Sunday, August 5, 2007


I'm up late because I let myself get extremely dehydrated. This happens from time to time. For whatever reason, when it does happen, it affects my heart and breathing. Maybe it somehow irritates the same nerve as my dislocated-now-frozen rib. Dehydration is weird and does weird things that are counter-survival. Or maybe they're not. Maybe headache, nausea and diarhhea somehow work together to move a person more quickly from a dehydrated situation to a hydrated one by causing the person to want to overcompensate for the negative impacts these things have on overall body hydration.


It all started off with the fair.

No, I take that back.

It all started with PMS, where I become dehydrated and anemic as my body throws all kinds of resources into building a little house for someone who will never move in. Grr.

Then we went to the fair where I didn't drink enough water while walking around in pleasantly warm weather. This set off a case of the trots yesterday evening. Or maybe it was something I ate. Or both. Even if everything I ate there was perfectly good, it was also very salty and sugary, which require--you guessed it--lots of water to process.

Then today I worked, and at work I never get enough water to drink. There isn't enough break time, and we aren't allowed water at our checkstands, which I think is crazy but whatever.

Then I got home and watered the garden, but not me. And when Rory kindly offered to work on dinner while I sat and put my feet up, I poured myself a glass of wine. And then I poured myself another glass of wine.


But the good news is that although I'm not well enough to sleep, I can sit here with my glass of water and work on Masks and keep refilling the glass until I'm well enough to sleep.

This could take a while. Fortunately, I've got lots of plot ahead of me to work through.

Which reminds me.

In murder mystery and cop stuff there's talk about motive, opportunity, etc. Well, I learned a shade different paradigm, very closely related but with some deeper implications and it's going to influence my next scene.
An act of violence from a person requires:
Intent. This is different than talk. Lots of people talk a good game. I'm gonna kill you for saying that! Oh yeah? Whatcha looking at? That's not the same as really deciding to act. The intent to do violence shows in a person's eyes, in their voice, in their posture, in ways that sometimes are too subtle to have physical description but people tend to know when someone has suddenly become dangerous. Intent can be a sudden thing that develops because of a powerful trigger. It can also be a long process where a person comes, sometimes very reluctantly, to a final conclusion that this must be done. Whether it's fast or slow it can be the right decision or the wrong one, and opinions will vary as to whether it's justified. In a good story, there's lots of gray area and the development of intent won't be simple. If the person can't develop sufficient intent to harm, no harm will be done.
Means. The person has to have something going for them that allows them to do harm on another person. It might be money and connections. It might be skill with a weapon that's readily at hand, or sufficient physical prowess. It might be intelligence that allows them to work the environment into their favor even if they're outmatched physically (such as pushing someone over a cliff.) If someone is unable to physically harm another because they don't have the means, the violence isn't going to happen.
Opportunity. Even if someone has intent and means, if they're not in close enough proximity in time-space, violence isn't going to happen. Opportunity is as simple as having a chance, but also as complex as being in the right place at the right time under the right circumstances for that individual. If the attacker's means involves a knife and he has within his parameters of action an absolute need to get away clean, his opportunities will be far fewer than someone who merely needs to end up within one hundred yards and line of sight because he has a sniper rifle and knows where his intended victim lives. Which brings up another thing. To properly have opportunity you have to find your quarry. So it's simple, and yet not so simple. If the person can't find or develop a place and time for violence to happen, it will not happen.

And so I go into the next scene with someone putting together this complex web of intent (because it's not easy for them to decide to kill,) means (with what form of deadly force will have the best effect with minimal risk toward things important to protect,) and opportunity (which is harder to set up than you might think.)

If it was a cakewalk for anyone, it wouldn't be any fun. If it's too easy for one side or the other, then there wouldn't be a story. It would be a news blurb at best.

Time for more water, and time to write.


Ris said...

Good to know information, Kami! Thanks! I immediately started processing it with Gilad and Osias, because those two seem to be the characters I tend to process evil deeds with (go figure).

Hope you are feeling better now and got some sleep!

KamiZM said...

I am feeling better and I got some sleep last night. I have a headache from last night that has lingered until this morning, but it's not bad and I'm looking forward to a day off. Yay day off!

I have to give ultimate thanks to Rory for the paradigm, because he taught it to me (although I take the blame for any errors of misinterpretation and the writing slant is my brain doing it's usual goofiness.)