16 Nov 2017

The Devil You Know - Commentary 17

Getting Jack his money, in The Devil You Know Chapter 17.

The Hôtel de Paris is another real location.  Monte Carlo isn't that big and shoehorning another luxury hotel in the city wasn't something I was up for at this point in writing.  I didn't even know Jack was going to bring Ione here when I started.  Pantsing, bringing excitement to writing!

My French got another work out this chapter.  I think most of the dialogue is just me exercising my own knowledge, without having to touch a translation site.  I did check an online menu locally to check how "club sandwich" translated.  Here's what was said, if you don't want to bother translating yourself:
"Oui.  C'est le club sandwich?" -> "Yes.  That's the club sandwich."
"Oui, madelle." -> "Yes, miss."  (Madelle is the equivalent to Ms, really, but translation also includes gist, not just word-for-word.)
"Sur le bureau, merci." -> "On the desk, thanks,"
"Non, non madelle.  Monsieur Jack a arrangé pour tout.  Merci." -> "No, no miss.  Mister Jack arranged for everything."
"Oui, ici chambre trois quartoirse.  Nous voulons deux tortes chocolates et deux Cokes, s'il vous plait." -> "Yes, this is room three fourteen. We want two chocolate tortes and two Cokes, please."
"Oui, parfait.  Merci!" -> "Yes, perfect.  Thanks!"
Ione is fluent in French, probably way more than I am.  However, her accent, which I didn't describe properly, is Montrealais, which tends to be nasal.  Oui, normally sounding like "oo-wee" with the first syllable cut short, comes out as "oo-way", and imagine that pronounced by Fran Drescher.  To get the full effect, I recommend the film Bon Cop, Bad Cop, which uses French Canadian accents for humour and as a clue to why the villain is on a killing spree.  Hint: I recognized the villain's French accent from being from Western Canada.  I had a French instructor in university from Saskatchewan one semester, than a Montrealais instructor the following semester.  They pointed out the differences in accents in class.

Mara is a very sensual woman and very comfortable with her body.  She may be the one character I've written who has no issues with her appearance across all the stories I've worked on.  Get undressed in the middle of a crowded room?  It's not a big deal for her, and, as seen in Chapter 12, she doesn't believe in underwear.  There is a reason and it will be revealed in Chapter 19.  Meanwhile, enjoy the idea that she has a cleavage of holding.

The idea of computer work, like hacking a government database or selling Dunning-Krugerrands sounds exciting.  Visually, it's just someone staring at a screen and possibly typing.  These days, hacking can be done at a push of a button provided that all the coding and compiling is already complete.  So, how did Ione cash in her BitCoins?  With a few clicks.  It's a key moment for her, demonstrating that she is top notch in her field.  Her field just doesn't make for exciting action.  And to earn my place on some NSA agent's watch list, I researched crypto-currency including then-current exchange rates and how to turn BitCoins into real money.  Later in The Devil You Know, I cement my place on the list.  Writing and research, perfect for raising suspicions in intel agents everywhere.

Friday, Gemma catches up, in the The Devil You Know Chapter 18.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, continuing the remakes MST3K featured movies, with Robot Holocaust.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, remaking another MST3K featured movie, Manhunt in Space.

1 comment:

  1. Getting this out of the way first: "Quartoirse"? If that's an attempt to have an accent, even google translate thinks that means portuguese. "Quatorze" is 14. Then there's another small problem in the chapter:
    Ione: "Have you eaten? I can call room service for you."
    Mara: "I ate."
    (A minute later)
    Ione: "I need dessert. Want anything?"
    Mara: "Room service? Sure!"
    (Less than half an hour later, Mara's "famished".)

    Jack is harping a bit on Ione about trusting him, but it would seem to me that she already trusts him - implicitly. She's cashing out her coinage simply on his say-so. Is it really just seed money? Why can't Jack get cash back from some transaction? Does Mara know if this is another thing he simply does? Doesn't matter, Jack needs the money.

    Then the Karen thing is kind of shunted aside again with her replies. I still feel like there's more there we don't know, because who seriously goes across the world with a bartender when someone is probably following after you and you're leading them right there? Also, if Karen's in finance, why not rope her in for some help in dealing with Jack's money? Also, the readers are in the know that someone's tapped into Karen's account and yet Ione has zero concerns about this possibility? (For that matter, why hasn't she looked up Jack or Mara?) Things really seem to be spinning their wheels, I'm not sure how Karen's part is moving the plot forwards.

    With all that said, we get an explanation for why Mara didn't want Ione speaking French back in the story. That was nice, and well done. (Also, seems like the Ione-Mara ship has sunk there, despite the earlier chance that they'd share a bed.) Meanwhile Jack's reaction to not getting his suite felt on point too, he's not used to hearing "no". Where does this dude go, anyway? Guess we'll find out eventually.