|Commentary, Chapters 26-32|
|Friday, 21 September 2007|
Lorraine at the Geller house was a late addition to Dark Friday. If it reads that way, that’s because it is. If it doesn’t, cool. I just felt like I needed another scare/threat scene.
My daughter has a Green Day poster, which I made her relocate behind her door so I didn’t have to see the band’s kooky expressions all the time.
I originally wrote this scene out by hand, with pen and paper. I can’t remember where I was or what the circumstances were. It just seemed like the thing to do at the time. Obviously I didn’t have my laptop handy.
This sentence comes word-for-word from a police report I saw that detailed my own flight from the police, after a bust at a high school party that involved activity of questionable legality. I think it’s probably the fastest I’ve ever run in my life. Yeah, I used to be pretty good at jumping fences. See where it got me? Now I plant my butt in a chair and type on a keyboard for a living.
I like this paragraph. One of my favorites from Lorraine’s POV.
I think I read somewhere that this was true of some people. So I guess the recommendation would be to either just don’t lie…or practice more.
(How do people who study things like this know that people whose necks quiver are just unpracticed? Maybe they’re not telling the truth about that, either. Maybe they are experienced, but are just perpetually nervous when it comes to untruth-telling.)
Kevin, of course, being an investigative journalist, knows all about the latest studies on people who tell lies. Like fiction writers, for instance.
When Kevin “hears” this line in his head, he actually hears the version from the movie The Naked Gun 2½ , not the version from The Wizard of Oz. (It’s the same song, just sung by large African-American gentleman using an exaggerated falsetto.)
Just in case anyone is curious what goes on inside the inspired mind of Kevin…
There was an infamous murder case in Ft. Collins, Colorado, (home of Dark Friday’s publisher, Capital Crime Press) that I based Eric’s room on, including these weird stuffed pants.
In late 2005, I was in a pretty serious car accident. A 92-year-old man pulled in front of me one morning as I was taking my kid to school. I did a face-plant into an airbag and my neck and back were pretty messed up for months. I wrote this scene in late January of 2006, while my neck was still in a brace the ER doctor had given me, and I was having nasty shooting pains jolt up and down my spine.
The fisherman is based on the antics of a guy who was once fishing near me at a place between Denver and Ft. Collins called the Barbour Ponds (off of I-25). He was a grown man, probably mid-to-late 30s, but, as he landed what I recall was an average-sized trout, you would have thought some eight-year-boy had just scored Willie Wonka’s final golden ticket or something. Everyone at the lake that day, ahem, overheard his catch.
I was feeling a lot of tingling sensations myself as I was writing this scene. I would compare the feeling to plugging a cord into an electrical outlet, stripping the other end to be just bare wire, then taping it to the middle of your back. That’s kinda what the pain I was having while I wrote this scene felt like. I decided to work it into the story. I think this scene is probably the only one in the book that owes something significant to how I was feeling physically as I wrote it.
In fact, nearly every fish that has ever escaped someone fishing near me at a pond or lake has “cheated” in order to do so. Where do the fishes pick up that skill?
Lorraine’s in a zone here. That first paragraph in reply to Bat Boy’s snarky comment is spot-on for the situation. It’s always a pleasure when a cast member delivers a line flawlessly. Her follow-up comment after Bat Boy’s cocksure grin goes away is pretty fun too.
Rix awesomely defuses a situation here and simultaneously dishes out some justice that is tempered with kindness. What a guy.
I mean “hell” the place here, not the curse word…if anyone cares to know.
Editorial rules of style that most publishers follow say not to capitalize the word “hell” even when it refers to the place. (“Hades,” however, is capitalized. Go figure.) This renders the use of the word hell when it refers to the fiery place essentially indistinguishable from the swear word hell. One of the many pointless limits of the English language — as imposed by stylebook rules. (Is there a suggestion box somewhere? “I need to get my hells straightened out, please.”)
For those following along at home, the events of this night are supposed to be the following night from the last chapter, which are the following night from the chapter before it.
Unofficially, it goes like this: Casey almost getting fried by lightning in Chapter 28 happens on Wednesday, October 24; Lorraine has the standoff with Geena’s brother on Thursday the 25th; and this re-creation chapter happens on Friday, October 26.
I’m beginning to drop clues that this is not a killer’s point of view, though the chapter started out purposely ambiguous.
This kind of sounds like something Gollum from the movies The Two Towers and Return of the King might say.
Hope has a “fan club” by the time the story is done.
A Ripper reference. One of the best, most-unnerving nonfiction crime books I’ve ever read: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper -- Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell. I read it late one cold winter night when my furnace was doing strange things and making weird noises from my crawl space. The photos of what he did to those women…and the drawings...yeeshka. Cornwell took a lot of heat for this one, but she’s simply an amazing writer who does her homework.
Kevin does something key here with the timeline re-enactment. Sometimes journalists “go places” and try things that the police never would, or simply don’t have time for. Sometimes there’s a payoff.
Kevin’s the man. What more can a guy say about Kevin?
Yeah, I liked Tiffany enough that I brought her back for one final scene. Her “heroism” actually occurs later, off-screen. I felt like she earned some more face-time from having to deal with Danny’s creepy behavior in Chapter 9.
Jeremiah’s a good guy, and this was the scene meant to end any ambiguity about that.
My initial editor for the book (a male) thought this line was awesome. I wasn’t sure what to think about that. I’ll leave the interpretation up to you.
This sign stands in the real Jasonville, when you enter town from the west. Without the paintball splatter, of course. Last time I checked, anyway.
Note that the toll lady doesn’t sound all that confident that this rule is actually enforced. Lots of people have been finding various ways into to Shakamak State Park and to Lake Lenape at times when they aren’t supposed to.
Casey’s not being totally candid with his mom here. Obviously, he’s not mentioning the Ashley scare. And he wants to ask Mark about the spear.
So why does this physical description of Tommie come this late in the book? Sometimes, with certain characters, I ask myself if they would really take the time to size up another character’s appearance. In the other scenes Tommie has been in, the perspectives have been either his own or his mom’s. He’s had no reason to describe himself (and I usually dislike it when characters do this, anyway). I could’ve conceivably used the mom. But Velma, of course, wouldn’t be noticing him for the first time. Rix, on the other hand, is finally meeting Tommie for the first time and has a vested interest in him.
I’m a bit of a “point-of-view purist” in this regard. I try not to obsess about detailed physical descriptions of characters early in a book. Some good writers differ in their approach, and that’s fine. Unless there is a rings-true-to-the-character reason and the scene’s POV actually supports it, I don’t go there.
Back in Terre Haute, Tiffany has spilled the beans. The worm is beginning to turn. (Or, as my daughter likes to say, “the worm has slightly rotated.”) Rix just doesn’t know it yet.
There is no personal reason for Tyre’s Tomb to have any particular significance to Kevin for a final showdown site. He realizes Cameron stabbed Chief Rix there, not Eric. (I entertained the thought of going back to the cornfield, but Kevin didn’t seem to want to go back.) Kevin picks Tyre’s Tomb because he just wants to mess with Eric a little and see if he can crack the conspiracy.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 31 May 2010 )|
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