On Writing

How Men Die

Violence is one of the lenses we use to measure the quality of a man.

It’s easy for a person to be calm and measured if nothing’s going on.  But if you add in something spectacular, like the sun going nova, or a crazy aiming a plasma rifle at your head, or the Earth shaking from within because of the creatures living at the core – well, shit gets real.  I’m particularly fond of how Tolkein measures Boromir vs. Faramir, and I’d love to have the skill and elegance to pull something like that off.

The trick with these kinds of scenarios is keeping them real.  I’m having more trouble with action scenes in Upgrade because they’re more, uh, creative.  The book is set in the future, so it’s not just dudes with guns.  It’s dudes with cybernetics, or uplinks to the net trying to jack your code and disrupt your heartbeat before you can speak.  It’s gang affiliates with powerful friends.  It’s humans who’ve opted for total enhancement, leaving the meat behind on a skin doctor’s table in Little Tokyo.

I swear, I’ve re-written the start of this scene about four times now, and it’s still not working.  I busted out my crayons again this morning, and this is kind of what the model is looking like now.  I have more hope now – I’ve removed some of the extraneous “dude busts through a wall” stuff, because I don’t think that’s credible, unless you’re completely unhinged (…and then, why havesn’t someone put you into the ground already?).  I’m going to try and spend some time on this over the next few days to see what I can come up with.

There’s a couple of things I still don’t understand here.

  1. How is it that, despite altering the orientation of these photos, they’re still freakin’ lopsided in thumbnail but work fine in carosel?
  2. What is Mason going to do at the end?
  3. How is Carter going to react from a control room miles away?

It’s worth noting that I don’t work for Intergen, despite having used one of their pads for this.  My desk seems to be covered in other people’s branding, and it was easier.

See you tomorrow.

One thought on “How Men Die

Comments are closed.