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View Full Version : Describing a bounty hunter in layman's terms.



stardustx
02-09-2014, 07:36 PM
So I have a street smart character, D, who is a bounty hunter. A second character, R, who is naive at nineteen, doesn't know what a bounty hunter is. So she is trying to explain to her what a bounty hunter is by using fairly easy, everyday words. Any suggestions for how D would describe a bounty hunter in this way? Thanks.

Telergic
02-09-2014, 07:43 PM
Do you understand what a bounty hunter does? I mean, this isn't really a research question, is it?

But I suppose I would say "When someone doesn't show up at court after being bailed out of jail, I hunt them down for a fee." Feel free to add dialect for whatever street locale is appropriate. Theoretically bounty hunters do other things, too, but that would be 99% of it.

Bing Z
02-09-2014, 08:01 PM
I hunt down thugs who skip bonds. What? You have no clue what skip bond means? You need to... Okay, okay, when a defendant fails to appear in court.

stardustx
02-09-2014, 08:36 PM
Yes, I know exactly what a bounty hunter does. I was just wondering how other people might describe it, and if there were any humorous descriptions. Because all I could think of was something like "I track down creeps who skip bond." I wanted to see if anyone had better descriptions than that, lol.

Bufty
02-09-2014, 09:22 PM
Most people of nineteen would know what a bounty hunter is simply by watching movies or TV.

What do you mean by 'naive'?

As to the explanation it will depend where and when your story takes place and on how the characters talk.

stardustx
02-10-2014, 01:41 AM
Sorry I didn't clarify more. R is a nineteen year old mermaid, naive to most human ways of life. She thought bounty hunting meant searching for "pirate's treasure." So D has to explain to her that it's a bit different from that, lol. It takes place in Boston. Does that help better?

frimble3
02-10-2014, 05:51 AM
If she's a mermaid who doesn't know much about human life, I'd skip talk about 'bonds' and 'court', if D is going to have to explain all that.
Does mermaid society even have a legal system?
"Sometimes people run away to avoid punishment. It's my job to find them and bring them back."

Kregger
02-10-2014, 05:54 AM
Bounty hunters were also people who hunted lawbreakers for a reward.

Not just bond jumpers.

Telergic
02-10-2014, 07:22 AM
Bounty hunters were also people who hunted lawbreakers for a reward.

Not just bond jumpers.

Yes, but what they are now is basically skip tracers, most never doing anything else.

WeaselFire
02-10-2014, 07:59 PM
I don't know any bounty hunters who call themselves bounty hunters. Bail Enforcement, skip tracers, bond recovery agents, etc. And skip tracing is a major function for most. Some are also private detectives and do more for work than just track bail jumpers.

The simple description would be:

"I look for people who have posted bail and then skipped out on their court date."

In Florida, bounty hunters look nothing like on TV. They have to be licensed, are forbidden from wearing police style uniforms or equipment and can only carry firearms the same way a private citizen can (no open carry, etc.). They can't even call themselves bounty hunters.

Lee Loffland's blog is great for some of this and there was a bounty hunter post a number of years ago that sums this up:

http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/yvonne-mason-bounty-hunting-in-florida/

Hope it helps.

Jeff

Bufty
02-10-2014, 09:00 PM
I think the issue here is why the mermaid is concerned about what a bounty hunter means. Who in their right mind tells a mermaid he's a bounty hunter? Why did she ask in the first place?

Even if he explains it will she know what he's talking about?

Charging Boar
02-11-2014, 02:04 AM
"Sometimes people run away to avoid punishment. It's my job to find them and bring them back."

Defined like this, bounty hunters seem so noble


I think the issue here is why the mermaid is concerned about what a bounty hunter means. Who in their right mind tells a mermaid he's a bounty hunter? Why did she ask in the first place?

Even if he explains it will she know what he's talking about?

What do you mean? If she asked him what does he do, he would probably reply with bounty hunter and she would reply that she doesn't know what that means. It seems a perfectly natural (in a world with mermaids and such) conversation. Is there some mermaid archetype I don't know preventing him from telling her that?

frimble3
02-11-2014, 04:35 AM
Defined like this, bounty hunters seem so noble


:Shrug:Don't most people try to put the best spin on themselves and their work? :) Especially when talking to a new acquaintance.

stardustx
02-11-2014, 06:19 AM
If she's a mermaid who doesn't know much about human life, I'd skip talk about 'bonds' and 'court', if D is going to have to explain all that.
Does mermaid society even have a legal system?
"Sometimes people run away to avoid punishment. It's my job to find them and bring them back."

Hello, everyone! I think this description works best for the situation. Though I would modify it a little.

Just an FYI: I have done a lot of research on bounty hunting, its history, different laws for it in different states, what it consists of, what it really is as opposed to what's shown on TV, etc.

Also, the bounty hunter is a woman. And to satisfy curiosity, the mermaid comes ashore, and the woman finds her out on the streets and offers the mermaid to stay with her for a little while. So, naturally, the topic of what she does comes up.

Thank you to everyone who's replied, all your answers were helpful.