I'd like opinions on this piece of a story I wrote

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Expand view Topic review: I'd like opinions on this piece of a story I wrote

Re: Re:

by The Happiness Engine » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:15 pm

Tdarcos wrote: Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:45 pm Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:39 pm
Flack wrote: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:39 pm
Tdarcos wrote:The vast majority of cars are leased, not sold
Citation?
I happened to notice this from eight years ago that I never answered. And I was wrong in that I said "leased" when I should have said "financed." According to Experian, 85% of New Passenger Vehicles Are Financed, 54% of used vehicles are. I think that qualifies as "vast majority"
https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-expe ... ebt-study/
I seriously doubt there was a sudden increase in the percentage of people financing cars.
Best Of?

Re:

by Tdarcos » Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:45 pm

Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:39 pm
Flack wrote: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:39 pm
Tdarcos wrote:The vast majority of cars are leased, not sold
Citation?
I happened to notice this from eight years ago that I never answered. And I was wrong in that I said "leased" when I should have said "financed." According to Experian, 85% of New Passenger Vehicles Are Financed, 54% of used vehicles are. I think that qualifies as "vast majority"
https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-expe ... ebt-study/
I seriously doubt there was a sudden increase in the percentage of people financing cars.

by Flack » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:48 pm

I got it; TDarcos wouldn't. I was reiterating it for his sake.

by The Happiness Engine » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:29 am

That was kind of my joke. Thank you for not getting it.

by Flack » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:36 pm

26% < the vast majority

by The Happiness Engine » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:54 pm

Flack wrote:
Tdarcos wrote:The vast majority of cars are leased, not sold
Citation?
With car leasing on the rebound from a low of 12 percent of financing deals in August 2009 to 26 percent as of March 2011

by pinback » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:46 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:Do you feel this statement is true?

"Most of the dialogue in his books consists of character 1 asking character 2 what Paul wishes people would ask him, so character 2/Paul can give their opinion about it."?

Do you? DO you? DO YOU?!
Answer the question please, Commander.

by Flack » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:39 pm

Tdarcos wrote:The vast majority of cars are leased, not sold
Citation?

by Tdarcos » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:12 pm

Plot Holes wrote:Then convince them to mail it to you when they get home.
And again, how do you get them to mail you the title which they do not have? The vast majority of cars are leased, not sold, and the person never gets title because they turn the lease vehicle in at the end of the lease. And to get the title means the lienholder has to release it, and the release of lien has to be recorded with the DMV. So now you have to visit some city in South Dakota (because a credit provision crossing state lines ignores any state limit on usury, and South Dakota eliminated caps on interest rates to encourage banks to move there), get the correct clerk to release the lien, then go back and sell the car to a dealer.

In fact, there is a provision for a title never being issued because the lienholder simply has the title information kept with the DMV until the lien is released, then at that time the title is issued. It's called "electronic title" and it means the information has to clear through the DMV computer (which is where the true title information is held) rather than on paper, and is never issued on paper until the lienholder is satisfied.
Plot Holes wrote:Better yet, take the first car that comes along, drive it to the nearest used car dealership, and use your mind control device to convince the salesman that it's a $50,000 Cadillac and the napkin you just handed him was the title.
Now, that's an interesting idea. But as I see it, if he's going to steal, it's either from large companies or from very wealthy people. He may be wierd, but he doesn't want to hurt little people who are scrounging to make a living. Make it a car dealership that cheated people, and that's a different story. Actually, that might work.

But then you get other problems. What's the serial number of the title? You'd have to actually have one to fake it. Why won't the DMV computer accept the transfer request so the dealer can issue temporary tags when they sell it? Now you've got more people to try to convince, and the first rule of a good scam is you want to manipulate as few people as possible lest someone figures out what's going on.

I am going to get rid of the entire scene, as I said, and either drop it entirely or make it a kind of dream sequence where he's thinking about what to do, and then realizes - for the reasons discussed above - the dye pack scenario won't work, but having the guy rob an armored truck might work, The guy reads the crook's mind and discovered he's committed other crimes including a couple of murders they didn't know he did, so the guards are told to remember the wrong getaway car which the crook loaded the money into before they shot him, but they missed the car.

