28 Dec 2017

The Devil You Know - Commentary 21

Ione takes control, in The Devil You Know Chapter 21.

After Chapter 20, I found that I had written myself into a corner and couldn’t figure out how to pull all the different plots and subplots together.  I also had a rough idea of where the climax was going to happen but not how to get there.  I also wanted Ione to take control of what she was doing; so far, she'd been a passenger on the plot wagon and I do hate it when a main character doesn’t have input over what's going on.  What happened to break through the block was looking around for places for Ione to meet Gemma and found a lovely view of the Mediterranean and some other street view locations that got the writing going again.  I also found the Brasserie de Monaco, a brewery with its own bar, with photos and videos online.  All I needed, really, was to do some research, something I couldn't think of doing near the end of November 2013.

With an idea of where events will happen, the next part was figuring out what the events would be, the other part of the corner.  Working on serializing the story did help remind me what I had set up earlier, and having Karen and Ione back together helped with prompting Ione into thinking.  Sure, some of what comes up here was part of my own thought processes, but I had set up some details in the past that now pay off.  Ione's LARPing experience isn’t the best to build on, though.  It’s not like I could go slay a dragon or stop an Aslan ihatei fleet just because I play D&D and Traveller.  But it’s a start and works with the character.

Karen’s plan of getting wasted makes sense from her point of view.  Angels and demons roam the lands, the world’s about to end, and the only person who can stop a rogue angel is her best friend.  Getting drunk is the sanest thing possible; at least she’ll be too numb when the world ends to feel it.  Karen has another purpose in the scene.  With Mara gone, Ione needs someone she can confide in and Karen is the perfect person for that.  Karen is better; Ione knows her better.  Karen can act as both conscience and provocateur.

Gemma was a resource I wanted Ione to use somehow.  At the time of writing, I didn't know just how yet.  Despite all the time used to post the story, I still hadn't worked out what Gemma could do.  I just knew I would need her somehow.  However, Gemma has been established as a British secret agent, one who is tenacious and efficient, if somewhat brutal.  She’s the experience that Ione doesn't have, and Ione knows this.  Thus, the phone call and the meeting.  Ione also took charge during the call.  No pleasant chit-chat, no begging, no explanation, just telling Gemma when and where.  Ione's hoping that the spy will be curious or angry enough to show up.

I had to check the earlier chapters to see if Karen had ever ridden on a motorcycle with Ione before.  Anytime the two of them had gone anywhere together, Karen drove her car, leaving the motorcycle behind.  I had never mentioned if Karen had or hadn't.  I had to make a quick decision – Karen doesn't like being on a motorcycle as a passenger.  Not helping is the choice of ride; Ione's motorcycle back home is a cruiser, not a sport bike, and is a slower machine.

The meeting itself was Ione running her LARP.  She wasn't joking about the type, either; Ione’s seeing everything happening as more Jason Bourne than James Bond.  The author is seeing what’s happening as more Adderly meets urban fantasy, with Ione being more Mona than Adderly.  Ione is keeping the upper hand.  She knows she has something Gemma wants.  Ione doesn't know what she, herself, wants yet, other than that she hopes Gemma will keep being Gemma.  And what Ione has to offer is a big boon to Gemma’s career; a major drug and weapons deal plus the names and descriptions of the major players, sans Jack.

This chapter basically sets up some of the pieces for the ending.  I didn't want to just jump to the end, and even if I did, I needed to work out where everyone was.  This way, the audience can follow along instead of seeing people and items pop out of nowhere.  It’s more organic this way, even if it’s slower.

Friday, into the breach in The Devil You Know Chapter 22.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, holiday adaptations.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, a look forward to 2018.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely a good choice to have Ione start to take charge of her own destiny; one gets the impression that Jack was hoping she'd step up at some point. Also a good call to have it call back to the LARP, mentioned earlier. I hope things won't QUITE go as Ione expects, so that she can show off her improvisation skills again too.

    Karen is a bit more of a problem. While it makes sense that she'd want a drink, not only because of the supernatural but also over feeling duped by Ben, for me it makes her come across as a liability. She starts by thinking there's a plan, and gives Ione a basic idea (which was good, and it does make more sense for it to be her than Mara). Then she drinks, says she wants to come along, talks about getting more drunk, insists on coming even though she doesn't like the transportation, and then could easily be spotted by Gemma who could think everything's a setup. I mean, wouldn't waiting for Ben make more sense? Ione is stepping up, Karen's still getting pulled around by the plot.

    Anyway. Nice that you found inspiration in geography, pretty sure that wouldn't have worked for me, so you never know. things do feel like they're being set up, which I feel is better than fast forwarding.