20 Feb 2014

Lethal Ladies #28 - Commentary

Again, please read the chapter before continuing.

A somewhat short chapter last week, but made up with action.  This chapter was meant to build up to the new climax.  As long as I could keep the conflict going, I could get more words written.  At this point, I just wanted to reach the end.  While, now, fifty thousand words isn't a difficult goal to reach, it was back in 2006.  Exhaustion had long set in, and getting to the end was similar to the last kilometre of a marathon.  Having Sexton be an utter bastard helped me out of several corners I had written myself into.

First up, leaving Allison in Elena's car.  Rose and Elena are experienced spies.  They have seen far more than they have told, or are allowed to tell.  Both of the older women have seen the likes of Sexton before.  Allison, on the other hand, is a computer technician.  She has some training in self defense, plus extra from working with Rose and Elena.  Allison is not in the same league as Sexton, though.  Which is fine; Rose and Elena hired her for her technical skills, an area they knew they were lacking.  Allison got to set up a network of her own to play with, keeping it secure while defeating other network admin's security for pay.  She would be the first to tell anyone that she does not like to fight.

Next, Elaine Malcolm's home.  Suburban Avenue is a real street in St. Louis.  The oddness of the name was why I chose it.  Again, hooray for Google Maps as a research aid.  The actual house does not; the building owes more to The Sims 2, where I've expanded starter homes and added second floors, than anything in St. Louis.  The mess in the kitchen is to show that not only do people live in the house but that they've been busy with other issues.

Sexton managed to bandage himself, with Elaine's help.  He can't go to a hospital; the law requires gunshot wounds to be reported to the police.  Rose got around Amber's wound by having a somewhat friendly police detective on hand.  Sexton doesn't have that luxury, though he may have contacts elsewhere who could bury the report once he has the time to talk to them.

I knew I needed Elaine Malcolm for the scene.  I really didn't have a plan for her beyond hiding Sexton.  However, I did realize that she wasn't a field agent.  Her reaction to someone pointing a gun at her in her own home was perfectly reasonable.  Her reaction also eliminated the surprise Rose and Elena had.  A gun battle, though, added action that was missing for a few chapters.

I didn't want a car chase here.  Car chases lead to two results.  The first is the pursuers crash, letting the pursued get away.  The second is the pursued crashes, letting the pursuers catch up and take him into custody.  The second result would be too soon; I wasn't at 50 000 words yet.  The first would require me to work out the chase route, add reactions, add yelling, and would give me many more words but would also leave me with Rose, Elena, and Allison injured and possibly not in a shape to continue the story.  Thus, Sexton shot out the wheels of the Mercedes.  I checked myself, though; hitting a car is easy, hitting a tire isn't.  Sexton's shotgun was useful here; he didn't have to aim, just point in the general direction.

Tomorrow, police interference.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Lost in Translation will have something.
Coming soon, gaming, writing, and more!

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