If I do that, I may just drop the robbery idea altogether, the story doesn't require it, it's a filler in part and while it can give more insight into The Takeover Man's character, it can be left out with no loss to the story.

I wonder if this story would work as an IF game, put the robbery in as an option which you must not take because no matter what you choose it ends up badly.

by Plot Holes » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:31 pm

Then convince them to mail it to you when they get home.

Better yet, take the first car that comes along, drive it to the nearest used car dealership, and use your mind control device to convince the salesman that it's a $50,000 Cadillac and the napkin you just handed him was the title.

by Tdarcos » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:52 am

Plot Holes wrote:
AArdvark wrote:I would take the easiest course of action and use it at fast food drive thrus where I could blip the cashiers to hand out my order and all the money in the register. Eight or nine stops and there would be a similar amount in hand as would be in an average bank robbery. Plus all the McNuggets you can eat. Not as exciting as bank robbery though.
Or you could just stand at the end of a drive-thru and convince the first driver of a Cadillac to hand over the keys and title to their car. That would net you both a $50,000 car AND some McNuggets.
Exactly how do you get the title to the car? (1) Most people lease cars that expensive, they don't own the car and they don't get the title; (2) Most of the rest are financing their car if they're buying it, and thus they don't have the title either until it's paid off; (3) If someone does actually own their car, they are not going to have the title in the car, it's most likely at home in their important papers file (that's where I kept the title to the cars I owned).

Here in Virginia and Maryland the title looks like a birth certificate or other official document with raised edges and seals. When I was in California, the title looks almost the same as the registration card, except it's pink and the registration is white. (This is why most TV shows and films, which are made in California, refer to the title document as the "pink slip") On the pink slip is the notice "DO NOT KEEP THIS DOCUMENT IN THE VEHICLE."

Yeah, I know it was probably a rhetorical question, but you need to be better at rhetoric if you want to seriously question someone's ideas.

by AArdvark » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:59 pm

I hope everyone else got the Doug Adams reference, though.

Funny, I missed that spell check. Oh well.

by Plot Holes » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:50 pm

Tdarcos wrote:it might turn out to be a decent novel.
There aren't enough mind control devices in the world, "Captain".

by Ice Cream Jonsey » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:04 pm

Do you feel this statement is true?

"Most of the dialogue in his books consists of character 1 asking character 2 what Paul wishes people would ask him, so character 2/Paul can give their opinion about it."?

Do you? DO you? DO YOU?!

by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:35 am

AArdvark wrote:Winner! Timer for a re-write, Captian!
First, it would be "Captain," and second, remember, I'm the "Commander."

It probably doesn't get a rewrite until the first draft is finished although I do go from place to place and make revisions as one part of the story is fleshed out I sometimes have to go backward and change something else to make the later part work.

In some cases I change exposition to dialog, where instead of explaining things the characters tell about them.

There's one part where he meets this woman, a records clerk, and takes her to a motel. When he asks her (when he first hits on her) whether she practices safe sex, she admits she hasn't been interested and stopped dating the last ten years (later on another character points out most men are lousy in bed). Well, his device makes her definitely interested, so once I wrote that she had been inactive for ten years, I went backward to where he booked the motel and mentioned he stopped at a drug store to pick up a couple of things.

Then at the point where she's in bed with him, he pulls out the two things he bought at the drug store. Contraceptive film (much less risk for the woman than the pill, and almost as effective), and personal lubricant, if she hasn't had sex in years she might not lubricate that well and if she's not really wet, sex is gonna hurt.

I'm up to 101 pages, once I'm around 300 if it's done I can trim it a bit and it might turn out to be a decent novel.

Sincerely,

Commander Tansin Arogan Darcos.

by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:33 am

AArdvark wrote:But enough about technicalities, back to the plot device. I would imagine that if I were to possess such a device as a mind control thingy that my aunt gave me that I don't know what it is,
Where did you get the idea that someone gave it to him? And why specifically his aunt (unless you're just using that as an example)?

