What would you say is the most effective way to kidnap a character? it's spur of the moment. the kidnapper is a strong man with training (but no weapon) and his victim, who does get captured, is a much physically weaker man. there are two witnesses who try to intervene: one with military training (though not as much as the kidnapper) and the other is the kidnapper's lover, who attempts to stop him. how could the kidnapper incapacitate them all before the police arrives? thanks so much!
Okay, there’s actually an issue in here, so let’s step back and talk about professional criminals for a second. Criminal activity is their job, and they need to approach their life with a risk vs. reward analysis for nearly everything they do. They’ll work together and network with other professionals. This isn’t altruistic, just an understanding that they need to work with other people to achieve their goals. They don’t need to like the people they’re working with, but, if they all still have a shared goal, they will. Most understand how planning and advance setup can help reduce the risks involved in their profession.
Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk about the crime. A kidnapping is not something you do spur of the moment. It’s a difficult criminal operation, involving a lot of moving pieces, any one of which can scuttle the whole operation after the team is committed.
Your criminal will need a team backing them up. They’ll need to have a way to grab and extract the victim, a place to hold them, a way to keep them alive and under guard while negotiating, a communications method that can’t be traced back to them, and a method to retrieve the ransom. Some of that can be dispensed, if they have no intention of returning the victim alive, or ransoming them at all.
Grabbing the victim is a little situational, but the difference between a successful extraction and a botched bloodbath is advance planning. Ideally your team needs to be able to grab the victim without leaving any witnesses behind. This is trickier than it sounds, because they can’t actually kill the person they’re intending to ransom the victim back to. Ideally this means picking a time when the victim and the victim’s relative/friend/whatever are at separate locations. If that’s not possible, the team will need a very delicate touch.
If the person paying the ransom dies, then the operation’s over, and the criminals have a corpse and nothing else to show for a lot of wasted effort. In some situations, they might be able to salvage the situation, by ransoming the victim to a new buyer, but that is an extreme long shot.
In a well run kidnapping, once the victim has been taken, they’re fairly unimportant to the criminals. They need to be kept alive, and they can’t be allowed to escape. But, they’re not the kidnappers’ focus. At this point, they’re going to be more interested in getting person paying the ransom to do what they’re told.
The other side of it is, with the extraction itself, your criminal will not want to leave witnesses. If they’re not the ones the kidnappers are planning ransom the victim back to, they’ll have no incentive to leave the witnesses breathing. Killing them sends a clear message that the victim is in serious peril, and it discourages the person paying the ransom from screwing around.
What this means is, your kidnapper isn’t going to grab someone “spur of the moment”. If he decides “now’s the time”, it’s because he was already planning to grab them. Also, there’s a very real risk he’ll simply kill your other characters. Best case the police don’t even realize there’s been a kidnapping, and worst case, they’re no closer to identifying the kidnappers. As opposed to the police now having at least a physical description of one member of the crew. So, I guess the real answer to your question is: two shots to the chest, one to the head.
As a quick aside, if his plan is to force one of the characters to do his bidding, he might just grab them all, and release the one he intends to use as a pawn later, and keep the others as hostages.
Once they’ve got their victim, there’s the question of what they want. If the goal is money, then we’re talking about a ransom, and there’s a lot of literature on the subject. If they’re wanting to force someone else to do what they want, they’ll need the ability to micromanage that person’s actions. Usually we’re talking some kind of communications setup with the pawn, but surveillance isn’t out of the question. If the objective is information, then everything gets a little messed up. I’ll stick a pin in that for later, partially because a discussion on interrogation and torture will rate a trigger warning.
Spartan, the first season of 24, Man on Fire (2004), and Taken should all give you some insight into the kinds of people you’re dealing with. 24 opens with using captives to force the protagonist to do their bidding, and the first 12 hours are really good. Man on Fire (2004), is a kidnapping for money. Taken and Spartan both deal with selling captives into sex slavery, which is something I just glazed right over. Both films illustrate how this particular form of kidnapping operates in a more opportunistic assembly line nature, because of how they’re generating income.
