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Buckshot George

Writing a novel with a bass fisherman character, need help with plot and character realism

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Hey Guys

I'm participating in the 2008 National Novel Writing Month and just need to make sure my facts are straight and the plot will be believable to real bass fishermen plus I have some questions.

I really want to make this plot work and the research I am doing seems to tell me that it might not work. I want my fisherman character to be pressured into cheating in a bass tournament. This would be done by tethering fish to stumps or using a submerged basket or cage. Would there ever be a motive or reason for a sponsor or endorsing company to encourage an angler to cheat?

I want someone working for a fictional lure company or other fictional sponsor to place these fish in certain locations that the guy is supposed to retrieve during the tournament... then the angler rebels, wins the tourney anyway with his own catch of fish... but the person who hid the illegal fish has been caught in the act and he was traced back to the angler, who was disqualified. So actually the angler is the innocent but goes to jail (you actually go to jail if you cheat at fishing for money, I learned). I want to figure out a way to exonerate the angler later in the story. I'm not sure this is going to work though.

Your thoughts? And it's quicker if you email me with a reply jasmith22@gmail.com

I'd appreciate any feedback you might have. Thanks in advance.

Buckshot George

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Is there ever a reason to cheat? Hummm, let me think. Oh yea, camera time = $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Is there a reason to not cheat? Well there are several that come to mind but after those is the possibility of getting caught. Camera time with you cheating = Bankruptcy.

And by the way, this was quicker for me + you did not get my real email address.

And if you really are a fisherman, welcome to the forum, but don't ask this on you first and only post.

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Buckshot, you came to the wrong site.  We are bass fishermen.  We may lie occasionally, but we NEVER cheat.  You are writing a novel. By definition, it is fiction.  You will have to make the lies up all by yourself.

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I don't understand why you guys are jumping down his throat so bad. He never called anyone on here a cheater. He even says that in the story the fisherman is going to do the right thing and not cheat. What's wrong with a story about someone resisting temptation and being honest? Did anyone even read the whole post?

To write a good story you need some twists. In this story the angler being pressured to cheat is the twist, and then him not cheating is another one.

To answer your question George, I would never expect a real company to push their pros to cheat. However that doesn't mean it isn't believable. I think your plot should work just fine. I would say have the guy who is placing the fish put them in one of those basket things. I would also say to have him do it in only one or at most two locations. It wouldn't make sense for him to do it in anymore places than that. He would be adding a lot of unnecessary risk.

Good luck with your story George. And to anyone worked up over this, calm down, it's just a little fictional writing. :)

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sarcasm doesn't read well over the internet diver.  ;)

Money/fame will always be an incentive for cheating.  There is a lot of money and free gear that can be available through sponsors for fishermen.  And for fame look no further then the myspace guy, and I believe a world record smallie was disqualified when it was proven that he inserted lead weights into the belly of the fish he was weighing.  Maybe that would be a more realistic approach to cheating then tying fish to a stump.  Live bait is also illegal in most tournaments.

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Look up Craig Baugher, he is a well known author and bass fisherman.  He has some experience in these areas.::)

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The only part I don't like is that he was "pressured" into cheating.  

If you're an adult, nobody pressures you to do anything. Adult choices are made and adult consequences are dealt.

Please post your story when you're done, we'd like to read it, and welcome aboard. :)

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Hey guys

Thanks for the comments today. It really is a fictional story and when you write a story, there has to be a villain for any plot to work and you have to put your hero through trials and temptations and have to make awful things happen to them and they have to make decisions.

Bass fishing has a very limited history of corruption within the sport (Compare to baseball or wrestling... Steroids won't help you catch fish). The most famous example of cheating in bass fishing is Paul Tormanen, which I was AMAZED that he pulled that off with a non-boater watching him and it almost hurt reading forum posts from early 2005 where people thought he was the best bass fisherman alive. There have been a couple of other guys too. I was pretty impressed with some things I read by Ray Scott, the founder of B.A.S.S., and I remember reading about him in fishing mags when I was a kid in Kentucky. He seemed to be almost paranoid about cheating with the polygraph testing from way back when and he was really anal about keeping it clean from the beginning.

Anyway, I haven't fished in a while. I once won $500 as a 17-year old in a father and son tournament. I brought in a 12-inch bass (barely legal) on a rainy day at Nolin River Lake in the late 80s. I spent a tiny bit of the money on an RC Cola and a Moonpie on a bad fishing day when no one caught anything except me.

