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Criminal elements of a city

i am brainstorming a story involving street urchins as protagonist. Trying to figure out what other criminal/shady elements i can use so far only element i can come up with the thiefs guild. Once have these basic i can start wrting a scene then world build from there.
 
You are probably looking at small, gang-like units and pure individualists at the base. Too centralized and it becomes easy to cut the head off the snake for authorities.

The upper echelon might be mafia-like organizations with their fingers in both the black and white markets. Much depends on the setting: size of city, cultural diversity, etc.
 
Well culture wierd i kind borrowed stuff from different cultures it a totally made up world mixed between kindoms and beucrats this city i believe might ruled by governening council. Not 100% on the authority yet i am focusing criminal elements. Hmm wd protistutes be considredcas a criminal element
 
Prostitutes... depends on the culture. But, where you have a city with multiple cultures mingling, you get some great gang vibes... a bit like the Italian mob vs the Irish mob, plus politicians often use the street toughs... think Gangs of New York with a fantasy element. I've got all kinds of complicated gang and underworld structures in mind as I get into some different books. Should be lots of fun.
 
Drawing inpiration from many things first inpiration was thinking getleman bastards series and got me thinking on criminal elemants and i thought using street urchins as antihero types. Also drawing inpiration from oliver twist a bit having one of the street urchins as leader you can say they are a huge gang yes it make sense i could give criminal elents gang behavior. The prostitue inpired by film sin city. Think of noble vs the streets kind of vibe
 
Yeah, I just feel the "thieves guild" is overplayed. Not that it doesn't work! It'd be interesting to look more into middle eastern and asian gang behaviors over time.
 
Maybe have not just one thief guild but several trying to control the city but in reality the street urchins control by being fast and many. Plus they know how get info and use it.
 
Depends on the realism level... it's fanciful to think children "control" any sophisticated system. And that's what an underground black market is... not to mention extremely dangerous. It's a fantasy, so sure! It can be done, whatever works for the story. In particular if the TA is YA or MG.
 
Yes it dangerous that why some these kids are nit to be messed with espically the one that got them organized in first place inpired by arful dodger and few other characters i read or seen. Not sure what target audience is yet but will realise that once story written. It is going to be dark fantasy
 

Laurence

Inkling
Prostitutes... depends on the culture. But, where you have a city with multiple cultures mingling, you get some great gang vibes... a bit like the Italian mob vs the Irish mob, plus politicians often use the street toughs... think Gangs of New York with a fantasy element. I've got all kinds of complicated gang and underworld structures in mind as I get into some different books. Should be lots of fun.

Watching Gangs of a New York is the most fun and informative advice one can receive.
 
So much depends on the culture(s), the types of laws and law enforcement (or lack thereof), etc.

Some other things to think about:

Smugglers
Political extremists/subversives/etc.
Rogue, underground, illegal cults
Assassins guilds (if you are going the "guild" route)
Various traffickers—depending on culture and laws, could be drugs, slaves, magical items, etc.
 
You can also have:
Slum Lords
Racketeers
Underground Casino's/Speakeasies of sorts, depending on legality
Fighting pits (for those brutal underground cage fights not even the UFC would dare air)
Black Market (possibly with slaves in it too)
Den's of Debauchery
The Gentlemen's Club (that is clearly a front)
The lone person in a long black leather jacket who is possibly a hit being. Or a very lost Matrix geek.
 
thanks for all the info come to consultation of this discussion that the story should be the rise of power of the street urchins as my bro says i have knack of physiology in my current wip so try that in this but want make sociological too any books on that besides tipping point
 
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