- As noted in this post's introduction, this chapter posed something of a dilemma in direction in that it was my first chance to really depict Robson 'on the front' as it were, but at the same time, there is still a lot unresolved from the last chapter to feature Smith and Johnson. While the latter issues are only really hinted at in this piece, I wanted to make sure they were still there. Both threads of the story will be developed more, and hopefully brought together.
I'm not yet at a point where I want Robson and Smith to be directly interacting, but at the same time, they both needed to feature in this story to exacerbate the difference between them. I'd already done that a bit in 'Shellshock' (chronologically after this piece) but by including the two perspectives on this same event, it threw up some interesting contrasts that almost wrote themselves. To Smith, the war is starting to become unimportant; the only thing he is fighting for is to save lives, it's no longer about flags and nations. Robson, on the other hand, is eager to be a part of the war but can't be for reasons that will become apparent later on. For him, the promise of glory is elusive, for Smith it has been proven to be a lie (in his first appearance, 'When the Clock Strikes Ten', Smith is not unlike the idealistic Robson seen here).
- Robson himself is a very interesting character to write, because there's so much contrast within him. He doesn't want to die, but longs for the chance to prove he can survive. He's pining after a woman who doesn't love him, while mocking a woman who feels that way about him (See 'The Making of the Man if you've lost track of what I'm on about). He's bored with the lack of action, but totally unprepared when it does come. So he is a fascinating character, although not a 'good' one; he holds double standards, longs for bloodshed but only to pursue innocent childhood dreams, and as such, he makes a very nice counterpoint for Smith's principles and sense of 'rightness'. I look forward to playing with that further down the line.
- Again, there's the lexical differencebetween Smith and Robson; Smith describes things, Robson narrates them. There's some overlap, in an attempt to almost connect the two characters (but not quite), but Smith is certainly the more passive of the two, Robson the more active. In this piece, that contrasts a lot with the roles they find themselves in.