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Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? Welcome :)Topic%20Title
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Don't call me Shirley

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Howdy :jake:


I am completely quite new to court records, but I have played a couple of fanmade cases in the past, and several projects here seem very promising, so I figured I'd propose my help !


I spent these past years reading/watching every crime related fiction I could find, and wrote several whodunnit plays that were quite well received, so I have some experience in crafting intriguing and surprising mysteries.

I am quite busy with a detective game of mine that is slowly but surely entering crunch time, so I might not be available to pen a whole story from start to finish, but should anyone need feedback on his script, murder methods ideas, plot twists suggestions, I will be happy to assist.


If interest warrants, I might post some general writing tricks and advices relevant to the detective genre. If you have any suggestion, feel free to ask !
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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I strive to find the truth!

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Hmm... maybe you could work in a part when the victim was thought to be killed a certain way (Way 1), but it actually turned out to be another certain way (Way 2) and the real killer manipulated the body to make it look like Way 1 instead of Way 2 in order to throw off the investigation. Way 1 should be the victim being killed by acid.
Way 2 should be the victim getting shot.
How it should be revealed is the main character ( :edgeworth: ) would discover that the acid melts any gun bullets, and throw of the cause of death to make it look like they were killed by acid.
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I have obtained a new achievement-typing the letter c gives the Court Records website.
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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I'll bite. A man is in witness protection before a big trial (it's a cabin in the woods). He gets killed inside the cabin. The police officers surrounding the area never saw anyone enter the cabin.

No secret passages and nobody disguising as a police officer
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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Dracarys!

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jrdngdwn wrote:
Hmm... maybe you could work in a part when the victim was thought to be killed a certain way (Way 1), but it actually turned out to be another certain way (Way 2) and the real killer manipulated the body to make it look like Way 1 instead of Way 2 in order to throw off the investigation. Way 1 should be the victim being killed by acid.
Way 2 should be the victim getting shot.
How it should be revealed is the main character ( :edgeworth: ) would discover that the acid melts any gun bullets, and throw of the cause of death to make it look like they were killed by acid.


Hmm... Well, personally, I'm not so sure I'd be able to buy this plot. Any acid that's strong enough to make a metal object (the bullet) melt would probably also completely dissolve the body or at least burn it beyond recognition, and thus remove any evidence that the victim was shot. Also, if the killer was smart about it, he'd throw in the gun too, to get rid of that as well.

Depends on the amount of acid used too, I guess... How much does the killer have available? Where did he get it? Maybe he was pressed for time and couldn't find enough to get rid of everything?

(Getting flashbacks to Breaking Bad here...)
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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Don't call me Shirley

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Ok, first a general writing tip that should be relevant to both of the above examples, and generally works just fine for me. I'll call it the "induction method".

All the fictional stories start with a couple of separate ideas we want to build something around : we don't know how they will be used, we don't know what will lead to them, but we sure know we want them in ! The question is, how do we expand on them ? I'll advise the following : take your basic idea, and list all the "why", "when", "how" and "who" they spawn.

For example, my idea is to have a laser gunfight between the hero and Jonathan Goldsmith on top of a collapsing Eiffel tower in the middle of a snow storm. I don't know why, but it sounds cool so I want to make a story around it. So I'll simply list all the questions/contradictions raised by the premise :
- why lasers ? Is the story contemporary or futuristic ?
- why the Eiffel tower ?
- how can they get in a gunfight, just the two of them ? Why isn't the police there, or why can't they climb the tower ?
- when does the scene takes place in the movie ? From what I know, does it sound more interesting to flesh out what happens before, or after this scene ?

...and so on. The example is completely random (I'll try looking into my own completed stories for a better one), but it works wonder and you'll quickly have a much more accurate idea of your background and plot. Not to mention, this method is quite efficient against inconsistencies. And it's particularly relevant to the mystery genre, where every detail counts !


Now onto the requests :shoe:
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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Don't call me Shirley

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jrdngdwn wrote:
Hmm... maybe you could work in a part when the victim was thought to be killed a certain way (Way 1), but it actually turned out to be another certain way (Way 2) and the real killer manipulated the body to make it look like Way 1 instead of Way 2 in order to throw off the investigation. Way 1 should be the victim being killed by acid.
Way 2 should be the victim getting shot.
How it should be revealed is the main character ( :edgeworth: ) would discover that the acid melts any gun bullets, and throw of the cause of death to make it look like they were killed by acid.



I like the idea of a sophisticated murder method actually used for a specific purpose, like hiding the real murder method. Too often is the murder "creative" just for the sake of being gross or sounding unique. But as pointed out above, the amount of acid AND time required to dissolve a bullet would be much too massive to leave much of the body itself behind, and to be convenient for the killer. If your killer pulls out an intricate way of offing his victim, always make sure he has a good reason of doing so, and above all, that it was the easiest method to achieve what he wanted ! Your reader shouldn't be able to say "why did he go through so much trouble when really he could have just ______".

Generally, your kind of idea works fine when the killer has very limited time and means to disguise his crime. It's easier for the reader to buy (and for you to justify) an intricate plan if the killer killed without premeditation, and had only a few minutes and no place to go to pin it on somebody else, or to try to fool the other characters regarding the time/method of death. If the killer has all the time in the world and can go everywhere he wants and get any item he needs, well he's better off completely destroying the corpse or burning down the crime scene !

Are the death by gunshot/acid relevant to the rest of your plot, are are they just placeholder methods ? I think you could keep the general idea but with two more realistic methods. To give you an example close to what you first envisioned, imagine a killer stabbing his victim with an ice stalacticte, and then placing his victim in a hot bath to make the crime weapon vanish. Of course the credibility of such of plot would entirely depend on the context (an ice stalactite isn't what you first think of to kill your victim, and a bath isn't the easiest way to conceal ice). To come up with something more relevant, I'd need to know more about the rest of the plot. How much do you know about the rest of your story ?





