Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Your assistance is requested

I've started working on the next draft, scene by scene. I've just started. Now that I'm in my office and can spread papers all over the desk, it's so much easier to keep track of where I am in the story.

There's a scene in the last third of the book of which I have two versions. In one there is a fire, in another the fire is prevented. Whichever one I go with greatly impacts the last third of the book. As it stands, the fire is prevented. It might be stronger otherwise.

My question to you is how do I burn down a small cluster of chestnut trees? In front of people? With enough speed and destruction that they can't put the fire out in time? Perhaps you can see why I prevented it in the current draft.

As you were all invaluable with the bar scene, I know you'll be of great assistance in causing this fire. Gasoline and a match are not an option. I'm not sure how well flammable liquids travel through time and space.

Thank you.

To set the scene without giving too much away. Nea and Alex are in a forest. They are surrounded by nymphs as well as a variety of flora and fauna apart from the chestnut trees. I like the idea of lightning but am not sure magic can be employed. It might require plain old-fashioned human means. All of the players, including the nymph observers, apart from the arsonist are preoccupied by a bitter confrontation between Nea and her mother.


  1. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Not knowing about the scene, I'll just throw some stuff out:
    Lightning (either natural or through scorcery)?
    Fire-breathing dragons?
    Candles from a previous event (YEX, seances, etc.) knocked over?
    Torches used to find way through dark forest?
    Spark from a muffler or something dragging from a vehicle igniting the dry undergrowth caused by drought?
    Campfire they thought they put out but not so much?

  2. I'm thinking lightening strike. That's a whole lot of concentrated heat hitting a grove of trees. I should think it would spread along the tree tops pretty fast, darned near instantly.

  3. Anonymous4:33 PM

    Well if he/she is an arsonist, but matches and gas can't be employed, and magic can't be employed either, the only thing I can think of is the old-fashioned Boy Scouts trick of rubbing two sticks together. And that takes too long. BUT, if it is done far enough away from the fight, the fire is already raging and eating up the acres before anyone really notices.

  4. You know, almost anything would work, depending on the timing and placement. Wild fires have been started from a single match.

    And lightening doesn't have to mean magic. Would a rumble of thunder fit the scene? Or you could introduce a flame thrower if you need it to be deliberate. Or a welding torch?

  5. this site looks really helpful:

    Also, this paragraph:

    "Forest fires can also be classified by what part of the forest they burn in:

    * Ground fires occur on the ground, often below the leaves.
    * Surface Fires occur on the surface of the forest up to 1.3 meters high.
    * Crown fires are the most dangerous fires and can spread the fastest. They occur in the tops of the trees. They can be: (a) dependent upon surface fires to burn the crowns, (b) active in which they occur at the same rate as surface fires, or (c) the most destructive, independent, where fire can "jump" from crown to crown."

    and it adds there can be more than one kind of fire burning at the time

  6. How about the nymphs causing mischief? ( i.e., Kids playing a torch, lantern, or cooking fire?) Or perhaps something already of fire could be dragged through the woods causing the conflaguration. A strong gust of wind could spread a fire very quickly if the conditions are right.