Elizabeth: Help Wanted

help_wantedSo, as we may have mentioned a time or two on the blog, this is a busy week for the Eight Ladies. The RWA conference proper kicks off on bright and early Thursday morning, but there are plenty of things to keep us busy beforehand.

As you read this, some of us are doing some sight-seeing, some are meeting with friends, and others are taking the opportunity to enjoy a Broadway show before information overload hits.   I’m taking advantage of a cozy little nook here in the hotel to harness the energy from all the writers descending on the city to do a little work on my manuscript.

That’s where the “help wanted” comes in.

My hero Michael is a fairly proper Regency aristocrat. As such, he has a tendency to visualize things that he can’t really say out loud. As the story progresses, one sign that he is growing/changing is the fact that he does far less visualizing of terrible things happening to the antagonist and far more visualizing of a happy ending with our heroine.

In the course of the story, Michael visualizes the antagonist being:

  • trampled by a runaway carriage
  • slowly swallowed by a peat bog
  • devoured by lions from the Royal Menagerie
  • tossed into the Thames
  • under attack by a colony of angry fire ants
  • toppling down a mine shaft
  • burning in the flames of Hell

The problem? I’m running out of things for him to visualize.

Ideas anyone?

13 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Help Wanted

  1. Oooh, sounds like a fun, Lemony Snicketty sort of game. A series of unfortunate imaginings!

    Well, staircases — those were always a hazard in the old days, it seems. (Do you remember that fabulous scene from a movie where the dead wife has come to reanimate her body, she falls down the stairs, and she keeps moving after her husband even though her body is obviously broken? I want to say Goldie Hawn . . . . Death Becomes Her?)

    Along the same lines, slippery rugs were also hazardous.

    Gout (although, not sure if a younger man will imagine this as a horror).

    Choking in a fire-related accident (a lot more fires back then). Very close to the flames of hell.

    Falling down the long-drop? Too gross?

    Horse disasters could form a motif. A horse stomps on his foot, a horse falls on him, a horse throws him, a horse actively tramples him, a cute little carriage runs over him, a huge mail coach with four horses and a fat driver and a little footman (tiger?) clinging to the back could run over him as a grand finale (or beginning salvo).

    Slipping on horse dung or other debris on the street and breaking his head open.

    Smothered by cats.

    Torn apart by his own hunting dogs.

    Shot by . . . enemies, traitors, random people on the street, thugs.

    Set upon by footpads and left bleeding in an alley.

    Gangrene.

    Pneumonia.

    Some sort of battlefield disease like cholera or dysentery.

    Smallpox. Or mystery fever. Or syphilis.

    (Wow, I didn’t know I had so much pent up in me!)

    • Michaeline, lots of great ideas there. Some would provide some nice foreshadowing for incidents that the antagonist actually instigates during the course of the story.

      Thanks 🙂

  2. What about slow roasting over an open fire on one of those giant spits they had in Regency kitchens?

    As Micki said, falling down the long-drop (ideally you’d hold him by his ankles for a while before letting go).

    Hunted like a fox, with Michael and his regimental friends hot on his trail?

    Fed to a giant venus fly-trap (surely some adventurous explorer would have discovered carnivorous plants by the time of the Regency)??

  3. Jilly-oh, I like the slow roasting idea. That would be great at the point of the story when Michael is feeling especially hostile.

  4. Drawn and quartered. Tarred and feathered. Killed in a duel. Beheaded by pirates. Walked a plank (pirates again). Impressed (right word?) by the Royal Navy. Transported to Australia.

  5. Poisoned by a mad seamstress. Poisoned by an angry prostitute. Thrown into debtor’s prison and shanked. Had a piano dropped on his head. (It’s scaring me how easily I’m thinking of perfectly dreadful things.) Gang raped in debtor’s prison. Entangled and drowned in a fisherman’s net on the wharf. Burned to death in a gas-leak explosion. Throat slit by Sweeney Todd type barber.

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