JesusMonroe wrote:
I'll bite. A man is in witness protection before a big trial (it's a cabin in the woods). He gets killed inside the cabin. The police officers surrounding the area never saw anyone enter the cabin.

No secret passages and nobody disguising as a police officer




Aha, closed rooms mysteries :shoe: one of the more riveting kind of murders...in the few occurrences where they're done right !

The whole dilemma of the genre is as follows : either the killer somehow managed to enter/leave the room, but that means it wasn't completely closed ; or the room was closed, but that means the killer never entered it in the first place, and what actually happened was :
- a suicide
- an accident
- the victim was wounded outside, locked the room and died inside
- the killer set a trap beforehand
- the victim was poisoned
- the killer killed the victim directly, but from outside the room
- there was only one key, used by the killer to lock the room from outside, and then replaced inside from outside the room
- the room really wasn't locked, but the killer was the first to enter the room and pretended he couldn't open it


This list should basically tell you what has been done to death. Also, some people (including myself) believe that it's cheating to spend the whole story presenting the problem as "how did the killer enter/leave the room", when actually he never did. Now when I read a detective novel where the closed room is a little too clear cut, to the point you can tell it was physically impossible for the killer to move inside/outside, I know he never even was inside in the first place.

So, what you have to do is make a mystery where the locked room problem is a little more subtle, or results from specific circumstances that may seem random at first, when really the murder couldn't have happened without them. Do you have any further information regarding the setting of the story or the cabin where the murder takes place ?
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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I strive to find the truth!

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Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:14 am

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Shtak wrote:
jrdngdwn wrote:
Hmm... maybe you could work in a part when the victim was thought to be killed a certain way (Way 1), but it actually turned out to be another certain way (Way 2) and the real killer manipulated the body to make it look like Way 1 instead of Way 2 in order to throw off the investigation. Way 1 should be the victim being killed by acid.
Way 2 should be the victim getting shot.
How it should be revealed is the main character ( :edgeworth: ) would discover that the acid melts any gun bullets, and throw of the cause of death to make it look like they were killed by acid.



I like the idea of a sophisticated murder method actually used for a specific purpose, like hiding the real murder method. Too often is the murder "creative" just for the sake of being gross or sounding unique. But as pointed out above, the amount of acid AND time required to dissolve a bullet would be much too massive to leave much of the body itself behind, and to be convenient for the killer. If your killer pulls out an intricate way of offing his victim, always make sure he has a good reason of doing so, and above all, that it was the easiest method to achieve what he wanted ! Your reader shouldn't be able to say "why did he go through so much trouble when really he could have just ______".

Generally, your kind of idea works fine when the killer has very limited time and means to disguise his crime. It's easier for the reader to buy (and for you to justify) an intricate plan if the killer killed without premeditation, and had only a few minutes and no place to go to pin it on somebody else, or to try to fool the other characters regarding the time/method of death. If the killer has all the time in the world and can go everywhere he wants and get any item he needs, well he's better off completely destroying the corpse or burning down the crime scene !

Are the death by gunshot/acid relevant to the rest of your plot, are are they just placeholder methods ? I think you could keep the general idea but with two more realistic methods. To give you an example close to what you first envisioned, imagine a killer stabbing his victim with an ice stalacticte, and then placing his victim in a hot bath to make the crime weapon vanish. Of course the credibility of such of plot would entirely depend on the context (an ice stalactite isn't what you first think of to kill your victim, and a bath isn't the easiest way to conceal ice). To come up with something more relevant, I'd need to know more about the rest of the plot. How much do you know about the rest of your story ?


I was just throwing out an example. I didn't have enough time to construct a reasonable theory... It could be anything.

Maybe you should make the true killer revealed to be the victim's best friend and killed him because he was being blackmailed by the victim and his brother at the same time, and killed to eliminate one blackmailer, then blackmailed the other blackmailer to ensure that he was safe. He should also have hidden the body in the closet and disguised the closet with a refrigerator that he moved over to cover the door. And he also disguised a pocket knife as the murder weapon by smothering it in blood, and putting it inside the other blackmailer's house to frame him for the murder.
Image
I have obtained a new achievement-typing the letter c gives the Court Records website.
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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Don't call me Shirley

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Quote:
I was just throwing out an example. I didn't have enough time to construct a reasonable theory... It could be anything.

Maybe you should make the true killer revealed to be the victim's best friend and killed him because he was being blackmailed by the victim and his brother at the same time, and killed to eliminate one blackmailer, then blackmailed the other blackmailer to ensure that he was safe. He should also have hidden the body in the closet and disguised the closet with a refrigerator that he moved over to cover the door. And he also disguised a pocket knife as the murder weapon by smothering it in blood, and putting it inside the other blackmailer's house to frame him for the murder.



I might have something (not necessarily in line with what you described though, but I get what you're aiming for). What do you intend to use it for ? If it's, say, a ace attorney fangame split in separate days for example, the plot will have to allow various climaxes/cliffhangers to fit the structure (while if you're planning a comic or some generic visual novel, really anything can fit).
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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Not gonna lie: When I first entered this topic, this is what instantly came to mind:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/1 ... special-fx
Re: Need writing tips, plot twists, murder methods ? WelcomeTopic%20Title
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Don't call me Shirley

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Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:53 pm

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Nodetails wrote:
Not gonna lie: When I first entered this topic, this is what instantly came to mind:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/1 ... special-fx



Expected someone to make the comparaison much sooner than that :shoe:


Well, if anyone has any serious and actual project for which they need tips, feel free to ask.
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