today’s writing tip: floor plans

Today’s writing tip: Draw a floor plan, and don’t wait until the last minute to do it.

I’ve had a note on my To Do list for a long time, to draw a floor plan for “The Bus Station Mystery.” I knew there might be a problem or two that needed to be fixed in the story, mostly with who can (and can’t) see what from where in the station.

So, I came up with a solution to the most obvious difficulty, and then I drew the floor plan…

Well, I really should have drawn it sooner, because it made it obvious that certain aspects of the building don’t make sense architecturally, even apart from the mystery.


So, draw the plan earlier rather than later. That’s my advice.

On another subject, I just saw Atomic Blonde (the trailer is NSFW — but then so is the movie).

I think this is the type of movie that Unlocked was trying to be. Twisty plot in the world of international espionage, good cast (in this case: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, and Toby Jones), and a smart, kickass female protagonist.

But Atomic Blonde is much more fun (stupid title, though). There is a plot, as far as I can tell, but based on the reviews it seems I’m not the only one who decided to skip the plot and enjoy two hours of Charlize Theron fighting (mostly winning, though not without acquiring a lot of bruises of her own), evading questions, drinking vodka, smoking, cursing, and fighting some more.

And it’s a particular treat watching McAvoy, too. He plays a British agent in Berlin who’s (as his chief puts it) “gone feral.” McAvoy looks like he’s having a lot more fun than he gets to have in the X-Men movies.

And, unlike Unlocked, there are surprises which are actually surprising. For example (spoiler): Lorraine (Theron’s character, a British agent) meets Delphine (a young, inexperienced French agent) in a bar. Delphine makes a move, and they end up becoming lovers. Lorraine actually seems to care about Delphine (though it’s never entirely clear what Lorraine is feeling or thinking about anything), and the classic “twist” would have been for Delphine to be revealed as a villain at the end, breaking Lorraine’s heart and trying to kill her at the same time.

But no — Delphine is exactly what she appears to be (unusual for this movie), and the surprise about her is simply that she’s actually a better agent than anybody, including Lorraine, thought she was.

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One Response to today’s writing tip: floor plans

  1. Maggie says:

    I’ve done floor plans before, and they are never to scale but still helpful.

    Atomic Blonde looked interesting. It’s always good to see a female protagonist kick ass.

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