Anyway, here is my novel synopsis:

The story takes place in the fictional town of Booger Hollow, Kentucky where a nearby porn war is raging following the opening of several adult entertainment businesses near the interstate off-ramp. The conflict when the porn war's most outspoken religious opponent attends a wedding ceremony held by a secular humanist minister for his stripper daughter's 4th marriage, this time to an ex-soldier with atheist and anarchist beliefs. The family's pipe dreaming loser uncle, a fallen-from-grace ex-pro bass fisherman whose career was destroyed by a cheating scandal in a big money tournament, gets duped and loses borrowed family money to a country music song shark outfit in Nashville. Family feuding and fighting threatens the family's annual Turtle Soup Day tradition which dates back to the family's ancestry in Portugal.

Cheers,

Buckshot George

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I think you came to the wrong place.  Ask us about fishing, not how to cheat!

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Sounds like a witch trial here.Lets just burn him at the stake!I am sure that bass fishing is the only sport 100% percent without corruption or greed and all anglers who participate have never told a lie or been dishonest about anything in their lives.The holier than thou attitude doesn't make a good read either. ::)

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Credability should be earned but if you guys want to jump on every star that flashes by , that's your business.

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one can cheat at any of the upper tier tournaments anymore. There is always an observer or non-boater on board with the boater. Not counting cameras. You could cheat at a smaller level tournament but any tournament sponsors would care about would have an observer. Not unless you set it in the 80s or something. And I live in Winchester, Kentucky and the only strip clubs I have ever seen are in big cities not small towns. I would go bootlegging beer or selling pot over Porn much more realistic and colorful nobody will side with the stripclub/porn guy, people might side with bootlegger trying to make a living. The best stories are the ones where you arent sure who the bad guy is. ::) And what kinda name is Booger Hollow???? With all the things that are out there in your story I dont think I would worry about how he cheats.

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In a perfect world, cheating wouldn't occur. And I feel that most rules in tournaments are meant to clear up ambiguities rather than to straighten up the crooked. But to believe all fishermen hold themselves up to a higher standard belies the fact that fishermen are people-some good, some bad, with most falling somewhere in-between. I don't think Buckshot George's questions are so out of line. At least he's doing research and asking questions. And a writer doesn't have to be X, Y, or Z in order to write about it. So long as he or she does their homework.

Buckshot-I'm always intrigued with what makes up a good story. Sometimes subtlety can be more potent than strong, obvious conflict. Perhaps the tourney fisherman can be haunted from a small but critical indescretion he committed during a pivotal time in his career and how it's affecting him/her now. Just an idea.

Good luck with your writing.

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Don't know whether to take any of this seriously or with a grain of salt. But fiction, hypotheses, and such are sometimes fun to get bandied about. So regardless of the purpose here goes.

The problem:

I want to figure out a way to exonerate the angler later in the story.

One solution:

After exhausting many options to no avail, and while paying his "debt to society in prison," he sees on a bass fishing forum site (which he is allowed access to) a glimmer of hope. As it turns out bass fishermen are not all redneck bubbas. Many are well versed and opinionated in everything form aardvark to zwieback toast. This angler notices someone in the forum talk about presidential pardons, and reads that the current president (who's presidency will end in a few months) is also an avid bass fisherman. The angler sees the link to obtain the presidential pardon in the thread http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/pardon_instructions.htm, and click's on it. Because of his work teaching fellow inmates how to cope with the world after release, and with help from the prison chaplain, he mounts a successful bid for a presidential pardon.

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I've got this figured out.

The tortured bass fishing uncle, played by Chuck Norris, hits rock bottom and is sent to prison for losing the family's money. In prison he is targeted by the Arian Nation of Trout Fishermen, the sworn enemy of bass anglers on the inside, and must fight for his life on a daily basis.

His cellmate, David Carradine, teaches him to channel his anger through the ancient art of Karate. Chuck is a gifted student and soon he is stronger than he's ever been.  Together, they kick-box the ANTF into oblivion, making the yard safe again for Bass Anglers.

Chuck is released early. He vows to never fish again, but images of 8 pound bass haunt his dreams and eventually he returns to the lake.  He longs to compete, but has been banned for life. Set up by his notorious ex-sponsor, Banjo-Minnow Bob.

Disguised as Rick Clunn, Chuck finally confronts Banjo-Minnow Bob backstage at the BassMaster Classic. An arrogant Bob admits to being the mastermind behind the plan to dupe anglers with shoddy baits that don't work, and that Chuck was only an unwitting pawn in his plan.

