Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Dresden Files: An Experiment

As I mentioned previously, I'm trying something new with my writing. My gaming group has started playing the Dresden Files RPG and I'm writing my character's role in first-person narrative format. I typically write in some kind of third-person style, and while I enjoy reading first-person stories, I'm not generally comfortable writing them. I'm hoping to polish this stuff up a bit over time. It has more narrative summary, for example, than I usually write, but at this point I'm just trying to get everything down on paper (screen) before I forget the little in-between bits, interactions between characters, mostly, that I didn't put into my notes.

Here's an excerpt, as promised, from our first gaming session. My character arrived at an address he'd been given and promptly found a Philly cop under attack by some knights in shining armour...

"This guy can't keep himself outta trouble," I muttered, snapping off a few quick shots. I swore as my bullets ricocheted off the armour and off into the night. Those aren't costumes, I thought, they're real metal suits of armour! Some people will go to any lengths to impress their weird friends at Halloween.

By this time there was a small crowd approaching the cop and the knights. Most people had backed off -- run screaming, most of 'em -- but three or four people were cautiously making their way over. One woman, carrying a sword, oddly enough, was holding it out crosswise in front of her like a barrier. There was a knight standing in front of her, as if in conversation with her. I ignored them and kept firing.

The cop suddenly started to lose his balance -- he staggered and toppled as if there were an earthquake nearby. The knight nearest to him took full advantage of his disorientation and ran him through.

"Well, shit," I thought, nevertheless firing off another few rounds. "He's had it."

To my amazement, the huge cop stayed on his feet. He'd clearly been eviscerated; the sword had gone clean through his abdomen and his internals were not so internal any more. This blow had got his attention at last, though he didn't release the pistol, made to look like a child's toy in his meaty paw.

I did stare for a moment. I've seen a lot of things in my time – battlefield experience covers a lot of turf – but this was new. To see a man – a mountain of a man but still a man – run through with a sword and not crumple into a heap was not only novel but damn near impossible, to my way of thinking. Instinct guided my hand, and though my mind was reeling with sick fascination over the cop's grisly wound, my trigger finger remembered to pull and my arms made the slightest adjustment, allowing the slug to find its way between the knight's helmet and shoulder armour and bury itself in his neck. A moment later the cop punched him and he collapsed to the pavement.


  1. My only comment on it would be, I'd be asking what the plate armour is made from, because if made from the standard steel of a medieval knight, it would have to be pretty heavy/thick to stop a bullet from a modern, cop-grade sidearm. Of course, since it's the Dresden-verse, I'm guessing this is no ordinary medieval-type knight. ;)

  2. You know those Philly cops... stubborn as ogres. I hope you keep posting these!