Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read Bernice yet, so the click-here thing is going here
First off, I’m not Guy de Maupassant or O Henry, so that “twist in the tale” behind Bernice was a bit difficult and I had to trade a fine line of when you worked out she wasn’t the criminal but the avenging angel.
The idea for it came to me on Tuesday, but if handled badly, the ending wouldn’t work, and that would ruin the whole thing. So I spent a few days waiting for a better idea to come along. And then it was Saturday. So I worked for a couple of hours, printed it, read it through, changed it a little, then did the same thing until the fourth draft.
The names are basic. Bernice I picked at random, and until I finished the story I didn’t look up the meaning (it means “she who brings victory”, which is appropriate). Officer Bostaph is named after the drummer in Slayer; I was trying to think of a name and started flicking through as many surnames as I could. I hope he doesn’t mind.
Finally, what got me was Rebeca‘s comment of “don’t spoil it” that made me hit the publish button. That’s an object lesson in not overthinking, right there – perfection is, of course, unachievable. Polish something too much, and it will lose its lustre.
Well, I wasn’t aiming as high as perfection. Just, maybe, “that’ll do“.
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