Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tough Guys Don’t Dance

I’ve been getting some good comments and questions on recent installments of The Honeythief, and even though I really appreciate them, I’m generally loath to reply to them. My job as a writer, when receiving criticism, is to smile and nod, and not to explain. The work, ideally, should explain itself; once it’s off the Internet and out in the larger world, I can’t sit down with every single reader and tell hir what I meant by this passage or that.

But I’m in a workshopping sort of mood today, and since somebody cared enough to ask about the choices I’ve made, it seems only fair that I take the time to talk about the thinking behind those decisions.

First up: Violence!

Constant Reader Julian Hsu has occasionally opined that The Honeythief would benefit from being a little more action-packed (Or, as he so memorably put it, “FIGHT SCENE, FIGHT SCENE, FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!”). When Quiñones delivered a little aggro in this chapter, Julian was moved to comment:

Over too soon though! I wonder if Quiñones is maybe too powerful for his own good...
The fight was quick and overmatched, yes. Essentially, I decided to make Quiñones super-badass here because I figured it was necessary to establish that he’s the real deal. Think back: What have we actually seen him do up to this point? He’s talked himself up; he’s shot a guy in the back; he’s sat idly by as three hooligans kicked an old man to death. Likable though he may be—and I hope I did succeed in making him likable, despite the above—I judged him lacking in a certain, how shall we say, credibility. So the idea of the scene was, in part, to show that when the bluster falls away, all the relentless-killing-machine stuff is genuine.

(Also, there’s a subtext about the Regina’s arrogance and tendency to underestimate her enemies—but that’s a relatively minor thread.)

More later, probably. In the meantime, if you’ve got a question or an opinion, leave a comment or hit me up at jfeerick AT rochester DOT rr DOT com.

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