An arrow and some powder

My plan is to go through the story, pointing out plot elements that may have been forgotten or don't seem quite right to me. I'm not just going to point them out, though. I will suggest ways to fix them. Today I am going to discuss one of each.

First, a plot element that we may have forgotten about: Katrina's wound. In chapter 41, Katrina: Running, Katrina is shot with an arrow. Nellie pulls it out, and the wound is cleaned. Except for a mild reference when Jon catches up with her, the wound has not been mentioned since. By the way, I am going to add a little to the paragraph when Jon "notices" the wound.

There are two things that can be done to make this arrow wound a little more realistic. First, if a small description of the cleaning process is used, it may be a little more believeable that the wound heals quickly. Perhaps even a local plant was used to keep infection away.

Second, I think the wound needs to bother Katrina for a little while longer. So, occasionally, mention the discomfort when Katrina has to move, such as when she and Nellie are going through the Sheriff's office. After a while, you can mention that the wound hardly hurts anymore. IOW, show a gradual healing process.

Okay, on to the other item ... the plot element that didn't sit quite right with me. It's when Alexandra overhears about the exposive powder. (Chapter 50) Let me repost exactly the part that I think needs to change:

'It's not quite that simple my lord.  There needs to be some sort of spark to ignite it and even then we're not sure how violent the reaction might be.  We don't want to blow up our own troops.'

'Of course not you stupid oaf!'  I froze as their footsteps stopped right in front of the tapestry I was hiding behind.  'Look,' his voice was more threatening now, 'do your stupid tests if you must, but we need that powder.  The country is in a bad way.'

I think there is too much information here. Alexandra learns too much, and that doesn't match exactly with what we have discussed and where the story goes from here. However, how the conversation is layed out makes sense.

Perhaps the first man could go into a whisper when he is talking about the particulars, and Alexandra only picks up a word or two (and I wouldn't have her pick up the words "spark" or "blow up"). Also, I wouldn't use the word powder in the second paragraph. I would call it something more generic, such as "weapon."

Let them do some more spying before they learn so much. And, if we go with the idea that when the powder goes off for the first time the army is caught off guard, keep the leaked information very simple.

If any of you disagree with the changes I have proposed, please let me know. I think we need to get into the habit of questioning one another because this won't be the last time I mention a quirk in the story. There will probably be several of them. Hopefully in the end, though, the story will prosper because of our diligence.

(By the way, I haven't started reading from the beginning, so I am sure there are tons of stuff there that wasn't quite right or that we have forgotten about.)

The End

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