December 8th, 2013

H Steve Back

Meme- #4 Post- Beneath the Trident Meta

[Bad username: ignemferam ] asked me for anything related to Beneath the Trident -- research problems, deleted/missing scenes, most difficult part to write, etc

Research Problems:

There is a lot of information available regarding SEAL training, but my biggest challenge was digesting all of the information and presenting it from Danny's POV since he was not an actual participant. I relied heavily on Danny's senses, scents and sounds, as well as his emotional reactions. It's cool to describe a gun battle, but without sensory detail and how it impact your POV character, it can fall flat.

One of the hardest areas of research was on how to dismantle an IED for obvious reasons. I had to dig deep and read articles from embedded reporters during ride alongs and other first hand sources. Then I researched the terms and concepts I didn't understand. Oddly enough, I learned a lot from Science and Technology journals. But, I wasn't about to re-write actual situations, so I took what I learned and re-created original scenarios.

Most of the research I do is preliminary in nature. If I know I'm going to write a story about the team on a submarine, I'll read about what life aboard a sub is like before I outline, because research can spark a lot of ideas and new directions.

Deleted/Missing Scenes:

The set-up of the story was of this set of joint exercises between the British SBS and U.S Navy SEALs. Originally, the backbone of the story was going to include these joint exercises, which would have included more detailed combat situations. However, I it would have required a set of OCs for Steve's team and a set of OC's for the SBS team and I felt with 6-8 original characters running around, I would not be able to flesh any of them enough for the reader have a sense who they were. And I needed at least three characters with distinctive personalities for Danny to interact with, so I scrapped the SBS Team and stuck with the original SEAL Team.

If it had been a novel, it would have been so cool to have both teams compete with each other!

Most Difficult Scenes to Write:

The night time HALO jump was very challenging. I don't know how many times I re-wrote the scene where Steve and two other SEALs link arms, walk backward, and kind of fall/jump out. Not only was it tricky trying to describe the jump, but I wanted Danny to be both terrified and invigorated by what he witnessed. It was like riding a contest between his ID and Ego. He thought the jump was crazy, but he was little turned on by that kind of adrenaline rush.

The whole story was a tap dance of Danny trying to understand SEAL mentality, disapproving some of it, but also secretly enjoying seeing Steve in his natural element.

Lastly, I have very difficult time writing sex scenes. They are not my forte. It takes me forever, but I do try to improve. I'm never going to shoehorn a sex scene in my story, if the emotion and tone is right, then I'll write one whenever it feels natural.