Fatal Flaw?

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  • Fatal Flaw?

    I just spotted a huge flaw in my story - but think it isn't critical. Just after some advice

    My plot is about getting a mem-stick with vitally important data on it to a particular person & place.

    My flaw is that this data could feasibly be uploaded to the person via the internet, or the mem-stick posted in the mail, which kinda undermines my hero's hazardous trek across the country.

    I'm covering this flaw by exposing that the mem-stick is hardware protected, so if it's inserted into a standard USB port the data gets fried - and if it's posted in the mail it could get intercepted by the authrities who are hunting for the mem-stick.

    This arse-covering seems a bit feeble I know, but I'm still feeling kinda safe here because my flaw is the self-same one I've just spotted in STAR-WARS, and nobody else ever seems to have done so.

    What do you think? Am I safe on this one, or not?

    Many thanks

    Steve Jenkins
    rebel base
    3rd planet on left past death-star
    galaxy far-far-way

    hmm!
    Maybe I just answered my own question.
    Last edited by Steven Jenkins; 03-26-2010, 04:48 AM.
    "Would you take a f**k to save your president?"

  • #2
    Re: Fatal Flaw?

    Originally posted by Steven Jenkins View Post
    I'm covering this flaw by exposing that the mem-stick is hardware protected, so if it's inserted into a standard USB port the data gets fried - and if it's posted in the mail it could get intercepted by the authrities who are hunting for the mem-stick.
    I think you did just answer your own question. Those sound okay to me. And I'm not sure how much comedy you have in your script, but you could have your main character try to mail the mem-stick, but when he goes to the UPS store to send it out, maybe he's not confident in their ability to get the package out without damaging it. (I'm thinking of the opening of Ace Ventura, only I don't think you need to be as broad as that.)

    As far as fatal flaws, there is no greater flaw than in The Fellowship of the Ring when they're discussing what to do with the One Ring: Just have the eagle drop it into the volcano. Yeah, yeah, before all the Ring fans get up in arms about how the eagles wouldn't be involved in the affairs of man, blahblahblah...but you woulda thought SOMEONE would've mentioned it.

    HH

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    • #3
      Re: Fatal Flaw?

      Thanks for the reassurance HH

      Nice one spotting that about the eagles And I always wondered why the Valar let Melkor out of his prison in the first place (in "The Silmirillian").

      I think I've covered my flaw up further, by having a twist that the hero's quest is just a dummy to let the bad guys recover the plans, leaving somebody else free to deliver a copy of them unlooked for.

      hmm - maybe there''s some more milage in that one too - unless this idea itself is a big plot-flaw...? I mean, imagine if Luke's quest was one of many, with 20-30 other messangers showing up at the rebel-base long before he does.
      Last edited by Steven Jenkins; 03-26-2010, 06:06 AM.
      "Would you take a f**k to save your president?"

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      • #4
        Re: Fatal Flaw?

        Originally posted by Steven Jenkins View Post
        This arse-covering seems a bit feeble I know, but I'm still feeling kinda safe here because my flaw is the self-same one I've just spotted in STAR-WARS, and nobody else ever seems to have done so.
        Back when Star Wars was made, most people didn't know what a floppy disk was and hadn't even heard of email. Besides which, it's science fiction: "the rules of the universe are that this much data requires a specialized droid to hold it" - even though it was "beamed" to Leia's ship - and people accept it.

        Things are very different today, in a film set in our world. I think you need something like it can only be read on a certain machine or something, as a security feature.

        The mail thing you can dodge in a variety of ways - you know the post office requires you to hand packages above a certain size to a person, you can't just drop them off, right? Well, you can, if you just bought the postage in such a way as its trackable to your credit card.

        You could probably work something in along those lines.

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        • #5
          Re: Fatal Flaw?

          Originally posted by Steven Jenkins View Post
          I'm covering this flaw if it's posted in the mail it could get intercepted by the authrities who are hunting for the mem-stick.
          Perhaps there's no delivery address. He must deliver it in person at a public place.

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          • #6
            Re: Fatal Flaw?

            Originally posted by haroldhecuba View Post
            As far as fatal flaws, there is no greater flaw than in The Fellowship of the Ring when they're discussing what to do with the One Ring: Just have the eagle drop it into the volcano. Yeah, yeah, before all the Ring fans get up in arms about how the eagles wouldn't be involved in the affairs of man, blahblahblah...but you woulda thought SOMEONE would've mentioned it.

            HH
            Wow. I can't believe in all the times I read the books I never, ever thought of that.

            Originally posted by Steven Jenkins View Post
            hmm - maybe there''s some more milage in that one too - unless this idea itself is a big plot-flaw...? I mean, imagine if Luke's quest was one of many, with 20-30 other messangers showing up at the rebel-base long before he does.
            That would be kinda cool, and kinda funny, and also kinda anticlimactic. If you were to go that route, you might need to have your protag learn about all the other messengers in late Act II, and then go on to save the day himself in Act III. Somehow.
            Last edited by Ravenlocks; 03-26-2010, 02:38 PM. Reason: Should proofread better
            "Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.-
            ― Ray Bradbury

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            • #7
              Re: Fatal Flaw?

