WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues

Writing Help & Issues You name it, we solve it! Ask your questions here.


How can I make a courtroom thriller interesting in this way?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10-25-2016, 01:18 AM
ironpony (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 159
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default How can I make a courtroom thriller interesting in this way?


I have an idea for a courtroom thriller and wrote out a few drafts. However, some readers have pointed out a huge plot hole, in that the lawyers, are surprised by witnesses testimony and did not see the ambushes coming... where as logically, the lawyers would have already known what the witnesses were going to say before trial. They would have found out at the deposition.

I suppose that's true after thinking about it, the lawyers would have already known what the witnesses were going to say and what evidence would have been presented in the deposition. There would be no surprises at at the trial, cause all of that would have been covered at the deposition.

So I am thinking I should change the story to a deposition instead of a trial. In a deposition both lawyers meet in a small office room and just bring in the witnesses, one at time, and ask them questions, instead of a courtroom.

However, I feel this would lack suspense. The defendant isn't even there to face his accusers. Even though his lawyer would logically do the talking, him not even being there I think would take away a lot of the intrigue of how the reader perceives the situation, if he is not there to emotionally react to it all, even if it's mostly internal.

There are also people in the back of the courtroom who have personal involvement in the case, such as loved ones, of the victims, who would have reactions while watching the case, who would also not be there in the room as all of this investigating and cross examining of the case goes on.

So I was wondering, is there any ways I can make the deposition equally suspenseful, even though the defendant and the victim's loved ones, will not be able to there to react to everything, realistically?

I also feel that not having a judge there to decide on what is relevant, admissible and fair, and what not, also can remove some of the intrigue.

The deposition allows for the prosecutor and defense attorney to be surprised and not know what witnesses will say, and not know what evidence will bring till they go over it. The surprises are more important for the story to go, where I want it go, but it would be nice to have all that little drama as well, if that's still possible.

What do you think? Thanks for the advice and input. I really appreciate it.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-25-2016, 07:31 AM
jimmymc (Offline)
Word Wizard
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Tex/Okie
Posts: 661
Thanks: 208
Thanks 170
Default

Fiction is fiction and you area allowed to break or bend the physical laws of reality.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_of_disbelief
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-28-2016, 04:45 PM
ironpony (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 159
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Okay thanks. I can't seem to do that without making the characters look stupid though. For example, if I wrote it so the prosecutor puts witnesses on the stand, not knowing what they are going to say, it makes him look stupid for doing that, and unrealistic.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-28-2016, 10:20 PM
flyingtart's Avatar
flyingtart (Offline)
Word Wizard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 729
Thanks: 112
Thanks 143
Default

Perhaps the tension lies in the disconnect between the truth, discovered outwith the court room, and the trial. If you look at A Few Good Men, the tension arises from the defence lawyer's struggle to get the stonewalling witnesses to tell what really happened. In the process he has to face his fear of not living up to his father's awesome reputation and losing his career by smearing a superior officer. Bringing a personal stake to the story helps ramp the tension even higher.
__________________
I am not young enough to know everything.
Oscar Wilde
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-29-2016, 04:55 PM
K.S. Crooks's Avatar
K.S. Crooks (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 150
Thanks: 1
Thanks 26
Default

Remember the prosecution must disclose all they know to the defence, but not the other way around. Perhaps you have the prosecution caught off-guard more than the defence. You can have a witness lie before or while they testify to through one side off. There can also new evidence discovered while the trial takes place
__________________
K.S. Crooks- Dreamer and Author

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-01-2016, 06:26 PM
ironpony (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 159
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Okay thanks. Well so far in the crime case, there is no reason for new evidence to be discovered. Everything has already been discovered, and there is no logical reason for anything to be missed, that I can think of.

So I would like a witness to say something on the stand that will damage the case, but I cannot think of a reason as to why the prosecutor would put a witness on the stand, not knowing what the witness is going to say.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-02-2016, 04:26 AM
Prodigalson's Avatar
Prodigalson (Offline)
Homer's Odyssey Was Nothing
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Humboldt Co., CA
Posts: 1,985
Thanks: 191
Thanks 347
Default

A lawyer doesn't always know what his witness is going to say. They may think they know, but until the testimony is over, they don't know for sure. Witnesses tend to get flustered, or to have lied in the deposition.

You're trying to think logically, and people's actions are seldom logical.
__________________
Mr. Ed said I should use his signature, since he's not anymore. In honor of his good friend Nok, here it is: "As far as smoking a cigar," she said, "I'd not know where to start or how to start." "It's simple," said I, "You light one end and chew on the other and hope to meet in the middle."
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-03-2016, 02:18 PM
ironpony (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 159
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Okay thanks. Well I was told that it makes the prosecutor look really stupid, if he puts a witness on the stand, if the witness didn't talk to anyone beforehand.

So if I wrote it so that the witness lies in the deposition, but then says something else on the stand later, that's changing the story, which is different. If the witness does that, then she will be charged perjury. But I don't want her to be arrested and looking at a jail sentence, for saying one thing, then another, because the plot cannot continue, if she is not allowed to walk out of the courtroom.

So if she is to say one thing, then another on the stand later, is there way to get around the perjury penalty?
Reply With Quote
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is this interesting to you ...? Konan Fiction 31 10-23-2016 01:40 PM
How To Make A Character Interesting Without An Arc DwayneA Writing Help & Issues 5 04-19-2016 09:27 PM
this is a very cmmon tale that i hope the characters can make interesting max crash Fiction 2 04-27-2015 10:46 AM
Creep World (WIP) MalReynolds Fiction 20 12-09-2009 03:52 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:51 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.