having her be stripped completely naked though. Just enough so that the guy they want to commit rape, can do it, but she doesn't have to be completely naked.

I can sort of relate to this though. I am aspiring filmmaker and write screenplays. I also act as well. One short film I acted in, required me to play a hostage and I had to be tied up and gagged. I agreed to it and it was all acting. I wasn't hurt in the end, when the crew tied me up and made me appear to be a hostage.

I wasn't penetrated of course, but I think that the tying up, gagging, etc, is no big deal because it's part of acting and putting on the performance. I even took a punch to get a scene right and it was worth it. I can write it so that she gets off on being penetrated by a stranger, but she will still have to act like she is helpless, panicking and fighting him off, as part of the illusion to fool him.

Is this going to be an issue though, as long as the reader is aware that she is putting on an act, and that when she was tied up and gagged, it was all for a performance and that she wasn't really hurt?

The reason why I wanted to write it this way, is that if the he is an undercover cop, and he breaks cover to arrest them so he doesn't have to rape the woman, the gang can then have plausible deniability and they will all say they were just having a gang bang party and the woman will say she was consensual with the whole thing. It's an easier way to create deniability, compared to say, having to get the cop to kill someone, and then faking the death of one of their own members or something like that.

For me to write it better though, in order for the reader to suspend disbelief, what part of the scenario would they have to suspend? That way I know what the problem is, if that's possible.

Last edited by ironpony; 08-11-2015 at 03:49 PM..
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:04 PM
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I think that if written well it would be a really difficult and uncomfortable scene to watch and you need excellent actors.

I think that if I was writing the screenplay for an amateur or semi-professional film crew, then all of this would be off-camera. The scene I would write would be the guy telling someone else what happened, intercut with the woman doing the same thing. That way you focus on motivations and feelings without grossing out your viewers.
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Old 08-12-2015, 09:29 PM
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Okay thanks. It would be hard to show it all off screen though. I don't have to show nudity of course, but I think I would have to watch the scene play out since it's part of the character's development, that is the character they want to recruit.

He drives the scene, and if I skip over it, then it's skipping over a pivotal emotional moment for him, especially since he makes an important decision because he has a helpless woman brought out in front of him. It's a pivotal moment for him, so I wouldn't want to skip over it, and have it be told later in dialogue, because then the audience will say, "WTF, when did this character revelation happen?"

Does that make sense?
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by poirot View Post
I think most simply find it unbelievable that a woman with any amount of self-respect would agree to be raped. It's that simple.
I tend to agree, but a work-around for that is either she doesn't have any self respect, or (more likely, as nobody knows if he's going to get medieval on her ass) that as soon as he shows intent by either laying a hand on her or getting his dick out or whatever, they stop him.

I can't help feeling, however, that this whole thing is over-complicated - that's the plot hole. It's too elaborate.

Why not have the guy around the corner on the payroll, then send the guy off to rob him - later on, it'll be the crime that never happened.
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Old 08-13-2015, 03:35 PM
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Okay thanks, I might be able to try something like that as long as the person being robbed who is also a fellow gang member, would not mind it. I mean being mugged means you are going to have to take some possible punches and kicks still.

As far as it being too elaborate being the plot hole, does the gang's intention make sense?

The intention is, is that since it's fake, no undercover cop, will be able to bust them for a crime if the person they are recruiting turns out to be one. So as long as the intent and philosophy of it makes sense...

Also a lot of undercover cops might be willing to commit robbery to preserve their cover. But raping a kidnapped hostage is not something they will go as far as doing, so it seems to that would weed out an undercover cop a lot more effectively, than stealing someone's money they have on them, or something like that. Since rape is much more unacceptable than robbery for an undercover cop, then the cop is more likely to break his cover at that point, and give himself away, if that makes sense.

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Old 08-14-2015, 12:44 AM
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It's a reasonable use of artistic licence to include a set-up robbery scene like that. Whether or not real gangs do it (and I have my doubts), as a fiction plot it's not too much of a stretch.
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:33 AM
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Any writer who watched Breaking Bad should see how you can stretch plausibility to the limit, or even throw it out the window on occasion -- and it worked because the characters and the story were so strong -- so people were willing to suspend belief or not over-analyse things. Of course, that's a pretty high bar, but it does show that you can get away with a whole lot if the writing is good enough.
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Old 08-14-2015, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
Also a lot of undercover cops might be willing to commit robbery to preserve their cover. But raping a kidnapped hostage...
This has been done before, but instead of rape (and incidentally, just because you're a criminal doesn't mean you're a potential rapist - even a hardened criminal is likely to tell the gang to go fuck themselves), tell the guy that the victim is an informer - give him a gun, tell him to shoot her. The gun isn't loaded/is loaded with blanks, but your guy doesn't know that. The gang don't want anyone dead but if he shoots the victim it shows he's serious.
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Old 08-16-2015, 02:08 AM
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Okay thanks. I didn't use that one because it has been done before, like you said. However, if the victim still is in collusion with the gang, which is what I want to create deniability later, is it still a plot hole, just because it's too elaborate?
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:29 AM
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It's a lot less elaborate than the rape scenario, the victim can be a gang member and it's as credible as your writing can make it.
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