Wednesday, February 19, 2014

writing the con

Interestingly, the structure or outline by which con artists play their game could easily be used for writing a story or novel, namely a story about a long con.  It could be used precisely as a plot outline, and complexity could be introduced into the story by certain phases going dreadfully wrong (e.g., the con might go off swimmingly until step nine or ten).  The following comes from David W. Maurer's infamous work, The Big Con:  The Story of the Confidence Man (1940).

1.  Locating and investigating a well-to-do victim. (Putting the mark up.)

2.  Gaining the victim's confidence.  (Playing the con for him.)

3.  Steering him to meet the insideman.  (Roping the mark.)

4  Permitting the insideman to show him how he can make a large amount of money dishonestly.  (Telling him the tale.)

5.  Allowing the victim to make a substantial profit.  (Giving him the convincer.)

6.  Determining exactly how much he will invest.  (Giving him the breakdown.)

7.  Sending him home for this amount of money.  (Putting him on the send.)

8.  Playing him against the big store and fleecing him.  (Taking off the touch.)

9.  Getting him out of the way as quietly as possible.  (Blowing him off.)

10. Forestalling action by the law.  (Putting in the fix.)

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