21 Mar 2014

Lethal Ladies #32 - Commentary

As usual, please read the chapter before continuing.

The climax is building again, and this time it's for real.  By this point, I wanted the story over.  I wanted November over.  I was hitting a good stride, despite a slow start and running AC Cubed in the middle of the month.  One thing I was trying to do was to make the minimum number of words daily before stopping, and, if possible, go beyond.  Write-ins, where a group of WriMos gather to sit and just write, helped with the word count.  It seems counter-productive, but having a group of like-minded people focused on one common task does help improve not only quantity but quality.

The first scene, at the office, is setting up Rose's side of the coming conflict.  Rose isn't about to let Sexton escape.  Allie's rush Photoshop job might work, at least long enough to convince Sexton.  Given that today people can purchase tickets online and print their own, it'd be easier to convince Sexton that the tickets are real instead of being faked.

The HP product placement came about from a need to pad my word count.  It's blatant, but it got me out of re-using just the word "printer".  In a proper edit, the product placement would be redacted.  Few people refer to items by their full make and model.  At best, the printer would be called a LaserJet.  Yet, two scenes later, I completely miss the chance to use the colour of Rose's van.

Elena's gun is a Russian-made sniper rifle.  I have no idea on the legality of the weapon, but even if it's allowed in the US, the rifle didn't come from proper channels.  Short version, WalMart doesn't sell those.  The comment about the infra-red scope was meant to cement that the rifle wasn't the civilian Tigr.  I also took liberties with the capabilities of infra-red.  Glass really doesn't allow heat to pass through like it does in the scene.  However, I was well into the flow and wasn't concerned about accuracy and was accepting a bit of cinematics for the scene.

Inside, Amber is still providing resistance.  I did need someone to be a distraction inside, but Amber's action came from her instead of my needs.  Fortunately, I was able to take full advantage.  Of course, Sexton would check the tickets.  The problem with creating an intelligent villain is that he will know the various tricks available.  Smith, though . . ..  Smith was the weak point, as demonstrated earlier.  Easily provoked, already in a bad position, Amber poked him just enough.  The order of events, the blood, then the gunshot, is based on physics.  The bullet is travelling faster than sound, so it can get through Smith before the gunshot is heard.  Ideally, readers will know who shot.

Once the gunfight started, I dropped the use of timestamps.  First, I was just going with the action and stopping to figure out the time of the scenes would have pulled me out of the story.  Second, everything is chaotic.  No one had a chance to check the time.  Amber's escaping with Maria, Sexton and Rose are beginning their tete-a-tete, everything is coming together.

The scene in the basement apparently was foreshadowed in Chapter 4.  I really hadn't put that much thought into it at the time, but a friend (say hello to Mathtans) thought I did.  My reasoning with the gun in Rose's glove compartment was Rose had a dangerous job and would keep something handy in her car.  Rose is also wise enough to know that guns and kids don't mix.  However, that one scene may have foreshadowed Maria shooting Rollins.  Unintentional, but I'll take it.

While on guns, the Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight was chosen because of how it looked in a game supplement and for word count.  The old James Bond: 007 RPG from Victory Games had a wonderful supplement, The Q Manual.  While somewhat dated now, thanks to being about thirty years old, the book detailed all the weapons, cars, and gadgets that had appeared in any /007/ book or movie up to and including Octopussy.  The Centennial Airweight - see, two words - appeared in Dr. No as one of the options Bond had to replace his Beretta, along with the Taisho 14 and the Walther PPK*.  The choice turned out to be a decent one; being a revolver, each chamber had to be loaded instead of just sliding a magazine into place.  Given Maria's age, while she may have been given some firearms training because Rose kept some in the house, she might not have figured out how magazines are put into a pistol.  Another good reason is ramping up the tension.  Fumbling with individual rounds in trembling fingers?  The hammer hitting empty cylinders?  Drama!

This evening, the finale!
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Veronica Mars.
Coming soon, mixing writing with gaming.

* If you've seen a 007 movie, you'll know what his choice was.

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