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Shamrock

Granny Annie - Rewrite

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Two of 3 of my Beta Readers have suggested that I need to rethink my climax scene. The scene where the protagonist is in danger and at the hands of the villain.

 

At present the scene takes place in the Henderson farm (you may remember I asked in a previous post whether the scene should be there or at the log cabin like the first book - you voted for the farm).

The major criticism is the method of the revenge. Granny Annie tries to poison Daisy (Jude Carter's daughter and Iris' friend.)  I chose that method because I thought it was a good slow death and Annie forcing Daisy to eat a contaminated beef stew would give tension to the scene by having Jude forced to watch Daisy eat it.

 

I see their point but I don't want to use the same methods of previous books  i.e fire, shooting, horse accident, drowning and someone being buried alive.  So - Q: What could happen on a farm?

Any starters for ten to help get my brain working please gratefully appreciated.

 

Edited by Shamrock
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I'm confused.  Why would the method of revenge be an issue with the beta readers?  Was it Bond Villain-ish in its over-complexity, and easily escapable?

 

As far as farms go, death by columbine is pretty nasty.  Depends on a era.

 

Shooting is common.  There is always an axe available.  Scythe.  Lots of sharp, dangerous implements on most farms.

 

Horses or cows during a stampede is probably better if you go with animals, BUT, they need to be in a confined space.   And animals are too unpredictable to be reliable. 

 

The Mongols used to execute people by running them over with horses.

 

Cholera was a big problem, but that requites tainted water and someone with an understanding of how Cholera works.  Arsenic was commonly used all they way back into the 18th century.

 

Or the old, "lock someone in a barn and light it on fire," is pretty dramatic.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Potts said:

I'm confused.  Why would the method of revenge be an issue with the beta readers?  Was it Bond Villain-ish in its over-complexity, and easily escapable?

 

I'm guilty of being one of the beta readers who wasn't sure about the revenge. Yes, I think that's a pretty good way of describing how I felt about it. It was just extremely complex, involving a car crash, a kidnapping, and an (previously unopened) can of poisoned soup. Just a lot of moving parts...Once the girl was in the situation, I do think she was pretty well stuck, but it was hard to imagine anyone bothering to create such an elaborate murder scenario, no matter how deep her desire for revenge might be.

 

1 hour ago, Jeff Potts said:

 

As far as farms go, death by columbine is pretty nasty.  Depends on a era.

 

You mean combine? Columbine, as far as I know, isn't poisonous. Not like I'm recommending going off and eating a bunch, of course...

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5 minutes ago, Zee said:

You mean combine? Columbine, as far as I know, isn't poisonous. Not like I'm recommending going off and eating a bunch, of course...

 

"Combine," I guess.  The harvester.  I knew what it is, but didn't know how to spell it.  :)

 

 

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I'd say no to the combine death, and no to the shooting death (you've already used it), no to the axe animals, no to the animals and no to the fire.

 

I think you have to have something that is up close and personal, so they she can imprint on it.

 

But you've got to realize the mechanics of it, too, Shamrock.  With the number of people you've got involved, and the logic of Annie herself getting shot... I mean honestly, she can be killed at any time by a shot through the rear window, as she in fact is wounded.  So the place you've chosen for the final confrontation is weak, do you understand why that is?

 

Give it some more thought, I'm sure you'll come up with a solution.

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I think, in my opinion, is that perhaps she could die by getting run over by a stampede of horses from the barn or getting pushed into a lake nearby and being forced under?

I find your poisoned stew plot to be good though! I would have never thought about that myself! Lol

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1 minute ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

I think, in my opinion, is that perhaps she could die by getting run over by a stampede of horses from the barn or getting pushed into a lake nearby and being forced under?

I find your poisoned stew plot to be good though! I would have never thought about that myself! Lol

 

Oh, no! Nobody dies. It’s just supposed to come dangerously close.

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I agree the up close and personal confrontation sounds more jarring to readers and perhaps even more satisfying depending the motives for revenge. Some evil people like to watch the one they hate suffer, as opposed to a quick death or one that they watch from a distance. I definitely suggest a closed space like a house for this climax, good luck getting everything sorted out. :)  

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22 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

I'd say no to the combine death, and no to the shooting death (you've already used it), no to the axe animals, no to the animals and no to the fire.

 

I think you have to have something that is up close and personal, so they she can imprint on it.

 

But you've got to realize the mechanics of it, too, Shamrock.  With the number of people you've got involved, and the logic of Annie herself getting shot... I mean honestly, she can be killed at any time by a shot through the rear window, as she in fact is wounded.  So the place you've chosen for the final confrontation is weak, do you understand why that is?

 

Give it some more thought, I'm sure you'll come up with a solution.

 

Right, I agree. The idea of poison is a good one— there are just too 

many moving parts as it’s currently written.

Edited by Zee

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I was actually kinda partial to poisoning for your climax.

 

As morbid as it sounds, I seem to recall that the use of poison was common among female murderers.  All other means usually involved a lot of physicality.  So, it is totally in character for an older woman to use poison as a means to an end.

 

The movie Arsenic and Old Lace comes to mind.

 

Although, I'm sure an angry Granny going full throttle on a combine would be in interesting thing to write...  :)

 

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15 hours ago, Zee said:

Yes, I think that's a pretty good way of describing how I felt about it. It was just extremely complex, involving a car crash, a kidnapping, and an (previously unopened) can of poisoned soup. Just a lot of moving parts...Once the girl was in the situation, I do think she was pretty well stuck, but it was hard to imagine anyone bothering to create such an elaborate murder scenario, no matter how deep her desire for revenge might be.

 

OK - I've slept on this and re-read the comments. Yes, point taken about the car chase. Perhaps there is a better less dramatic way to get the girl's to the farmhouse. 

 

15 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

I'd say no to the combine death, and no to the shooting death (you've already used it), no to the axe animals, no to the animals and no to the fire.

 

I think you have to have something that is up close and personal, so they she can imprint on it.

 

 

I agree with you SW. None of those suggestions work for me because they are not personal. 

 

Thinking about Annie's motivation for her revenge it has more to do with wanting to cause Jude pain and of course hurting his daughter, having failed with the wife, is top of the list. So, actually killing or attempting to kill Daisy is not the end game for Annie. 

 

Coming at things from this angle, it has occurred to me that Daisy is a talented artist.  Something that is referred to several times in the novel.  Perhaps another way would be for Annie to attempt to break/smash her hands/fingers somehow. Not only would that hurt Jude but he would also feel responsible for the situation which would leave him with that legacy (and probably damage his relationship with Daisy too.). 

 

It would still leave Iris fearful for her friend because she would know the implications for Daisy if she could not follow her dream to be an artist. So the stakes would still be high.

 

I still think the farmhouse is the right location because of what it means to Annie.  It is a completely different setting for a showdown to the other books.

 

Still thinking 🤔🤔🤔

 

 

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14 hours ago, Zee said:

So the place you've chosen for the final confrontation is weak, do you understand why that is?

 

No. Obviously not.

 

Travis, who shoots Annie,does state that he could have killed her and deliberately chose only to wound her.

 

i see from Zee & Jeff the poisoning idea is not completely lost.😁

 

Back to the drawing board.

 

 

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Actually, columbine [the flower] is poisonous. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned it but there is always the jumping off the hayloft into a bale of hay with a pitchfork hidden in it. 

 

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Another idea would be if Annie manipulated Jude into being the person responsible for the poisoning or crushing of her hands so not only is there revenge, but Jude also feels the guilt and responsibility of being person who then causes the harm.

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