Hunting Nazis – Commentary on writing the story
I’ve written a short story titled Hunting Nazis for the End of Module Assessment (EMA) for A215 Creative Writing. The target word count was 2,500 with an upper limit of +10%. The first draft weighed in at 5k words, double the target length. However some of this was because although I plotted it I needed to tell myself the story in the first draft. Once I got to the end it was much easier to re-edit and take out some of it.
The central premise is that Reggie and Dot (from the earlier story Planting the Past) have been hunting down nazis guilty of war crimes against the members of the French resistance and SOE agents supporting the network that they were both part of during World War Two. The story takes place in Berlin in 1953 when they are tying up the last few loose ends.
There are a couple of supporting characters, Paul, another ex-resistance fighter, but one that Dot (called Nancy by him as that was her code name) doesn’t trust, she’s convinced that he betrayed people to the Germans. He was arrested and deported to Berlin by the Gestapo as they left France in September 1944. Somehow he managed to survive this and the fall of Berlin to the Soviets and then establish a nightclub in a converted public air raid shelter near the Potsdamerplatz. One of his employees, a barman named Gustav is an ex-SS rifleman attached to the unit lead by SS Captain Hechte in the final days of the Reich. Reggie and Dot are looking to recover a relic stolen by Hechte and to confirm his death in May 1945 at the hands of the soviets.
There are also a couple of friendlies from their SOE days, still employed by British Intelligence but now spying on the soviets with the help of Paul and his nightclub. Their worry is that Reggie and Dot’s activities might scare off the Soviet officers they’ve been blackmailing if they are too blatant.
No spoilers, so that’s as much as I can say other than that it all comes to a climax in an abandoned bunker under the Soviet zone.
You can read Hunting Nazis in my book Themself.