For some additional insight on professional criminals, I’ll keep recommending Heat until you watch it. Ronin and Reservoir Dogs are also worth watching. Technically Ronin is dealing with former spies who’ve become mercenaries, but the same principles apply. Ronin also has the benefit of actually being a smash and grab operation, even though the target is an attaché case, and not a person.
what happens if u put a werewolf on the moon is a great question probably the best question ever asked
Greetings, Aperture employees, Cave Johnson here with some good news, and some bad news. Good news is, our experiments with portaling a werewolf onto the lunar surface produced very clear, and very immediate results! Go team!
Bad news is, those results were that the poor guy died of hypothermia and asphyxia within seconds, same as all the other test subjects we sent up there. Apparently lycanthropy does not grant one an immunity to zero-atmosphere environments as I had suspected. My assistant, Greg, tells me that I was actually thinking of vampires there, and not werewolves, so…that one’s on me.
However, this brings me to some more good news: Any test subjects who had been quarantined in Test Chamber 32A due to sudden cases of vampirism, you’re in luck, because we’ve got a new test ready just for you! Just hustle on over towards the lone portal surface on the east wall there while we move the airtight paneling into place to begin the test.
Anyway, that’s that…now get back to work, everyone! Except for you, over there by the coffee machine. Break room rules clearly state a 15-minute max, and you’ve been in there for 20. You know the drill. Box, stuff, door, parking lot, adios, you’re fired.
I stopped criticizing “MySpace angles” in profile shots the instant I realized the subtext to those criticisms was often “c’mon ladies, we want to know exactly what kind of product we’re getting.”
Wow, that’s a really good point - never thought of it quite that way before!
I didn’t either, until I read an “advice for your social media profile!” article by a guy saying “no close-up shots, no angled shots, no far-away shots, no complicated poses, at least one photo by yourself…” and it gradually became clear what he was looking for—a straight-on full-body image so he could judge exactly what your body shape is with no distractions.
It’s sort of what I’d expect when ordering a product online.
Humans have a big cluster of dead keratin tendrils growing from our heads and we arrange them in different configurations and worry about whether other people find our keratin tendril arrangements aesthetically pleasing.
Even if you are writing in English, there are still word and grammatical choices that you can make, either in your narration or in your speech, that will indicate things about the culture you are writing in/about. Here are some things to consider:
How is family addressed and referred to? Depending on how family and a person’s relation to their family is viewed in a culture or a family, the way that they refer to family members will be different. If a person’s family is viewed as an extension of themselves, they will refer to their family similarly to how they refer to themselves. For example, in Japanese, one is to speak humbly of oneself. A family member is also considered an extension of a person. As a result, a person would speak of their family informally, leaving off honorifics. However, formal terms are used when referring to another person’s family member.
Alternately, you could have the same setup of speaking humbly of oneself, but if family is held as entirely separate from self, family members would be referred to more formally. There are a number of iterations of this, such as your family members being addressed informally but referred to formally, or referring to and addressing all family members formally (or informally) depending on how the society views family.
This is more difficult to manifest in English than it is in some other languages (such as Japanese). However, the formality can be created by using terms such as mom versus mother or dad versus father.
How many genders do you have? In English, in general, we have two, with the pronouns being “he” and “she”. There are gender neutral pronouns, such as “one” or a singular “they”, as well as some proposed ones such as “ze” or “xe”. However, in common usage in the English-speaking world, there are considered to be two genders and two gender pronouns. Much of this comes from the fact that, until recently, it was virtually entirely unrecognized that someone could not fall under those two categories.
However, it possible to have more than two genders in your culture and, as a result, more than two gender pronouns. Having fewer than two gender pronouns probably doesn’t work, especially if writing in English, mainly because there is no commonly accepted non-gender pronoun that can be universally used. Also, seeing as it is generally accepted that there is more than one gender, it is illogical to only use one gender.
If you are going with three genders, you have a few options for what the third gender is. In languages such as Ancient Greek and Sanskrit, neuter was/is used as a third grammatical gender. If you have a significant population of neutered people in the society you are writing about, you might want to have a “neuter” pronoun.
