After incorporating feedback from some pre-readers, I've just finished a rewrite of Episode 15 of Thieves' Honor, the science fiction serial for Ray Gun Revival (check out their short stories -- good stuff!), and have been tinkering with the modern supernatural thriller (not as thrilling as I would like -- not yet!).
Back in May, I shared the notes on a funny bit of dialogue I was hoping to incorporate into this episode of TH; however, that scene will have to wait, due to a turn in the story. Still, I hope readers get a chuckle or two. I laughed out loud while writing the episode, but maybe that's because the material was funnier in my head than it is on paper. After all, I wake myself laughing, even when I can't recall what's so funny about the dream.
This episode has juvenile body-function humor (very mild stuff here):
"We got maybe five minutes."
Alerio could have been talking about the weather: "Then we either crack the code or run like the wind."
"If Corrigan was here, it'd be a foul wind."
"All the more reason to run."
And it has a reference to Kung Fu, a television series my brother, cousins, and I watched "back in the day". I leave that allusion for the readers to find.
As for the supernatural thriller that's not so thrilling, I realized that it needs a sharper focus. There's a lot of cool stuff that I've described, or that the characters possess, use, or fear, but there hasn't been one of those awesome, epic action scenes that showcase the characters' skills. So far, the tension has been contained, quiet, the kind that powers a psychological thriller. What I need is something big and scary, something that shows the power of both good and evil, and then I need to pull back from the fireworks, maintaining the tension by never letting the reader forget that just because it's quiet now doesn't mean there won't be something happening any second.
Kinda like the psychology behind a "haunted house" attraction in October: the brain knows the creatures and spooks are just regular people in disguise, but the fear comes from the dark, from the unexpected, from the possibility of danger.
Speaking of scary, the clock is warning me of the time -- I have to get ready for work in five hours -- but I'm just too tired to muster a girly scream of fright. Maybe that means I'll sleep like the dead.