HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    91

    Is their a way to make a power outage look like an accident?

    For my story, I want the villain to be able to disconnect the power to his house, as part of the his crime, but I want him to make it look natural, like an act of God, rather than deliberate human sabotage. Is that possible?

    I asked an electrician for research and he said he could not think of any way to do that, because if it's a crime that is going to get the police involved, and they are going to look over things, he says he cannot think of any way it couldn't be discovered as a set up.

    So I was wondering if anyone knew, is it possible to make a power outage to one house along, look like a natural failure?

    I asked some people and they gave some ideas, that would involve storms, but I don't think I should use a storm, cause it would come off as a deux ex machina to the reader I think, that a storm happened to be there for the villain's plan to work.

    What do you think though? Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for the input. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by ironpony; 01-25-2016 at 05:44 PM.



  2. #2
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Overload the fuse box, cut the lines to the house, a localized Electromagnetic pulse...

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    93
    The only way I can think of is if he stood on a tree branch and made it fall on a power line, but that would put his own life in danger as well as be a difficult feat to accomplish.
    "Don't try to control the reader, just help them along." -- my mom

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    91
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Mutt View Post
    Overload the fuse box, cut the lines to the house, a localized Electromagnetic pulse...
    Okay thanks. As far as overloading the box goes, all you have to do is flip the breaker back on, if this happens, as I understand it.

    For my story, I need the power to not be able to switch back up on for at least half a day.

    Cutting the wire will also look like sabotage rather than an act of God, and he doesn't have the technology to create EMP.

    As far as pulling a tree down, any neighbor of his could see this, and he cannot have any witnesses to what he is doing.

  5. #5
    Rogue Mutt
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks. As far as overloading the box goes, all you have to do is flip the breaker back on, if this happens, as I understand it.

    For my story, I need the power to not be able to switch back up on for at least half a day.

    Cutting the wire will also look like sabotage rather than an act of God, and he doesn't have the technology to create EMP.

    As far as pulling a tree down, any neighbor of his could see this, and he cannot have any witnesses to what he is doing.
    Creating an EMP is easy. Google it.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    91
    Okay thanks. I looked it up. However, this would take too long and the villain, has to improvise and only has a total of five minutes to knock the power out, in my case.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Elkins Park PA
    Posts
    343
    An EMP would damage electronic equipment. Light bulbs wouldn't be bothered.

    My personal view, as someone who has been doing electrical; work since I was old enough to hold my father's flashlight, is that there is nothing you can do that would look accidental in that time-frame and guarantee lights out. Tripping the main breaker might work because the average house owner might check the breakers, but probably not think to check the main breaker, or even recognize which position was off. And since it's dark, and most people don't keep a flashlight handy (or know how to use their phone as a light) they might give up and call the electric company, which might take an hour or two to get someone out there.

    It's iffy, but desperate moves sometimes work (though too many convenient pieces of luck are not a writer's friend.

    How about setting off smoke alarms? Or better yet, start a fire.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    91
    Okay thanks. I asked my friend's husband who is an electrician and he said the same thing, that you cannot make a power outage look natural. Even if the villain trips the breaker, once the cops come to investigate later, they will be able to put the main breaker on and that's a problem. I want the power to still be unable to turn on, as part of the villain's alibi.

    Basically the villain is being watched by the police. The police suspect that his enemies are coming to get him. So they are protecting the villain, but also kind of using him to see when the enemies are going to strike. So there is a cop, watching from his parked car, and the villain wants to get rid of him.

    So the villain fakes a power outage which causes the cop, to think that the power is being taken out, by the enemies who have come to break in and get him. So the cop calls for back up and goes to check it out. Basically the villain has to scream or something which will compel the cop to come into the house, and say he is a cop of course. The villain then knocks him out for a few hours.

    When the police question him, he says that he believed that the cop was an intruder, who cut the power and broke into his house. He makes like it was a misunderstanding. But he needs a reason to move to a different place for a new hours, without the police watching him.

    So he does so, and the cops are shorthanded and cannot have another man watch him, since he knocked the man out who was watching. The villain was counting on this, that the cops would not have another man to watch for a few hours.

    That is why he needs the power off for at least half a day, but setting his own place on fire, is quite an extreme that would attract too much attention, from the police and fire department, compared to a simple misunderstood break in, I think. Unless I am wrong?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,142
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    The villain then knocks him out for a few hours.
    In your quest for verisimilitude, you might want to double-check this. The old "hero gets knocked out" device is a Hollywood trope. In the actual event, a "knock-out" that lasts more than a few moments indicates possible brain damage; the longer it lasts, the greater the chance for permanent injury. A character knocked unconscious for hours might well be brain dead.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    93
    Are you saying he needed an excuse to go somewhere for a few hours after knocking the policeman out and before the other police arrived? If so, it wouldn't take hours for back-up to arrive. Is he "working with" the police who are protecting him, or is he not supposed to know about them watching him?

    Our house has a power switch on the outside side of the house. Your villain could switch the power off (or have a buddy do it) from the outside and pretend to freak out inside the house. After all, if I was being hunted and the power suddenly went out, I'd freak out. After knocking out the officer who went inside the house, the villain could then run to wherever he needs to go, pretending to be running away from his enemies. The police wouldn't question his fear if he fakes it well enough.


    He could just have a buddy break down his back-door or a window (from the outside) to "prove" it was his enemy coming to get him.
    "Don't try to control the reader, just help them along." -- my mom

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts