Writing What You Don't Know: The Assistants

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by jacktrash, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Misty Pond

    Misty Pond Well-Known Member

    I have a situation which is pretty much figured out, but there's some legal stuff I want to figure out that I don't know how it goes irl

    basically: character and her mom tries to leave abusive home. dad finds out and tries to kill the mom. character panics, grabs a knife, stabs him to death. then tries to rouse her unconscious mom. at this point, friends turn up and alert authorities--hospital, which then alerts police

    I already know how the situation ends up, which is with the mom admitted to a rest home because she's left disabled, and the character (who is a minor at this time) is ruled having killed in self-defense, then adopted by her friend's family. I'm just fuzzy on what happens between point A and B, or more specifically, how the character is handled during the period of authorities investigating + cleaning up after the incident
  2. TheSeer

    TheSeer 37 Bright Visionary Crushes The Doubtful

    I think it depends on the character's exact age. You said minor, but 17 vs. 14 vs. 12 would probably make a big difference here.
    • Agree x 2
  3. Misty Pond

    Misty Pond Well-Known Member

    I'm not 100% on that detail still but I've been thinking she's around 13 at the time
  4. TheSeer

    TheSeer 37 Bright Visionary Crushes The Doubtful

    There's a lot of ways this could turn out, because it would depend on how police and prosecutors use their discretion. But it seems likely to me that the police take her to the station or speak to her in the hospital to get her statement about what happened, and then call a social worker so that she's taken care of. They don't arrest her and the prosecutor doesn't charge her. Especially if the girl is white in the US, this is the most likely outcome. If she's a PoC, or AMAB or both, she might get treated more harshly, or if the police aren't sure what happened they might act differently in accordance with their incorrect theory. But it would take some odd mental convolutions to make arrest and trial of this kid seem like a good idea.

    As for what the social worker does, I know less about that, but I suspect that they'd try to place her with relatives, or with friends who step up and offer, and treat foster care as a last resort.
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  5. Acey

    Acey hand extended, waiting for a shake

    So in the road trip fic I'm writing, the main characters' car stalls on the side of the road. Whatever the malfunction is, they need to call a tow truck, and the car is at the mechanic for a brief period of time, stranding them in a tiny bumfuck nowhere town--ideally longer than overnight but under a week.

    I'd also like for it to be something a knowledgeable layperson would be able to potentially diagnose, but not actually fix, at least not on a roadside without the necessary tools, but that part is somewhat flexible. Something she could make a reasonable educated guess about would also work.

    Anyone know of any car problems that might work for this?
  6. HonestlyVan

    HonestlyVan a very funny person who never tells jokes

    The first thing that jumps to mind is a broken timing belt -- it's not immediately visible, but if you know to check it it's pretty easy to diagnose, and might require extra checks along with a replacement part most people aren't likely to have at hand.
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  7. Lazarae

    Lazarae The tide pod of art

    And if a part needs replacing it can sometimes be a day or two (or even longer) if it needs to be ordered
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  8. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    Yeah, if there's anything quirky about the car where they might not have the parts easily to hand (my sis drives a compact car, all its parts are smaller than average) delays due to part ordering are extremely common.
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  9. Misty Pond

    Misty Pond Well-Known Member

    cat question: how might an only adult female cat react to their owner suddenly bringing in a scruffy stray kitten?

    thinking the cat in question is fairly laid-back and friendly, at least with their owner
  10. TheSeer

    TheSeer 37 Bright Visionary Crushes The Doubtful

    There are so many ways that could go. Could be anything from hissing hostility to sniffing curiosity.

    How does the kitten behave? Has it been socialized with other cats before? For that matter, has the adult cat been socialized with other cats before?
    • Agree x 1
  11. Misty Pond

    Misty Pond Well-Known Member

    I haven't really thought that far into the details yet. I only came up with this scenario last night...can I just have some, like, general pointers and/or likely scenarios?
  12. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Is it possible to use an electricity generator somehow to stun/kill fish, either by electric shock or by making it explode? I'm pretty sure it'll have to be the latter if the body of water is a full-sized lake or river because the electricity would be spread too thin, but I'm not much of a physicist.
  13. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    @Misty Pond Try looking up vids of "introducing a new kitten" on YouTube, there are a bunch.
  14. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

  15. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Not quite what I was thinking of - that makes the fish swim towards one spot, rather than killing or stunning them - but potentially useful!
  16. hyrax

    hyrax we'll ride 'till the planets collide

    electrofishing DOES stun fish, and sometimes kills them. the xkcd guy's What If blog talked about the physics behind it (and if you could use it to fish for whales): https://what-if.xkcd.com/156/
    • Agree x 2
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  17. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Ah! The Wiki article said it just drew them to one point without killing them.
  18. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Okay, electrofishing is illegal in the area the story's set so the characters wouldn't have equipment on hand. Is there a way to kludge a setup for it together out of other stuff which wouldn't shock the people in the boat to death?

    ETA: Wait, think I found a way, it's okay.
    Last edited: May 15, 2020
  19. Misty Pond

    Misty Pond Well-Known Member

    can I get an answer on this?
  20. artistformerlyknownasdave

    artistformerlyknownasdave revenge of ricky schrödinger

    based on the adult cats i have: initially skittish, a little hissing, introducing them slowly over a period of time to make sure they don’t fight

    if they get along well the adult cat might still occasionally be like “STOP IT, YOU” when the kitten is annoying her/wanting to play when she’s sleeping. i’ve seen adult cats handle rambunctious babbies by swatting them with a paw, no claws
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