Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – Trigger by Doug Hawley

Leila has been spending so much time down in the dungeons of LS Towers we are worried that she might be sleeping down there. Not to worry, we’ll make sure she has plenty to eat and drink. This week she has nominated a piece by an old friend of the site – this is what she said:

Like any good narcissistic sociopath, I believe that the current global disease was hatched by God with me in mind. The idea behind it all is for God to finally discover whether I am serious about writing a book, or if that is so much noise. You see, when God and I were on speaking terms, I told Him that I couldn’t possibly write a book due to a lack of time. His reaction to that lame excuse was the cause for the catastrophe. I’d say sorry, but I can’t possibly spare any sorrow for I need it all for myself.

The preceding paragraph rather reflects the attitude presented by Mr. Hawley’s MC in his fun story Trigger. Typically, unlikeable protagonists are dangerous for authors to trade in, but Mr. H did such an effective job on this story, you forgive the star of the show for his many many many many character flaws.

Q: How in Hell’s name did you think up such a person?

Q: I like the timing of the sentences; it has its own cadence and supports the matter-of-fact attitude of the MC. He was as plain as Joe Friday (Oh, I’ve seen Dragnet on MeTV). Did you deliberately present him this way, or is it just your style? (I ask because this one has a tempo all its own compared to your other LS pieces.)

Leila Allison

Doug’s Responses:

Q: How in Hell’s name did you think up such a person?

Q1 – A comment in FOTW (Trigger has been published three places) indicated that I had created someone despicable, so maybe he is memorable.  That wasn’t my intent.  By his testimony, the narrator is simply a product of his (fictional) time and place who ran into some bad luck.  More particularly, as I reconstruct my inspiration, I see him resembling a teenager that my father and I encountered in the wilds of Oregon more than sixty years ago.  He was wandering down the dirt road hunting deer.  Just a little older than me, he impressed city me as totally in control and in tune with his rural environment.  Another bit of his genesis is the former ubiquity of the timber industry in Oregon with lots of logging and mills.  He was needed to provide a lead for my decision to write my first crime story.  Parenthetically, at this point I’ve (according to me) written everything that needs to be written, but I keep going.  Minor detail – like his creator, he is a student of Perry Mason.

Q: I like the timing of the sentences; it has its own cadence and supports the matter-of-fact attitude of the MC. He was as plain as Joe Friday (Oh, I’ve seen Dragnet on MeTV). Did you deliberately present him this way, or is it just your style? (I ask because this one has a tempo all its own compared to your other LS pieces.)

Q2 – I had no idea that I have a “cadence”.  To keep my amateur standing I’m required to continue to be unpaid and know nothing about writing.  Digression – occasionally, people tell me what I’m doing, but I have no idea.  For me characters in a story are there to deliver the plot, much like Alfred Hitchcock considered actors.  I don’t give anything but the plot much thought; so perhaps the plot drove the narrator and he in turn made the cadence.  Somewhere along the line the character became a “just the facts” guy, I don’t know why.  That or the subject matter might explain the cadence.  “Meds”, another crime story might be similar in cadence.

Thanks for choosing Trigger and the challenging questions which I have inadequately answered.

***

Trigger

4 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Trigger by Doug Hawley”

  1. Thank you, Mr. Hawley for your enlightening replies. Although you art modest, your voice comes through so much better than those of over-educated hacks who know all the geeky grammar terms and yet provoke a chorus of yawns.
    I recommend that everyone have a look at Trigger. (Side note: I have never spelled “recommend” correctly on the first try. For whatever reason I give it a double C and a lone M. That’s what a hundred-thousand in student loans got me.)
    LA

    Like

    1. You have my sympathy. Calculators, spell check and vavigators have cost me my ability to (in order originally referenced)

      Calculate
      Spell
      Find places

      When technology goes, we will wander around grunting and dragging our nuckles (that last was a joke, I think).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Leila,
    You continue to ask probing interesting questions that give us a wee peek into the writers process.

    And Doug,
    It’s always a pleasure to see you around the site and it was great to see this one get some more daylight.
    I was very interested to read that you are plot driven with a story. I think we all have a main focus and the rest evolves around that.

    Thanks so much folks!
    Hugh

    Like

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