              Maybe he does mail it and then it keeps getting returned mysteriously... Or maybe there is a USPS strike after he mails it. Then he's gotta go pry it out of one of those big blue metal mail boxes on the street? That could be fun.

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              • #8
                Re: Fatal Flaw?

                Thanks for all the help and great ideas everyone

                Makes me feel this idea isn't totally nonsense

                Many thanks
                "Would you take a f**k to save your president?"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Fatal Flaw?

                  i'm assuming the protag will accompany the flash drive ao maybe the drive is password protected and he's scared of the password being intercepted too.

                  Remember the old say "don't ask if you're paranoid, ask if you're paranoid enough?"
                  ________
                  CHILIS GIFT CARD
                  Last edited by Southern_land; 05-13-2011, 07:47 AM.
                  I heard the starting gun


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                  • #10
                    Re: Fatal Flaw?

                    No. The protag doesn't have a big part in this one - it's one of those split protag/MC stories. The MC is caught up in the struggle between the protag/antag, neither of whom get much screen-time.

                    The MC has to work out what's going on, and make plans on-the-fly.
                    "Would you take a f**k to save your president?"

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                    • #11
                      Re: Fatal Flaw?

                      Originally posted by haroldhecuba View Post
                      I As far as fatal flaws, there is no greater flaw than in The Fellowship of the Ring when they're discussing what to do with the One Ring: Just have the eagle drop it into the volcano. Yeah, yeah, before all the Ring fans get up in arms about how the eagles wouldn't be involved in the affairs of man, blahblahblah...but you woulda thought SOMEONE would've mentioned it.

                      HH

                      bwahahahaaa

                      The Whitest Kids U Kbnow did a friggin HILLARIOUS skit on that....

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwxA9O-q2o8

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                      • #12
                        Re: Fatal Flaw?

                        Not knowing anything about the story -- would embedding the memory chip into your protagonist work? He wakes up, disoriented, his neck is sore, and he receives a call -- if he's not at so-and-so by such-and-such -- a small explosive charge, connected to the chip, is triggered and he's dead. Maybe he's just returned from a trip to a foreign country. The "bad" guys don't care how they get the chip out (dead or alive) -- the "good" guy knows the code and how to disarm it.

                        That said, you could go the route of "District 9" -- just ignore the questions about how alien "power" juice can change the DNA of a human to that of an alien. I still liked the movie -- even with a plot hole so big you could fly a starship cruiser through it.
                        STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Fatal Flaw?

                          Originally posted by haroldhecuba View Post
                          As far as fatal flaws, there is no greater flaw than in The Fellowship of the Ring when they're discussing what to do with the One Ring: Just have the eagle drop it into the volcano. Yeah, yeah, before all the Ring fans get up in arms about how the eagles wouldn't be involved in the affairs of man, blahblahblah...but you woulda thought SOMEONE would've mentioned it.
                          I've seen the YouTube video, I thought it was funny, but this wasn't actually a plot hole. The only reason the eagles could just fly into Mordor at the end is because all hell had just broken loose. Remember that the whole reason the fellowship went to the Gates of Mordor for the futile battle was to draw the "eye of Sauron" off the hobbits as they progressed toward... can't remember... the mountain (Mount Doom?). Had the eagles attempted to just fly into Mordor at the beginning, Sauron would have seen them and he had plenty of weapons to deal with them.

                          At least that's the way I see it.
                          STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Fatal Flaw?

                            Let's see if we can get twenty pages out of this...

                            They could've used a bunch of eagles, or they could've just had the same Fellowship draw Sauron's attention off the eagles, or they could've had someone ask, "Why the hell didn't we just use the eagles?" And Gandalf could've said that the eagles don't give a sh!t, or that they've tried to use them in the past, or they could've attempted an eagle and we would've had a kick-ass scene of the Nazgul and eagle dogfight...

                            All kinds of things could've been used to explain why the eagles weren't used, but the fact is that Tolkien probably didn't think of it until it was already published, and then he had that V8 moment. Little did he realize that the hippies and beatniks that made Lord of the Rings such a huge publishing sensation didn't care either. Or, if they did, they just smoked the doobie, dropped some acid, and discussed it for three days.

                            HH

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                            • #15
                              Re: Fatal Flaw?

                              Nobody ever discussed using the eagles cos all they care about are rabbits and flying.

                              And nobody would even dare consider risking having an eagle as a new dark lord cos then everybody would be made to catch rabbits, early worms, loose feathers and building 500 foot earies in stupidly inaccessible places.

                              Like the old addage: never send a bird to do a man's (or woman's) job.

                              Centos: sounds like a decent plot technique, but I need my man to do this willingly - even if he needs to get well p*ssed up first.
                              "Would you take a f**k to save your president?"

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