Walk a Mile in Your Character’s Shoes

Mavis Walker struggled with the question of whether or not she would actually pull the trigger on a living target, but after today, not using the pistol would be a conscious choice. She realized with a twinge of regret that she’d blurred a line in her ethical thinking.

When I was writing the chapter for Mavis at the firing range, my husband bought me a Model 39 Smith & Wesson like the one I gave Mavis in “Beware the Sleeping Dog”. He packed me, the S&W, and a magazine of nine millimeter Luger cartridges into his Montero and drove me to the Game Lands for a lesson on handling and firing a gun. (Rule #1: Become your character.)(Rule #2: write authentically.)

That’s what I call spousal support! (Thank you, Wayne.) After the hands-on lesson, I wrote the chapter with a truer sense of realism and confidence in its accuracy. (Rule #3: consult an expert.)

Mavis  didn’t even like the idea of handling a gun. Actually, she was afraid of guns. And she had no interest in shifting her anti-gun philosophy at all. Or it least she hadn’t until Thursday evening. Finding a rogue GPS unit attached to her bumper was changing her ideas about a lot of things.

(Rule #4: write what you feel.) Her heart thudded against her ribs, and a door slammed on an old attitude. The slight kick was immediately followed by a faint puff of smoke. She imagined drawing the muzzle up to blow the smoke away. The spent brass tinkled on the gravel.

A Dick Frances quote came to mind, “Never attack anyone unless you have counted the cost of winning.”

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