19 Sep 2013

Lethal Ladies #7 - Commentary

First, turns out, I mis-numbered last week's chapter.  The contents are correct, the number is wrong.  Go fig.

Second, go read the chapter.  It'll make the commentary easier to follow.

When I wrote the flashback, I didn't take the time to properly search Rome for streets.  I left a placeholder, mainly because the flashback was unplanned and because I was running behind in word count and didn't want the extra work to interfere with the time spent writing.  The idea was that, once the story was written, I'd go back and fix the stamps.  I fixed the stamps.  Google Maps is far more easier to use in Europe than it was in 2006.  The key location comes up later, and I was able to work back.  So, Via Salvatore Pincherle is where the chapter leads off.

The flashback does mirror some of the previous action, as intended.  Last time, it was Allison shimmying to get out of the handcuffs.  This time, it's a much younger Rose, alone, using the old "hide the lockpicks in the hair" trick followed by the "sick prisoner" trick.  The Soviet agents do have a reason to make sure she doesn't die, the key component to the latter trick.

Valeri, one of the KGB agents, owes his name to an Arrogant Worms song, "We Like Hockey".  Yes, that line.  From there, I checked various hockey team rosters for other Russian names.  The pistols came mainly through a different interest - tabletop RPGs.  Specifically, the old James Bond 007 RPG supplement, The Q Manual, which detailed the various equipment, from weapons to vehicles to gadgets, in the 007 books and movies.  The Makarov and the PB are two different Soviet-era pistols in use by the KGB, with the Makarov being standard issue.

Elena makes her debut in the flashback in the Soviet Embassy.  The layout of the embassy is based on old spy movies and spy novels, where the major players had special rooms solely for use by their intelligence agencies built into the embassies.  Elena has a martial bearing, something she doesn't have in the 2007 portions.  She also takes to command, and has a strong grip on psychology.  Rose will have to he on top of her game to escape.

The agent names, again, come from hockey.  The team names, though, come from War and Peace.  I needed a theme, and Tolstoy's novel fit what I needed - a large cast of characters to poach names from.  Even if they weren't going to reappear in the story, Elena couldn't just say, "Take Whatshisname and Whozis and chase her!"  Someone, either Elena herself or the people under her command, would know these people.  Plus, nameless goons are easy to ignore.  Named goons aren't.

The time stamps for the flashback got complicated.  I started regretting using them as scene breaks here.  The timing between scenes might not work as well as it looks.  To be sure, I'd pretty much have to trace the same route in Rome.  I'll stick with the handwave here; if the numbers feel right, they're good enough.  I'm not trying to convince someone in Rome they're accurate, just the casual reader.

Tomorrow, in chapter 8, Rose and Elena continue their cat and mouse chase.
Saturday, at MuseHack, Doom.
Coming soon, wrapping up NaNo Prep 2013.

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