View Full Version : Question

02-03-2006, 11:15 PM
Iím working on a short story and I have a question. I am looking to find out what a reader would expect for a given scene. The reason I ask is because as the writer, I have a bias opinion that is unshakable. I have an idea of how I want the scene to go but your opinions would be helpful. Let me recap in a few simplified words what has taken place before the scene.

A PI is looking for a missing person. He has gone to the house and talked to someone that isnít the missing person. Other events lead him to think that something isnít right and he is going back to the house. No one will be home, so he picks the lock. What as a reader would you expect to see in the house?


Lisa Y
02-04-2006, 10:16 PM
This is only my opinion, but I guess I would expect to see the Missing Person, dead, perhaps.

02-06-2006, 06:03 AM
I'm honestly not sure what I would expect. . .first of all, I would expect nothing to look out of the ordinary. Yet, the PI will have an intuitive feeling that something isn't right. He'll search the house and find a clue about the person who's taken the missing person, some disconcerting &/or bloody evidence, or the missing person, seriously injured or dead. I'm not sure, it would depend on how you led up to everything. . . but that's what I'd envision.

02-06-2006, 06:33 AM
I don't know what I would expect, because I haven't read the book and therefor I do not know your style or much about the "character that is not missing's" personality. Thus, I cannot make a prediction as to what would happen and what I would expect. What I can say is that I'd hope to find something I didn't at all expect and yet in some twisted way it would make complete and horrific sense. My advice, write wahtever is supposed to happen into the story regardless of what we think. Let the story tell itself for the most part.

02-06-2006, 06:34 AM
Oh, and welcome Hoody! I see this is your first post and good luck!

02-06-2006, 06:36 AM
No idea, it would totally depend on who the other person was and what they said, and other stuff.

I would be surprised the PI was breaking in.

02-06-2006, 11:52 AM
- a picture?

- a hairpin you recognise?

- a shoe you recognice?

- a rope and some duck tape?

- blood splatter?

02-06-2006, 09:17 PM
First off, thanks for the comments to everyone.

The short story has basically written itself but this middle scene (my weakness) is a tough one for me.

As the writer (and knowing what really happened before and after) these are a couple of things that I would except to happen next.

PI goes in the house and finds it trashed, the typically someone tossing the place, looking for something.

PI goes in the house and finds a body, (which was mentioned), either the missing persons or someone else.

These are the two things that seemed obvious to me and I was just wondering if that was so with other people.

Those two things I didnít want to write unless it was not an apparent event.

Any other comments? What makes the scene tougher to write is the character of the missing person. I donít know her at the moment and this scene will basically define who she is as a person. I know what she does as a job per say but notóher. Still the look of the scene was something I wanted to write that the reader did not expect.

Good Word
02-06-2006, 10:00 PM
My two cents: Don't worry so much about what other people might expect--start writing it and see what flows. Sometimes the unexpected happens, which is always what makes a story more exciting. For me, anyway. I don't want to read what I expect, or what I would write myself--I want to be surprised.

If you don't like what comes out, you can always change it.

Wesley Smith
02-22-2006, 10:01 PM
It sounds like the story has been finished, but I just wanted to throw my two in because... because I wanted to throw my two in. :D

If you're hoping to sell this to a mystery magazine or anthology, then I, as a reader, would expect to find a dead body or the place trashed. But as a writer, the last thing you want to do is give the reader what I expect. Through a curve at me. Instead of having him find a body, a mess, or even a clue, have him find nothing. That's right, nothing. Have him break into the house, and trap him there as the suspect/homeowner comes home. Then you have the added complication of having your protagonist in a postition that will complicate not just the job, but his whole career.