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Right now in the story, I have 5 characters. Three (Group A) got in a fight, one (Group B) got on a train, and one (Group C) who also got in a fight. Group A is in a data-center, Group B is in the middle of nowhere, and Group C is on the run.

I'm trying to figure out how to work around the trope where they all find each other and then hide out in some base in order to take down the antagonists, because a lot of media has done that already. I wanna keep the vibe of a ragtag team that'll defeat the villains by using cunning and strength, not mere size. I want their attack to be as informal as anything leading up to it, just a few friends trying to figure out how to avoid a life-threatening gang.

I've been planning to have Group A try to unravel the organization's plan, Group B try to survive in the desert and make it back to civilization, and Group C to lead a political movement. Group C runs the risk of being that military rise-up trope, but I'm planning to have it so that Group C will just use the revolution to invoke stress in the organization.

My question is: how do I go around the military organization trope and how do I get them all back together again naturally, without just having Group A pick up the other two one-by-one.

Someone told me that I could use wireless communication, and that would fit well in my story because it's about the internet, but I still want them to converge for the big finale.

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  • "trope where they all find each other and then hide out" - this is essentially "reconvening". What do you want to do differently?
    – Alexander
    May 13, 2022 at 0:31
  • Hunger Games and Endgame ended up just becoming military operations. I want to keep the unorganized team vibe, where they have a plan but they don't do that thing where the chapter ends and they plan it somewhere in some secret base.
    – hedron
    May 18, 2022 at 20:50
  • then don't give them any "secret base". Keep this whole team on the move, or have the reconvening place nothing special and not secure by any means.
    – Alexander
    May 18, 2022 at 21:03

2 Answers 2

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I don't think 'how' is the right question to ask. 'The Internet' removes the problem of distance from communicating. If your groups know they need to come together and know each other, then they talk and work out the logistics. Problem Solved. And, it's boring -- as storytelling goes.

The interesting question is why do they convene. Why this group or groups of people and no other group(s)? I am thinking of 'The Moon is a harsh mistress' and how three people came together -- for their own reasons -- and won the freedom of every loony everywhere.

So define for yourself -- and your story -- what qualities each of the groups have and lack. Why do they need each other? Why will only the other two groups compliment them in a way that makes them successful? Asking again why do they need each other.

Then, how to they -- each group -- recognize their needs. Group A -- We're just a hammer, what can we do? Ohhh... I need nails. If we had nails, we could hammer in the morning ....

The same goes for each group in your collection.

then, rationally how to people find other people on the web, they start crawling and swiping and looking for that connection.

So, I think it starts with why (the need) then moves to who, and finally what are they going to do together.

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Use adhesive.

Adhesive is a bond between the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) that binds them together in such a way that they cannot just get up and leave the conflict/story.

James Scott Bell discusses adhesive in his "Revision and Self Editing for Publication".

Adhesive is vital to writing a story that works and a conflict that seems important and realistic. The last thing you want is for readers to ask, "why did they stay? why didn't they just leave?" Or in your case, "why did they go after the antagonist?"

Especially if the confrontation with the antagonist has dire consequences.

Your antagonists and protagonists need to be bound together in a way they cannot ignore. Some common examples: they are all stuck in the same place, they are family members, the antagonist took something the protagonist needs, they both want to own/take/steal the same thing, go to the same place, win the same contest, the protagonists want to take out revenge on the antagonist, etc.

When it comes to simpler reasons such as duty, in minor characters this is ok, but in major characters, or even the main character, more reasons are commonly used.

Adhesive reasons have similar properties as story and conflict in that there are a limited number of variations, and it is more important how they are portrayed in character and setting than exactly what they are.

Once you have a reason for the protagonists to want to confront the antagonist and that this is a reason so strong they are unable not to, the reader knows why they are hunting for the antagonist, and even simple solutions to how they get there will likely work just fine.

For instance, the antagonist taunts them to come, captures them and brings them together, or the antagonist appears in the news—preferably doing something antagonistic—thus tipping the protagonists off to their location, and perhaps also tugging that adhesive really hard.

If the characters and the reader knows they need to confront the antagonist, the mechanics need not be so complex.

Even if the protagonists can communicate their intention to each other, if they don't all have this adhesive reason to confront the antagonist, or to follow some other character doing it, they might just as well say, "nice, good luck, bye."

I.e. go deep on who the antagonist is, who the protagonists are, the relationship between them both, and find a strong, adhesive (preferably super glued!) reason for them to be locked in conflict with no escape.

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