Author Topic: Escape plan  (Read 3485 times)

Offline Annmarie

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Escape plan
« on: July 11, 2012, 07:29:24 AM »
I think I wrote my female mc Clara into a corner I can't get her out of.

She's locked inside a free-standing iron locker, the kind soldiers used to hang their uniforms in. Inside, it has 2 spaces separted by an iron wall/divider. Two doors close in the middle, secured by a padlock. The locker has bullet holes and schrapnel damage, dents and repaired seams. It's chained upright on the back of a covered army truck. There's an armed guard.

They're driving through landscape with steep hills, so the locker shifts a lot during the ride.

In my draft, Clara shifts her weight with the locker as it tips. The truck goes up a steep incline. She throws her weight, the locker tips off the back of the truck, at least one chain breaks loose from where it's secured on the truck bed. A weak section of locker splits open in the impact against the pavement. Clara escapes (very bruised and shaken).

How can I make this more plausible? Or do you have other ideas? Thanks.  :)

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Offline Laura H

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 07:32:43 AM »
Perhaps you need an intervening event like a crash or and blast which flips the truck.  The locker could be thrown clear, leaving the guards injured/stunned/dead giving her a chance to escape.  

Just a thought  :-\
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Offline Annmarie

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 07:49:57 AM »
That could even be plausible, since there were a lot of unexploded bombs laying around in postwar Germany, Laura.

But would it be too much of a coincidence if the truck hit one right when Clara needed it? I was hoping she could escape because of something she did, not be saved by something on the outside. Not sure if it's possible....  ???
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Offline Matt Walker

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 08:35:34 AM »
I think you have a problem in that the soldiers would probably realise if the locker fell off. Laura's scenario deals with that nicely, but maybe it is a bit of a coincidence.

Also, if the locker is just a standard issue for hanging uniforms, it's not built to keep people in (or even out, really). And if it's already battered, Clara might be able to brace her feet against a side panel and pop it clean off?

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Offline Annmarie

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 08:37:39 AM »
Also, if the locker is just a standard issue for hanging uniforms, it's not built to keep people in (or even out, really). And if it's already battered, Clara might be able to brace her feet against a side panel and pop it clean off?

That was my original idea, except that she doesn't have much space to move inside. And then there's the soldier...
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Offline heidi52

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 08:44:38 AM »
How about
She's moving around and attracts the guards attention, so he's standing right in front of it. The truck rounds a sharp curve, and maybe hits a pot hole, and she shifts her weight at that exact moment and the locker breaks free, smashing into the guard and throws them both out of the truck. That guard is knockout out and MC and the locker roll down a steep embankment and the locker breaks apart. Now she is off the road, the guard is immobilized and the driver didn't see anything with the curve hiding the action.

Offline Laura H

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 09:11:54 AM »
As to the coincidence on timing, I was thinking more along the lines of an IED such as troops have encountered in Irag and Afghanistan, but perhaps those weren't used in your story's time period. 

I do think you need an intervening event which serves to both free the locker from the truck and distract or disable the guards - maybe an ambush?
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline Annmarie

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 09:50:04 AM »
Not bad, Heidi! I like the idea of the guard getting knocked off the truck with the locker. Would an old diesel motor be loud enough to cover the sound of a locker hitting the pavement? I think it would. But the locker was secured on the truck. Would the driver notice a drag or kickback of some sort when the straps or chains broke free?

Laura - In my time period, nobody would dare attack a British army vehicle, so I can't use an ambush.
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Offline heidi52

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 10:26:20 AM »
Would an old diesel motor be loud enough to cover the sound of a locker hitting the pavement? I think it would. But the locker was secured on the truck. Would the driver notice a drag or kickback of some sort when the straps or chains broke free?


Army trucks aren't built for smooth ride or acoustics, so there's going to be lots of noise in the truck. But even if they do hear it in the cab and are alerted, they have to stop the truck, then what? back up, turn around? and get to where they fell out. The first thing they see is the guard lying in the middle of the road, they are going to go to him first. That buys your MC time to extricate herself (or not, tumbling down the door breaks free and she get ejected?) and escape.

Offline wanderer

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 11:07:29 AM »
I would think a metal locker falling of the truck would make enough noise to be heard in the cab. IMO

Offline heidi52

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 11:17:16 AM »
I think so too, but it could buy her time.

Offline wanderer

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 11:40:30 AM »
I've been turning the scenario over in my mind, and keep thinking that she could be injured in the fall....more so if the truck was going at a higher speed. Not only is there a 3, 4, ft. drop but the locker could tumble over and over as well as sliding and bouncing. Maybe even punctured and sharp metal edges tearing into her?

Offline heidi52

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 11:51:46 AM »
I've been turning this over, too (Damn you Annemarie j/k)

Could it be that the small confines of the locker protect her? And what if the guard it pushes out, breaks the fall? Could muffle the sound of it breaking free too. Then it might be safer tumbling down the embankment with something around you.

I'm just throwing it out there cuz it's fun to do so.  ;D

Offline Annmarie

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 11:57:43 AM »
Yes, wanderer, she'll be hurt, but I need her capable of getting up and running.

I was thinking the locker protected her also, to some extent. She doesn't have a lot of room to bang around when the locker hits the pavement. If the soldier softens the blow. Ugh! That's a possibility! A seriously injured soldier'd also get her into a lot more trouble than she's already in....a good thing. ;D
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Offline wanderer

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Re: Escape plan
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 12:07:18 PM »
Football players, with all their protection, are injured and sometimes get concussions. Your character wouldn't have that much protection. I know of people who fell out of a pickup truck and were killed. 30 mph.

Would the locker help to protect her ? I keep thinking she will be bouncing around inside the locker with a lot of force. People do barrel stunts and are killed. I've seen boxes fall off trucks and are destroyed...but not a metal enclosure like the locker.

Just thinking as I type, but think there would be enough forces at work to where she can be severely injured. However she could have a 'lucky' fall  ;)

As the brain turns  ;)