The story does not (here, in this segment) explain how he got it. He could have invented it. He could have borrowed it. He could have stolen it from its creator. He could have been given it by some extraterrestrials who wanted him to test it out on humans. Any number of possibilities. But I'll give you an answer from earlier in the story:
– The Takeover Man develops the Takeover Device –

He'd learned electronics and computer technology, and no matter how places claimed they needed technical people, he could never get hired. Hell, he even went to places that claimed they desperately needed people, and even they wouldn't hire him. He wasn't sure why, but he suspected that they thought his appearance was horrible, and didn't want someone who looked as bad as he did. Maybe plastic surgery would help, but that was out of his price range, and besides, right now he needed to keep from ending up on the street.

He found a few websites where he could advertise his services, and subcontracting out design and development, he was able to make a decent living. Not huge, but it at least bought him a furnished room, 3 squares, the computers and such to do his job, and maybe a little money set aside. Not much, but it was better than having to go on welfare and maybe living in a shelter or something.

He decided to try and do some side work on his own. What would be something to try? Something very valuable. Something very useful. One time he was watching TV, seeing another of the 10,000 commercials for sleeping pills and such, when he says, out loud, "Jesus, you'd think someone could make something so people wouldn't have to dope themselves up all the time, like an alpha-wave trigger. Yeah, I mean all you'd have to do..."

That's when it hit him. A device to allow people to get a good night's sleep. Do it right and people wake up without the drowsiness and other effects of narcotics and sleep aid chemicals. And something like that would be very lucrative considering the amount of money people spend on sleeping pills every year.

Over time as he borrowed from his regular work, he developed a device. Checked it over very carefully. Looked right, but he'd have to try it. He tried it on himself one night, and he discovered the next morning he'd slept 16 hours, and wasn't a bit worn out from sleeping too much, which is often what he'd feel when that happened. He went back over to see if he could refine his device, make it so he could change the effect, perhaps do 4, 8, 12 and 16 hours. People could use lower settings for naps. This was going to make him a fortune.

He would soon discover an even more useful setting that would make it even more valuable.

– The Takeover Man makes his discovery –

He looked at one of the circuits and thought about it. Wait a minute. This has a certain polarity, a certain resonance freqency it's generating, that's how it generates sleep. But if he changed this capacitor, this circuit and altered the frequency it generated... No, it can't be that simple.

He sat down in his chair with a thud. If he's right, he's got a device that can control human thought. A mind control device.
This also goes along with a point made most strongly by inventors and discoverers, even of major inventions, that the common statement made before a major discovery isn't "Eureka!" (I have found it) it's more like "Hey, that looks funny..."

by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:20 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
Bringing his mind control device along with him, he had the opportunity to interview the man at a table. Brought over to The guy, he says, "Are you my lawyer?"

"Not exactly. Are you interested in leaving this fine establishment?"

"Don't be fucking stupid, of course I would."

Pointing his device at the man, [...]
What did he feel when the inmate swore at him?

No real emotion, he expected the response to be something very similar. I mean, the way he said it was sarcastic, or if not sarcastic, some other term meaning obviously ridiculous and patently nonsensical, and intended to get the robber to come back with an equivalent response.
Also! I noticed that you wrote "The guy" with a capital t lots. What was the reason for that, my friend?
Placeholder until I decide what to call him. He doesn't have a name yet, so when I need a reference I call him "The guy" and I have been very careful to change any time I used "guy" to refer to any other male to change that reference to "him."

Eventually when I find a good name I like I'll put it in. Perhaps something reasonable like Xytofor Zitowich (yes, I was the one who used that handle on the message about how people with unusual names have problems, over at Caltrops.)

Speaking of Caltrops, did you notice how that one backhanded article I did about abortion started so much commentary?

by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:13 am

Plot Holes wrote:I hope the police in this fictional town are as clueless as everyone else, for our "protagonist's" sake.

When the police arrive on the scene of this fictional crime, they're going to review the security tapes. When they review the tapes, they're going to recognize the bank robber as the same guy they had in jail the day before on bank robbery charges.
Right. I came to that conclusion independently. You can use a mind control device to screw up people's memory, but short of having gotten in with a crew to disable them, the camera doesn't forget. (See the movie Inside Job where they do that, gum up the cameras.)
The police are also going to talk to The Guy, whether the bank manager paid him anything or not.
I never said the bank would pay him not to talk to the police, I said they're paying him not to talk to the media.

