I’ve been busy this week working on the initial scenes in the book. The scenes are designed to introduce Josh and Ava to the readers. Josh is a Navy SEAL and Ava is a Marine…and my readers, not likely to be familiar with the military. These first few chapters, while easy enough to write being a Marine myself, they aren’t likely to be as easy to read which has thrown a wrench in my storytelling. Especially the scene where I introduce Ava in her work environment, amongst Marines.
Of course I sent the scene to AG, my linear thinker, who also happens to be an Army Ranger, and not so familiar with the Marine Corps. I asked him to let me know how it might read to a non-military/non-Marine audience.
Besides him not agreeing Ava would be able to do 30 pull-ups, which I’ll take into account his disbelief when I settle on the final number, he pointed out all of my Marine speak and overuse of acronyms.
His comments made me realize it’s better that the military scenes don’t sound realistic to my fellow Marines, but make sense to my readers. I’ll definitely have some editing to do for that scene to make sense to a general reader.
Some of his feedback: Unless the G6 or G6 Ops are important characters, I wouldn’t spend so much time explaining who they are. Like you hinted at before, it’s super military-specific and is going to make your civilian readers’ eyes glass over.
The other point AG made, is that Ava comes across as too perfect. The irony is, her imperfection is how perfect of a Marine she is – this is also hard for anyone who is not a Marine to understand. You have some Marines who are just WAY TOO MARINE. Unless you’re a Marine, you don’t know what that means. I will however have to find a way to explain it. To let the readers know, Ava has nothing outside of the Marine Corps. No friends, relationships, interests or life which is not a good thing. Josh will help her see this about herself and overcome it.