The oblique approach

Once I’ve decided on the second fight scene, I’ve consulted with my subject matter expert, and I know where and why and have the bare bones for how… why does it take three more scenes before the first bullet flies?

Oh, right, because plot. And characters, needing to get from point A to point B. And setting up all the people and pieces to be in the right configuration when the action kicks off.

And sometimes, having figured out that X needs to be at Q in time for IIb, I am so glad I can go back a couple chapters, and casually layer in X starting to head for Q in time for them to arrive before IIa, much less IIb.

Or in some cases, putting in the setup for the joke that just came to mind when writing. Which is a fun joke… and I went back and made sure the setup was there because after I wrote it, I realized that despite the amusement, it’s actually assisting a critical plot element.

Because sometimes, the way to make sure the good guys get there first isn’t just making sure they know the local roads and shortcuts… It’s getting the bad guys stuck behind a combine as it’s moving from one field to another.

Because sometimes you have to go to war with what you have, even if it’s a pair of fencing pliers. You never know when they’ll come in handy…

11 comments

  1. Fencing pliers? Any characters in your books would never be caught dead without a multitool, several knives, and the training to create improvised weapons out of common household objects. And that only if forced to disarm in a gun free zone.

    1. I’d hate to have to use my multitools where fencing pliers are called for. The latter are even good for working with ground wires that sneer at ordinary electrical hand tools.

    2. Like lopping shears. You don’t need them often, but boy-oh-boy, when you need loppers, nothing else will do the job so well or so safely.

  2. That’s been one of my big headaches in researching and outlining my WIP, trying to figure out where a certain navy’s ships were in our timeline and how to plausibly get them to where I need them to be to fit the plot. Slow ships and big oceans call for careful planning.

    1. Look up fencing pliers. Part hammer, part pick. Also part heavy duty wire cutter, and the best staple puller I’ve ever used. I haven’t needed one in years because I don’t have barbed wire fences to maintain anymore. I still want to have one in my truck just because it’s an awesomely handy tool.

  3. I might be able to help, depending on the period that you’ve set your WIP in. Contact me at sturm vogel 66 (all one word) at gm_ail.usual

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