The Scene That Chicken Hated, and a character change

I don't always read Crumbling Empire. But when I do, I drink Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friend.
I don’t always read Crumbling Empire. But when I do, I drink Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friend.

A friend of mine that I play those silly addictive FPS games with, we’ll call him “Chicken,” happens to be vet MP and LEO.

In chapter 3, the recently crashed space marines are investigated by the police.

And I’ve got this problem, in that I keep putting my protag in heavy combat armor (HCA). The HCA is important later, but for the nonce it’s a logistics thing. Are they in armor? If they’re in armor, they look more machine than human. And people react to the HCA different than unarmored humans. I suited the protagonist up for this scene, and then I needed to have her be seen and recognizable by the LEO. I have her put down her rifle and take off the armor, which apparently is a big fat negative in military culture anywhere and everywhere.

Plus, at some point, I decided that while the armor sort of envelopes you, it has to be held up in a rack if you want to do it standing up, or else you lay down. I guess you could have it stand up, it’s certainly got gyroscopes and could hold itself up like a Segway. I haven’t decided. Laying down to put on your armor makes sense, but standing up is much cooler.

It gets rewritten. I figured out how to not have her in armor -and- keep her rifle.  As I told Chicken, it’s better to find out these things privately in a pre-published critique than to hear about it publicly on an Amazon one-star review. Right?


I’ve been fixing the character of the navy shuttle pilot, a lieutenant. Before, he was reasonable, nice, if aware of his fault of being a navy guy in charge of marines and understanding that they wouldn’t like it.

Man, was he boring. What a dullard! So nice. No conflict, nothing. Affable, easy to get along with.

So I took him out back and shot him, and substituted Peter “Top Gun” Monroe in his place. You know that guy? The one who doesn’t understand why you don’t understand that his aircraft is the most important thing to ever save the galaxy? Forget the marines. What do they do, anyway, that can’t be done better with an aircraft full of bombs? Exactly. That guy.  You know him. Oh, sure, he’s a great pilot. The best you’ve ever met. He did save your lives. And now he’s going to keep bringing that up between the bouts of “aren’t I wonderful?” Yeah. I also need to add a psychopath, a controller, and the mean antisocial unfiltered bully who constantly makes everyone uncomfortable and hides behind “If you don’t like me, it’s your problem.”

Can you tell I’ve been reading the negative trait thesaurus?

Man, this thing is going to be 40 miles of bad road by the time I’m finished with sticking negative characters traits on people. Sometimes two, sometimes three!

Stay thirsty, my friends.

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