But he's going to have the standard, correct answer which is what you should always say to the police if they want to question you about anything. "I don't have to say anything to you and I choose not to. If you want information out of me, feel free to subpoena me before a grand jury and I'll be happy to tell them. Otherwise I have nothing to say to you and if you want to question me I want a lawyer."

You are never under any obligation at any time to tell the police anything, even if you're a witness to a crime. The police are not a grand jury and have no right to compel you to give them information. And if you don't tell them anything they can't come after you for lying to them if you screw up and state something incorrect; they can't come after you for obstruction because you've stated you will testify if subpoenaed; and you haven't implicated yourself in anything if you say the wrong thing. As the saying goes, if the police say that if you're innocent you should have nothing to hide, the correct response is, "Tell that to Richard Jewell." (Well, Richard Jewell is dead but the point is correct.)
When they do, it's not going to take a genius to realize that The Guy is the same guy that visited the known bank robber the day before in jail.
Yeah, that was what convinced me that it's probably best to drop the scene altogether.
Cops aren't particularly bright, but they are thorough, and they recognize patterns and breaks in patterns. If I were a cop, the first person I would talk to would be the guy who happened to be standing there wearing a respirator when the tear gas went off.
The guy is wearing a painter's outfit, it is common practice for people painting to wear a respirator or a mask if they do a lot of painting, especially if it involves spray paint. In some cases, OSHA regulations mandate the use of respiratory equipment when painting,
And, for our protagonist's sake, let's hope the cops have never read a book and that none of them know that "nadir" is the opposite of "zenith", otherwise they would know right where to start looking.
I'm glad you noticed that, that was my idea. The city of Zenith comes from the 1923 book Arrowsmith and I've added a few twists, in which the city is Zenith and the county is Nadir. You can look up the fictitious State of Winnemac in Wikipedia, it's roughly a piece of Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, and Zenith is almost dead on where Toledo is. And it's about the same population, in the 300,000 range.

by Tdarcos » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:53 am

AArdvark wrote:Let's say that the robber would not make it to the sidewalk before the pack explodes, nor probably out of the building.

But enough about technicalities, back to the plot device. I would imagine that if I were to possess such a device as a mind control thingy that my aunt gave me that I don't know what it is, I would take the easiest course of action and use it at fast food drive thrus where I could blip the cashiers to hand out my order and all the money in the register. Eight or nine stops and there would be a similar amount in hand as would be in an average bank robbery. Plus all the McNuggets you can eat. Not as exciting as bank robbery though.


THE
PINK SLIME
AARDVARK
Actually he does that earlier as a test, goes to 27 banks, gives them a $5 and convinces the teller to give him $500. Works every time. But it's just a test, he walks out of the bank, walks around the block, comes back, gives the teller the $500 and asks for his $5. (He doesn't want to get them fired or make it noticeable.)

I have decided to drop the bank robbery, or possibly make it into a dream sequence, realizes all the trouble it would cause, then he sees the armored car and decides that hitting that, then having the robber be the one who hits it a second time so that it looks like he stole all the money, is a better solution and much less risk. It even gives me the ability to do a shout-out to the Bill Murray scene doing the same thing in Groundhog Day.

I want to thank everyone here for the criticism, both positive and negative, you've allowed me to make the story stronger.

Hmm, I might just use the idea in an interactive fiction game, you get the option to try robbing a bank that way, and if you don't have all the proper equipment, the dye pack splatters you, or you get vision contaminated from tear gas, or can't breathe from the tear gas, or shot by the guard, or the robber, or any number of things.

by Ice Cream Jonsey » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:41 pm

Bringing his mind control device along with him, he had the opportunity to interview the man at a table. Brought over to The guy, he says, "Are you my lawyer?"

"Not exactly. Are you interested in leaving this fine establishment?"

"Don't be fucking stupid, of course I would."

Pointing his device at the man, [...]
What did he feel when the inmate swore at him?


Also! I noticed that you wrote "The guy" with a capital t lots. What was the reason for that, my friend?

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