The other major option for having three genders is to have a sort of genderqueer/non-gendered/androgyne/intersex pronoun, such as “ze” or “xe”. This only makes sense if that is commonly accepted in your society, as opposed to as in most English-speaking countries, where it isn’t, or hasn’t been long enough for a pronoun to come into usage. Australia, for instance, allows for an X as a third gender on forms (in contrast to M or F) for intersex peoples.
Another possibility is to have four genders. You could have, along with male and female, a gender that represents some combination of male and female (such as a person who identifies as intersex, androgyne, or gender-fluid) and a non-gender.
You can have as many genders as fits within the society that you are writing about. Articles such as this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_in_Bugis_society) one should probably be checked out if you are considering including genders that either aren’t commonly accepted or aren’t common in a society you are familiar with.
What colors are used for death? Along with that, what are the “good” or “bad” colors? In most if not all Western societies, black is the color associated with death. However, in many African and Asian societies, white is associated with death. In the culture you are writing about, those don’t need to be the colors that are used. If the country is very war-like, the color for death might be red. If it’s a country with a lot of tsunamis, the color for death might be blue, because a lot of people drown. The colors can be black or white, if that’s what you want, but those aren’t your only two options.
Along with this, there are colors that are generally associated with good or bad. For example, white is light is good, while black is dark is bad. Some of this makes sense because darkness was the time when people couldn’t work and were probably in more danger, while light was the time when people could work. Beyond that, however, obviously, it is a cultural thing. There is no need for dark to equal bad and light to equal good. You don’t even need to have black and white be your two extremes. If you have death be blue, maybe orange is good. Or maybe blue is good, if death is considered honorable. You have options.
How is directionality viewed? While people who live in English-speaking countries tend towards using left, right, forward, and backward to describe directions, some cultures use cardinal directions. While the Western world uses forward for the future and backward for the past, some cultures use backward for the future and forward for the past. While the former would work in whatever culture you’re describing, the latter may be a bit confusing.
How is energy or being energetic described? In English, words like fiery or electric are used to show being energetic. In a culture centered around a waterfall, for example, the word may have to do with water. The word being used should have to do with what the people see as being energetic or constantly in motion.
How/does formality change based on who is being spoken to or about? As previously stated, formality is difficult to do in English. However, using colloquial language or slang (though you need to be careful to make it understandable) can be used to distinguish levels of formality. So can titles for people. Additionally, you should consider whether formality is reciprocal. In French, for example, if someone uses the tu form with you (the informal form), you can generally use it in response. In Japanese, however, the same is not true, and a person can use short form (informal) with someone but expect long form (formal) in response.
What titles are used? These can be political, religious, or social titles. For example, in place of something like “His Holiness,” you can use “His/Her Lightness” if your religion center around some sort of light source or light-focused deity. You can use “Maiden” as an English equivalent to Mademoiselle, sort of like Miss, if your society holds virginity highly and views it as something that is only gotten rid of at marriage. You have a lot of choices based on what your society would do.
If I think of more, I will make another post about this. However, you can think on your own about what your created culture would or wouldn’t value, and change the language accordingly.
Having societies with gender neutral pronouns and using those gender neutral pronouns in speech would be a great way to promo their usage in every day parlance.
Also, you can indicate formality by using those archaic English pronouns of thee/thy/thine/thyself. The “thee” pronouns are informal, whereas you/your/yours/yourself is formal. You can also use the “-(e)st” addition to words to help with the thou-ing, like thou goest or thou seest.
I was wondering if you had any type of information on age progression with children as how would a four year old act what type of characteristics would he or she have
We are not a child psychology blog (or else we’re a stupendously bad child psychology blog). It is with heavy hearts, therefore, that we must admit that we do not have many (any) in-house resources for the developmental stages of tiny humans. We do, however, have links!
Also, I bet there are some parents out there on Tumblr who may be willing resources for you, anon. If you’d like to be a resource for this anon on four year olds, please reply to this post. Please do not send us a message with your interest. (It’s much easier for us and for the anon and for everyone, really, if you just reply directly to the post.)
If anyone else has any resources they think would go nicely with this list, please send them along!