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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Digging for Details

The pages keep mounting in "The Janus Rule." This morning, I wrote one of those fun little scenes which features an informant and a clandestine meeting in a quirky place. I was on the brink of starting it yesterday but needed to decide on a locale. The perfect place came to me while waiting to pick up my husband from work. I chose the Chicago Civic Opera House, a massive old building on the western end of Chicago's downtown area. 

First I had to do a bit of research on the building to get the right names for parts of its structure, which the informant would use when describing where he wanted to meet with Jack. The informant's name came to me on the drive back home, but his physical description popped into my head as I was writing the segment. 

Another pause for research came when this character tells Jack the name of a hit man. They always come up with clever code names for themselves, at least in fiction, and I wanted something unique. I did a web search for a list of predators, and serendipity provide a list of apex predators, those that do not have any predator enemies of their own. This seemed like a treasure trove of ideas. The list of predators was long, and I looked through it for something unfamiliar, a name that sparked no image of an animal. I found it. The perentie, a monitor lizard found in Australia. Reading through a description on Wikipedia, a couple of traits sealed the deal: they avoid humans and disappear before they are seen, and they will feed on other lizards, including their own kind. A hit man who avoids humans and disappears before he is seen and will attack others of his kind--a natural choice! The perfect bad guy. 

This might seem like a lot of research for a very brief passage, but it only took minutes to do. Makes me think what authors used to go through before the age of the World Wide Web. 

Next up, developments in Angel's new relationship that will complicate her life and everything else. 

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