Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Coven: Upping the Ante

One of the fun things about writing Coven was an idea that Hans Schantz suggested. He probably doesn't even recognize his original idea, given what I'd done to it. 

The idea? Take away Tommy's charisms.

Granted, by this point in the series, I'd given him two other major weapons that increased his chances of survival. Some people think that there's no way I can threaten Tommy anymore.

Challenge accepted. Time to bring out a bigger hammer.

Yeah, I know. How can I bring out a bigger hammer after the end of #6, Deus Vult?

What? You didn't think Tommy would be allowed to KEEP that particular weapon, did you?

Not to mention, by the end of DV, Tommy is well and truly battered, beaten, and knocked around. Every tool in his arsenal had been pushed to the limit, drained, damaged, and broken.

For Coven, I was going to bring him back home. Then I was going to hurt him.

For those who haven't read my previous novels, I get interesting results when I hurt my characters. Usually, more stuff blows up.

Let's knock around his partner. Yeah. Alex has been a little TOO lucky. In every novel, Tommy has thrown himself on every threat that could have killed Alex -- and not because Tommy thinks he's going to survive, but he thinks he has a better chance of surviving than his older partner.

And, as you can see in the description of the book, we're going to target Tommy's children. Because that will not create ANY problems for the poor dumb SOB who thinks that's a good idea.

See, there are always multiple ways to juggle threats. Previous novels have mostly used one massive threats, compiled of multiple layers and parts.

Another option is simply taking "smaller" threats and throwing them at our hero, and where he's weakest. I get to explore more sides to our hero, and develop the people around him better.

Granted, given everything that his family has been through, calling them "the weak spot" might be misleading.

And of course, the ultimate threat is ... well, it's a little bit of Jim Butcher, and a little bit of J. Michael Straczynski.

[Yes, I know that JMS has gone a little bit off the rails, letting politics into his brain like a poison. Apparently, he broke up with his wife ("By any means necessary" script writer Kathryn Drennen) and shacked up with Patricia Tallman. Tallman is an ultra-lefty. Apparently, banging a redhead with that level of dementia turns politics into an STD. This doesn't mean his previous writing advice sucks]

From Butcher, I stole the idea that, well, when in doubt, just increase the threat level.

From JMS, I took his Amazing Spider Man concept that supervillains are mirrors of our hero. Black mirrors, false mirrors. Want to be mirrors. That sort of thing. (Red Skull is a false patriot, caring nothing for country, but only himself. Spider-Man's enemies were largely other animal themes)

So, what do I do to Tommy? Who's his Moriarty? Well, that was book 6's villain. So we need a Sebastian Moran-- someone who can match Tommy in the street.

We needed another true believer.

Heh heh heh

Buy it on Amazon.

Or buy from the Publisher

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