1,600 words written today and I count myself lucky. I spent the better part of the morning wrapped in a blanket and hacking up chunks of phlegm, but somehow managed to sit at my computer and research various methods of interrogation, only to realize that my main character won't be able to use any of them, because she's a seventeen year old runaway and barely knows how to read, much less professionally interrogate someone. But, I didn't want the male lead to do it, since it ultimately needs to be the girl who saves herself, so I stared at the screen for I don't know how long trying to figure out how the girl would get the very aggravated and uncooperative dude to tell her what she wants.
I wrote several versions of the same scene before finding one I thought worked.
First try? Asking nicely. Nope. The uncooperative dude just told her to eff off.
Second try? Seduction. Nope. She's a recovering sex slave, and although in real life, it would probably be one of her most effective and familiar weapons, this particular character is repulsed by it and would soon rather die than be sexually aggressive (at least, at this point in her recovery), so count that try as a failure.
Third try? Physical force. Nope. Statistically speaking, physical torture is actually an ineffective tool for obtaining information. For obtaining confessions, it's not so bad. But, the girl isn't looking for a confession, she's looking for answers, and shooting out somebody's knee caps isn't an effective method of obtaining cooperation.
Fourth try? Giving a theory and having the subject affirm or deny this claim. This is the main method of obtaining confessions in one of my current favorite television shows, "Castle." In "Castle" the writer and detective spin a tale of why the suspect murdered the victim and then, faced with the truth, or faced with how wrong the detective and writer actually have it, the suspect corrects them or adds to their tale, thus confessing to the crime. Idiot. However, it was a way in which I could retain the suspect's dignity, which was very important to him, and also gave the heroine the majority of the exposition dump, which the reader might not mind so much.
Then, after the fourth try, and a part exposition dump, I was able to parlay that to the suspect suddenly having a modicum of respect for the girl, and then offers her some much needed "advice" -- which then parlays into the next section of the book.
I will go back at it tomorrow, and fine tune the scene. It's pretty rough, and contains mostly dialogue at this point, but at least it's down in pixels, and I can move ahead.
Move ahead with the story, that is. Because this congested head and aching body isn't moving from this blanket and from this couch just yet.
I think I just coughed up a lung.