7/14/04: Gunfight!

Word count: 81475 | Since last entry: 783 | This month: 2827 I just killed two red-shirts and a major secondary character (well, he’s not dead yet, but he’s not at all a well cat) in a gunfight — the first such action in this book. I hope I didn’t make any major firearms or wound errors, but one of my critiquers is a Vietnam vet, so if I got anything wrong I’m sure I’ll hear about it. The shooting itself was over in a couple of seconds realtime; tonight’s 783 words (a bit less than an hour and a half of writing) cover at most three minutes of the fight and its immediate aftermath. Here’s a funny thing. I’m a pacifist, solidly anti-handgun, and before starting this novel I had never even fired one. But my Writers of the Future prizewinning story was about a commando and a terrorist, and featured several gunfights. One of the WotF staffers was surprised when he met me — after reading my story he thought I’d be some kind of big, burly military guy (I’m five-foot-five, 140 pounds). So, as unconfident as I am, I know I can write a convincing gunfight, especially with friends to check my technical details. Jason and Sienna are now almost out of the U.N. They’ll be bursting onto a New York sidewalk — bloody and carrying guns — in a few dozen words. They don’t have a car. How the heck am I going to get them out of this? (Okay, I have some ideas…)

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