by Alison Janssen
Bidding is closed, and Paula swooped in at the last second with a winning big of $444. However, since Deb had it in the bag Eastern-time, I'm offering her a critique, too, if she's ok with waiting until February.
Thanks to all the bidders! This went so well, I may just have to do it again sometime. :)
Well, first things first: Bidding is still open for the full manuscript critique. Details here. The current high bid is $420.00, to a literary charity of the bidder's choice, and the auction closes at 5pm cst today.
Please don't bid in the comments of today's post, only bid in the comments of LAST WEEK'S post. I'll update the blog after 5 today to confirm the winning bid.
Secondly, I hope that today's NASA press conference is enough to catch the attention of passing Vulcans so we can have warp drive already. And transporters! My most longed-for Star Trek invention!
Third, a blog topic for today. Hm. How about bad guys and guns?
Just because he's a bad guy doesn't mean he gets a gun.*
Ok, yes, lots of bad guys in crime fiction know how to shoot guns. But does yours? Where did he buy the gun (or, if he didn't buy it, how did it end up in his hands)? How often does he use it? In real life, and on the shooting range? Where does he keep it? Does he know how to clean it? Does he always have it with him, or are there times when he's unarmed? What makes him decide to pick up the gun before leaving the house, or not?
As with every other aspect of your characters, a gun in a bad guy's hand needs to be grounded in the reality of the rest of that bad guy's life. You can't use a gun as shorthand for "this guy is bad."
I like to think of Sondheim's Assassins when I think of guns in fiction:
It takes a lot of men to make a gun,
Many men to make a gun:
Men in the mines
To dig the iron
Men in the mills
To forge the steel,
Men at machines
To turn the barrel,
Mold the trigger,
Shape the wheel-
It takes a lot of men to make a gun...
I can't find a good youtube video of the Gun Song, but this one is from the same show:
Make sure your characters earn the right to wield weapons.
*See also: Just because your protagonist is a man and your plot involves helping a woman in need doesn't mean they must sleep together.