This is one of those moments when I wake up and realize I made a mistake. Oh, noes! What do I do?
Don’t panic. It’s not that bad. Allow me to explain . . .
Yesterday I worked on the penultimate scene in Part Three of my Camp story, the part that has all the attacking in the middle of the night and a lot of death and destruction. It was a good scene. I’d figured out what sort of equipment was going to be used, which characters would be on stage. I did my research ’cause there was a bit of math that needed calculating to get one part of the story right, and I’d checked my observation and calculations against the maps I’d created, to make sure when I wrote my last scene, I would at least have some accuracy behind the drama.
It all looked good, so when I wrote the last line in the chapter–“The Hanger vaporized”–I was satisfied with the vision I’d created. I listened to some music for an hour, read a bit, then headed off to bed.
And . . . I didn’t feel right when I woke up.
The scene I’d written was dramatic, but it felt too dramatic. It was too explodey. Yeah, my original calculations said I’d blow things to hell, but I didn’t feel right.
That meant re-checking a few facts.
First off, I’m using Nukemap, an online nuclear bomb effects program, to calculate effects. I’d used the original version, but this morning–about seven AM to be more or less exact–I checked the link for the new and improved 2.0 Nukemap, and I thought I’d give it a spin.
What’s nice is that I could set this for a surface burst, and eliminate that pesky radiation, since my detonation wasn’t an actual nuke. I added a few blast markers to check for over-pressure effects, centered the point of detonation right about where it should be in the real life place, and clicked the Detonate button.
As you can see, my effects are quite a bit different. In particular, the radius of my air pressure effects. Damn those ground bursts; they always try and spoil your fun. In primary effect I want–which is a lot of damage up close and personal–is still there, but what happens to the structure is going to be a lot less than “vaporized”.
(With this site, if I wanted to use the 3D version, I could have had a little cloud rise up from the point of detonation, but that would mean loading the Google Earth plugins, and knowing my computer, it’d have a breakdown trying to render that effect. I’ll just pretend the cloud is there and move on.)
One I have the new effects nailed down, I bring up my map and start about doin’ some figurin’. I need a couple of rulers, I move them to the area in my Hanger were I figure the blasting is going to happen, set them at right angles to each other, and . . . yeah. Just what I thought. Not a lot of vaporizing going on here, but there will be a lot of damage.
So away with “The Hanger vaporizes” line. Instead I head back into the last chapter and write a bit of prose about how one wall disintegrates and the southern portion of The Hanger collapses to the ground. There’s no mention of how the floor craters and everything dropped into the basement under The Hanger, or how two instructors die and three bad students end up with incompletes for the year, but a reader should be able to figure that out for themselves.
Some people wake up and wonder when the coffee will finish brewing, or what the weather’s like. I gotta think about power systems blowing up and buildings collapsing. Because I want a paragraph to be right.
Yeah. It’s like that all the time with me.