Authors’ Commentary on “Heads You Lose”

Lawyers in Hell Authors’ Commentary on
»Heads You Lose,«
 a story in Lawyers in Hell

Once I started writing Lawyers in Hell, I wanted an environment to make it even more hellish. For military operations, Afghanistan (Ash can istan for the story) came to mind. It's rather inhospitable. And of course, the natives would like lawyers even less than they like most people.

I chose Joseph McCarthy as an antagonist, being one of the least regarded of recent American politicians (he led the hunts for "communists" in the 1950s, seeming to find them everywhere).

Lawyers in Hell For victims and counterpoint I chose several better regarded people, who nevertheless had human failings. I wanted to point out that greatness of accomplishment does not prove sterling character, or vice versa.

It turned out to be an interesting story. The protagonist is sympathetic. Some of his cohorts, despite their colorful lives, are at least somewhat so. McCarthy is the antagonist, and the theoretical "Enemy" are very sympathetic characters. The conflict was within the group, rather than outside. Janet and Leo pointed out an interesting twist, and I worked that in.

I'm usually a novelist, so I learned quite a bit from this short, on how to develop and pace a plot and conflict in a shorter format.

Heads You Lose, © Michael Z. Williamson; Perseid Publishing, 2011
2011© Lawyers in Hell (Janet Morris), 2011, all rights reserved

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