27 Jul 2017

The Devil You Know - Commentary 1

Ione's mission goes up in flames, in The Devil You Know Chapter 1.

Welcome to the new story!  I wrote the bulk of The Devil You Know during NaNo 2013.  I had a rough idea of where I wanted to go with the story and did some early research, though I still had to do some quick searches later in the plot.  I'd classify TDYK as Urban Fantasy, crossed with Spy Thriller, though I won't say why right now.  I hope the two genres mesh well and that elements from both come through.

The most noticeable feature is the font change.  I switched to a serif-based font for one reason, my lead character's name.  When I wrote TDYK, I used LibreOffice, where I have it default to Times New Roman.  My blog, though, is in Arial, a sans-serif font.  Thus, when Ione's name appears, it looks like lone.  Or, to show the difference, when Ione's name appears, it looks like lone.  Something that I will have to remember for the future, though I now use Wordpad defaulting to Arial when I write, more for the speed of loading than anything else.

Chapter 1 also got something done that wouldn't normally be done.  In January 2014, Ottawa's Municipal Liaiasons held a how-to-edit session for the WriMos in the region.  I couldn't make it, but I offered TDYK to be a sample.  Thanks to Angela S. Stone, I have a first chapter that looks far better than it did originally.  First chapters are always the roughest; I'm trying to get the ideas out in a way that looks reasonable and sets me up for the rest of the story, but the rhythm isn't quite there.  This time out, a much better presentation.

I wanted to start the story with a bang, so I blew up a warehouse.  With Ione outside, just how the explosion happened is left a mystery, as is the identity of the person who caused it and how he managed to survive being in the inferno.  That should be the hook, though other mysteries will come up.

TDYK had a rough plan, as mentioned.  Two main characters, including Ione, with supporting characters as needed.  However, what I hadn't expected was several of those supporting roles to expand.  I'll point them out along the way.  Every character has a story arc, some that get wrapped up, others that remain unravelled, and that was part of why the roles got expanded.  It helped having a loose plan instead of s tight outline.  Gave me more room to write as characters lingered.


  1. I remember this one, though darned if I can remember when you sent it to me, and it was incomplete at the time (only up to the airplane scenes). Good luck in pulling it through to a finish! I'm impressed at how you gave it in as a sample, that's some interesting history. As to fonts, good call on the shift for posting it... how did you decide on the name?

    1. Maybe during NaNo while writing? The airplane scenes introduced a character that was meant to be temporary. Thanks - I think I know why I stalled out near the end, too. Angela was looking for something to demo with, so I sent it to her after checking with her. She did a great job, too. I hadn't even thought of the font when I started; LibreOffice defaults to a serif-based font, so it never occurred to me that the name might have problems elsewhere. I keep a file of names for when I need one, and went through it until Ione pointed out the one she wanted.