28 September 2006

What is going to happen on Sunday, November 26?

This is driving me slowly crazy. I though I had it all figured out, but the reasoning all seems so flimsy.

Riley is in danger and Dag rescues her, killing Bradley in the process, then having a heart attack while running away from Smiesen.

It all sounds so simple. But what danger is Riley in (linked to the whole embezzlement and death of Simon and what's on his computer) that would move a man awaiting a heart transplant to risk himself, that he could do without dying on the way, and that is sufficiently motivated to be believable in the story? I thought Bradley was holding Riley hostage until Dag gave him the computer, but I figure there are easier ways to get that. I thought she was being held in a sixth story apartment that Dag could see from his Pier 61 office. I thought that Dag would scale a fire-escape up to said sixth floor window, listen with a high-tech device, and crash through the window, knocking Bradley over (who shoots himself accidentally), then racing out of the building with Riley and up Union where he has a heart attack on the Harbor Steps. Only problem is that given this scenario, Dag would die at about the third floor on the fire escape and Riley would be lost.

I need better motivation and a plausible rescue scenario that doesn't leave Dag dead before he has a chance to rescue Riley.

What's wrong with the apartment's elevators? Dag could recieve a call from an upset Reily, and had to quickly go over to apartment to prevent her from doing something stupid, like harming herself or confronting/contacting Bradley. He arrives in time to save Reily and escape using the elevator.

Or you could just move the apartment down to a lower level, or even have the exchange occur in a more public place.

Not all heart attacks are super-deadly. Having never head a heart attack, I can only go by what I've read and such, but I gather they're tremendously painful, even a minor one. So rather than a full-on killer M.I., Dag could just have a little heart attack that hurts like hell, makes it really hard for him to breathe, and makes their getaway more dramatic. Basically, have Dag, who probably believes this is the end for him, fighting to stay conscious long enough to be sure Reily is safely away. Once they're in the clear, he says something appropriately maudlin/sappy/sentimental, believing them to be his last words, and then of course wakes up later in the hospital.

With Dag's weakened heart, I can totally understand your worry that just about ANY daring-do would do him in, but consider also that when ER doctors are trying to get people's heart's going, they often use adrenaline to do it. Surely Dag's adrenal glands would be working overtime in that situation, which could keep his ticker going long enough to get the job done, but leave him on the door of collapse by the time they get out of there.

It's a really fine line. Dag has more than two heart episodes in the story, and I'm not keen on overdoing it, but want it clear that it's killing him. It's the connundrum we talked about early in the design of this story. How many times is the guy almost killed without being finished off? I'm having to look carefully at where and when the episodes occur in the story and make sure that they are enhancing the storyline and not dragging on to the point of being ridiculous.