Kay: Quiz for Y’all—Who Gets Run Over?

from DadsRoundTable.com

I’ve been buzzing along on the WIP, everything going pretty well, and then today, I ran into a conundrum. I could tell I was stuck, because I wrote 1,000 words today, and I knew the instant I was done that it sucked. I’ve thought about this problem all day, and I can’t figure it out. Help, please!

In this scene, my antagonist, Vlad, the Russian assassin, has stolen a car. He’s enraged because Phoebe, my heroine, has just broken into his hotel room and stolen back the data. He must retaliate.

Vlad knows where the safe house is, so he’s off to hurt someone, anyone (that’s the “blind with rage” thing going on). I want him to run over one of my characters. Who? That’s my question. (Don’t worry, nobody dies. I think nobody will even be hurt. Maybe a little.)

There’s a lot of people living in the safe house. Here are your options:

Phoebe, my heroine. She’s the logical choice, except that Vlad has already tasered her. So getting run over seems like overkill.

Chase, my hero. He’d be a good choice because he’s athletic, so it makes sense that he could avoid the worst. He’s already pursued Vlad on foot once, so…maybe also overkill.

Yuri, the Russian defector whom the assassin came to kill in the first place. In a misunderstanding at the beginning of the story, Chase hits Yuri with a baseball bat and breaks his arm, so now Yuri is sporting a bright pink cast. I’d like to say running him over is overkill, but somehow it doesn’t feel like it is.

Kristin, Phoebe’s broken-hearted best friend. But she’s already so sad!

Nick, the man who broke her heart. I want to say, kill the jerk, but he seems too obvious a choice.

Sanjay, friend of Phoebe and Chase, taxicab driver by profession, now taking classes in protection driving for celebrities and politicians.

Jamal, classmate of Sanjay, owns an armored vehicle (very handy!).

Brenda, Phoebe’s mother, who’s going crazy with wedding plans.

Claire, Chase’s mother, who likes big weddings but thinks Brenda is a bit nuts.

Trouble, the dog.

So, who gets the tire tracks on their back?

With this story, I’m going for a vibe of the Marx Brothers jamming everything into the ship’s stateroom, if you’ve ever seen that movie, so lunacy is welcome, even required. Thanks in advance for all ideas!

14 thoughts on “Kay: Quiz for Y’all—Who Gets Run Over?

  1. My instinctive first thought was Kristin. She’s already sad – things aren’t going well for her already, so this is just One More Thing.

    • I’ll think about Kristin. She plays a bigger part in the other books, and I’ve been feeling that I’m leaving her behind in this one. This might be a way to bring her to the fore. Thanks, Elizabeth!

  2. The idea of the heroine aquiring more and more damage (none of it permanent) has a certain comic appeal.

    Perhaps the gas stove could singe her eyebrows?

    Then again, handing out the damage to Chase as well leads to a rather comic image at the altar, with various slings, tape, bandages, plaster casts, crutches and so on making dressing for the wedding rather difficult (thus thwarting some of Brenda’s plans).

    • It’s funny you mention the singed eyebrows, because my idea so far for the final round of damages is that Vlad throws an explosive device of some type through the garage door, and it takes out part of the kitchen, which needs rewriting and new plumbing anyway. But yeah, an overly bandaged Chase with a bride with no eyebrows and Yuri in a pink cast has a rich appeal. Thank you, Anne!

  3. I love Anne’s idea, too! I’m thinking you could even take it further.

    How about: nobody gets run over, but lots of people get injured? Vlad sees Phoebe, sees red, and floors it…BUT…Trouble gets in the way or jumps into Phoebe’s arms, and while Vlad murders people for a living, he would never hurt a dog. So he swerves to avoid Trouble and crashes through a wall of the house. Phoebe dives for cover and gets cut and scraped in the process. Chase cuts himself on the car wreckage trying to pull Vlad out and beat him senseless. Brenda gets a paper cut trying to save the gilded, engraved invitations. Claire’s allergic to brick dust. Or whatever. So just about everyone at the wedding has some kind of cut or scrape, and Brenda has to fold that into her wedding theme (pink bandages for everyone).

    • Ha! What a fun idea, Jilly! And nobody gets to feel left out because they were the only person Vlad didn’t hurt. 🙂 I also love the notion that Vlad has no trouble killing people, but wouldn’t hurt a dog. With everyone’s strong input, I’m feeling like Elizabeth could use the key words for a Friday sprint, and then I wouldn’t have to write the scene at all! I have to rethink my ending if I go this way, because I’d been planning to have the wedding back in Las Vegas, where the wedding chapel owners from book one would perform the ceremony. But maybe Chase could bring them to D.C., or maybe their time has been served. In any event, that’s for later. Thanks for the fun idea!

  4. Kristin… I had this weird image of him hitting her, not hard, more like he knocks her into something and down (into a wedding cake or something would be choice).. and one of them kinda instantly falls for the other one… love at first sight thing…. because it seemed so weird and so wrong. Then when I saw Marx brother thing and cinched it.

      • I have seen that movie, but I watched the clip again and had a good laugh. The writers really got it right—the viewer is convinced that all the many cars and the bicycle cart thing will take out the glass guys, but it’s the guy with the banner who’s been stationary there all along who does the damage. Clever! Thank you for that. And this time around I had a special awestruck moment for the stunt drivers (and the stunt banner guy) in that scene. They really earned their money that day. Anyway, it’s a good technique to remember.

        So yes, Vlad could knock Phoebe—or maybe Brenda—into the wedding cake. Good thought! Thanks.

    • And here’s another case of great minds thinking alike—Vlad has been eating his meals at the diner down the street. I’ve been toying with the idea of having him fall for the waitress, but it seems like a lot to shoehorn in to the last part of the book. But to fall for a character who’s already there, just waiting to move on from Nick—that would be a hoot. Thanks, Penny!

  5. (-: Love all the ideas here! Based on my feels from your descriptions, I’d say Kristin (and she falls in love with a doctor. A doctor! Is there a doctor on the street to heal her broken heart?), or Yuri, because some people are just unlucky.

    Did you see that footage of the cop who got flung into the air by a speeding car? It was on Good Morning America, and they couched it in the most delicate terms — he’s doing perfectly OK, showed a clip of the son saying it was a miracle he wasn’t killed, he’s really doing fine now folks, so let’s just watch that footage one more time! My goodness, breakfast TV has changed a lot since my high school days. But anyway, the guy really flew through the air, and apparently sustained no damage. So . . . it could happen. Poor Kristin gets hit, and falls on top of the most annoying member of the wedding party, and then maybe they both fall into the cake?

    For inspiration, have you ever watched the Pita-Gora-Switch (Pythagorean Switch) shorts? They are Rube Goldbergian devices of cleverness — a little ball makes its way through office supplies stacked as dominos, or drops down a ramp of files, and then finally makes it to the goal where it turns on a little flag with the TV show’s name. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0B1hgP1tlE (Not the best example, but still representative of the genre.)

    • That’s a delightful film! And the music that goes with it fits perfectly. I’ve always liked Rube Goldberg—what are they? inventions?—and it’s fun to think about applying some of that to this scene. And flying through the air and escaping unharmed! Who knew that could happen? Thanks, Michaeline!

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