Going quirky.

Wrote a chapter yesterday and woke up today certain I'd gone off track.

I went quirky.

I have a scene where the main protagonist meets a crime boss. As he approaches the ballroom of an old rundown Victorian house that serves as headquarters, he hears Billy Joel music. Entering the room, there are couples dancing to the music, obvious professionals, with an audience of gangsters. They're paid off and leave and then the scene more or less starts.

Uh, what?

Why did I include the professional dancers? Billy Joel, fine. This is New Jersey. But young people dancing for the pleasure of gangsters? I don't think so.

(Oh, and the Victorian is a faded pink color. Unnecessary quirky detail?)

I tend to do this kind of thing if I don't watch myself. Sometimes the quirk takes over the book. In "Deadfall Ridge" I have the main character wearing a bulletproof Bigfoot costume through most of the book. It becomes a running joke.

It started off as a simple quirk, a prank the hunting guide plays on his clients. But then I made the mistake of keeping it.

So I'm trying not to do that again, unless I plan on making the entire book quirky, in which case I probably should do a lot more of it. It's hard enough to keep plausibility without adding to the problem.

Yes, I've identified thrillers as another form of fantasy. (Reading the last Silva book about the super Israeli spy, Gabriel Allon. Might as well put spandex on him.) But that just means I have to try all the harder to keep verisimilitude wherever and whenever I can.