What Bob didn't realize was that Chuck was wearing a wire hooked into the stadium's sound system, and now the entire BassMaster crowd knows Banjo-Minnow Bob is a crook.

Bob tries to escape, but Chuck Norris kick boxes him into a 5,000 gallon aquarium filled with hybrid man-eating meanmouth bass. The water turns red with the blood of the man who invented the Banjo Minnow.

A vindicated Chuck Norris is now a bass fishing hero and wins the BassMaster Classic the following year using *** *

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It seems to me that this topic is perceived by our membership as

contrived, perhaps attempting to take comments out of context

and use them in an unflattering way. I don't find the concept for

the book interesting and choose not to participate, other than to

alert others that may agree with me.

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Ok guys, let's leave your emotions at the door please.  If you can't make a post that answers his questions, then refrain from posting.

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one can cheat at any of the upper tier tournaments anymore. There is always an observer or non-boater on board with the boater. Not counting cameras. You could cheat at a smaller level tournament but any tournament sponsors would care about would have an observer. Not unless you set it in the 80s or something. And I live in Winchester, Kentucky and the only strip clubs I have ever seen are in big cities not small towns. I would go bootlegging beer or selling pot over Porn much more realistic and colorful nobody will side with the stripclub/porn guy, people might side with bootlegger trying to make a living. The best stories are the ones where you arent sure who the bad guy is. ::) And what kinda name is Booger Hollow???? With all the things that are out there in your story I dont think I would worry about how he cheats.

There is a company called Lion's Den that has been opening porn businesses along interstates. I saw a lot of them on a road trip through the midwest last year, particularly through Kansas and Missouri. I do know of one across the river from Louisville in Indiana that was the cause of a lot of protest.

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Ok guys, let's leave your emotions at the door please. If you can't make a post that answers his questions, then refrain from posting.

Thank you, Glenn. What is happening to us? It seems we're attacking first and asking questions later.

Daniel, very funny.  Do you have too much time on your hands? ;)

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one can cheat at any of the upper tier tournaments anymore. There is always an observer or non-boater on board with the boater. Not counting cameras. You could cheat at a smaller level tournament but any tournament sponsors would care about would have an observer. Not unless you set it in the 80s or something. And I live in Winchester, Kentucky and the only strip clubs I have ever seen are in big cities not small towns. I would go bootlegging beer or selling pot over Porn much more realistic and colorful nobody will side with the stripclub/porn guy, people might side with bootlegger trying to make a living. The best stories are the ones where you arent sure who the bad guy is. ::) And what kinda name is Booger Hollow???? With all the things that are out there in your story I dont think I would worry about how he cheats.

There is a company called Lion's Den that has been opening porn businesses along interstates. I saw a lot of them on a road trip through the midwest last year, particularly through Kansas and Missouri. I do know of one across the river from Louisville in Indiana that was the cause of a lot of protest.

Big difference between a adult bookstore and a strip club. There are Adult stores scattered around but I dont think anybody in Kentucky cares. Strip clubs are another story and you did mention a stripper dating someone. I still think a bootlegger or pot grower could have more character or be more interesting.

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It seems to me that this topic is perceived by our membership as

contrived, perhaps attempting to take comments out of context

and use them in an unflattering way. I don't find the concept for

the book interesting and choose not to participate, other than to

alert others that may agree with me.

Here is the honest truth. There is no weird agenda here. I am a dude living in Arizona where I sell mail order V*agra and Cialis for a living and play bass guitar in a rock band. I signed up for this event called National Novel Writing Month for fun. There is no prize money. I just get a little certficate saying I finished writing the rough draft of a 50,000 word "book". I based a lot of the subject matter on growing up in Bullitt County, KY. I enjoyed bass fishing with my Dad. We never cheated and we never won that much $$ either but we had a good time. I saw an ad for a big tournament at the bait and tackle store once that said all applicants must agree to take a polygraph test if they win. Hmmm... A liar detector test? I remembered that for some reason. Plus my company advertises in the fishing magazines so we get courtesy copies which my boss gives to me and I don't know a lot of stories where the hero is a bass fisherman.

Anyway, if you guys ever try to write a book, it's a lot of typing and you have to sit down and write every single day for a month. Ouch.

Thanks for the responses. There was a lot of good feedback for me.

Cheers

BG

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