Monday, March 16, 2015

Writing Excuses Master Class - Q&A on Character

Let's try to finish up February's prompts, now that it's halfway through March.

The prompt:

Sketch out the events before and after your dead-drop scene from last week and three weeks ago.

I'm going to go back to Alison and Matthew (from Take three), starting with the before.

"I think it's time to get Alison out in the field."  The statement from Veronica seemed to come out of nowhere, and neither Alison nor Matthew was expecting it.  Luthor, working away on his multi-screened computer, swiveled around in his chair to face the rest of the group.

Alison blinked bemusedly, trying to focus on the older member of the squad after staring at pages of handwritten notes for hours.  "In the field?  I...didn't know there was a field to be in."  She turned to Matthew, whom she had presumed to be the leader of their motley crew.  "Why didn't anyone say there was a field?"

Veronica stood up and began riffling through a shelf on the wall near the door.  Matthew ignored Alison's question and addressed Veronica instead.  "Do you think she's ready?  She's only been with us for a few weeks now...I'd prefer it if she got a better handle on what we do, before we send her on a mission."

Luthor snorted, turning back to his screens.  "That didn't seem to stop you guys from sending me out less than a month after I joined you," he grumbled.  "I'm still not completely sure what the hell I ran into, just that it was something I needed to run the hell away from."

"I'm not talking about anything that drastic," Veronica called over her shoulder.  "Aha!  Here it is."  She pulled a small wooden block out of a metal box on the shelf, and held it up triumphantly.  "You were saying yourself that we needed to get more intel.  Well, this will do it.  We've got our source at the market - we'll just have Alison plant it, and bingo.  Problem solved."  She beamed expectantly.

Matthew still didn't look completely convinced, but Alison had perked up at the word "market."  "So you just need me to plant that thing somewhere in the market?  I can do that.  Just say where."  She started cataloging which stalls would probably be set up today, and almost missed Matthew's sour look and abrupt gesture.  He grabbed the block from Veronica, and carefully wrapped it in one of his ubiquitous handkerchiefs.  "I'm going with her," he said in a tone that brooked no argument.  "Get up - we might as well get this over with."

After:

Alison was still trying to decide whether to get the matching earrings to go with the necklace when Matthew strolled up behind her.  "You know, an ideal member of our team wouldn't be standing around shopping only feet away from a dead-drop," he said softly, a note of amusement in his voice.

"Yes, well, an ideal member wouldn't try to walk away without one of these gorgeous amethysts, either," Alison retorted, not looking at him.  "I do believe I need the earrings, too," she said to the woman behind the stall, who cheerfully began writing up a sales slip.  Once Alison handed over her credit card, she finally turned to face Matthew.  "Besides, it's not like you're going to tell me what exactly I just did until we get back the car, right?  So let a woman shop in peace."  She sniffed, then turned back to the saleswoman to take back her card and the bag with her jewelry.

Matthew rolled his eyes, but before he could respond, he began to hear shouts coming from the direction of the Spoonman stall.  Taking Alison's arm none too gently, he steered her away from the jewelry stall and began hustling her to the parking lot.  Alison began to protest, but Matthew wasn't having it.  "Less talking, more leaving," he muttered grimly, doing his best not to break into a run while still getting out of the line of sight of the stall as quickly as possible.  Alison, for once, took him seriously, and kept a firm grip on her bag of jewelry as she speed-walked next to him.