I'm sure you've all heard the old adage about guns in fiction: if one presents itself in a scene, it must go off or else it risks being a plot device, a gimmick. Well, in my second novel, the gun does go off and terrible things happen and some wonderful things, too, by the end. Still, I have never encountered a gun in my work and was suprised by this one, a pistol, appearing so blithely in the corner of my scene.
"Get out of here at once," I said. "I am not writing a mystery or a thriller; this is literary fiction!"
So, the great challenge began. How do I take an extraordinary plot--I am usually not a huge, loud plotter--and give the sentences their much needed art, their air, their life? Fear not the gun, that's how.
Hold me in your hands, the WWI pistol urged. Feel my cold metal trigger, my worn rosewood handle, my ability (your ability) to change lives.