Writing about writing a book – Day 6 continues – will it ever end?

Having finished a first draft of the words to fit the last plotline, while this is still bouncing around in my head, I need to keep the plot going.

That means I have to find a way to make Bill more interesting.  I’m not saying getting shot is just another ordinary event on another boring day at the office, but it needs something to lift into the reader’s consciousness, and want to see where he’s going to go with it.

Revenge is not on the cards because he has no idea who was shooting at him, or the fact at this time, it seems they, whoever they are, were out to assassinate Aitchison.

Why you ask.

There will be a reason, so sit back and relax, we’re not there yet.

 

Bill wakes up in the hospital and finds Jennifer there.  He remembers what has happened and realizes how lucky he is to survive.

After a period of recovery, Bill is questioned by Gator, the detective also now in charge of the shooting investigation, as, he tells Bill, there seems to be a connection between the two (obviously because it concerns the company Bill works for).

Bill cannot remember much of the detail of the earlier network outage and situation, but the import of Gator’s investigation is centered on the deaths of Halligan, Aitchison, and the attempts of both him and Jennifer.  I think we can safely say Jennifer was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Gator also reveals there are still problems with the computer systems at Transworld, a question of missing files, and a security breach.  He also advises Bill of Wiesenthal’s arrival and temporary management role.

(OK, a new character, Wiesenthal, he needs to be slightly sinister, and there for reasons that are not explained straight away.)

On the mend, and with time on his hands, Bill will have two new events to think about.

Firstly, and certainly not unwelcome, but a bit of a surprise is the continual presence of Jennifer.  He discovers that Jennifer has the same feelings for him and he has for her.

Secondly, and probably the more important of the two, and cause for concern, is the return of some of his memories in relation to service in the army during various engagements overseas, and one in particular.  Worse, he cannot understand why now, of all times, these particular memories should be returning.

He knew something bad had happened to him back then but was thankful that his mind had managed to keep it at bay for as long as it had.

But the nightmares become real, and the first of many plays out in his mind like a movie, where everything and everyone is in a surreal theatre production.  There he finally remembers what his mind has blocked for so long – that he was in a camp of sorts as a prisoner, and its something to do with his days in the Army.

In light of these memories returning, a Brigadier General pays a visit and explains the missing parts of his service life.  Why he did so Bill couldn’t immediately understand but didn’t question it.  Then Ellen conveniently visits him, laments his misfortune, and goes over the reasons for not telling him about his past (now that he’s remembered it) and wished him well for the future.

Before he leaves the hospital, Gator returns to tie up loose ends, that all that appeared to be sinister was not, and could be explained rationally.  It marked the end of his investigation, albeit a little too convenient Bill thinks but again says nothing.

He finally goes home with Jennifer.

Another dream – of the beginning of a lifelong friendship with ‘Brainless’ a fellow soldier, and someone he has known off and on since Army days, but who also had not alerted him to what he now remembered, also no doubt for a very good reason.

And the remembrance of the word Starburst – but he has no idea of its significance.

Well, that’s a lot to deal with, and will keep me writing long into the night.

And more people.

This story is starting to have a list of credits as long as the end of a movie!

NANOWRIMO Supplementary – Day 6

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There is something bittersweet about writing those fateful last two words on your manuscript, ‘The End’.

That’s because it’s not.  Oh, no.  It’s just the beginning.

However daunting the next phase of the writing process is, it’s a huge sigh of relief to finally finish the NaNoWriMo project for this year.

Then ending only changed a dozen times, the most recent version yesterday, when finally in possession of all the facts, we make discoveries that we really wished we hadn’t.

Certainly, the story lives up to the tentative book title ‘Betrayed’ though I’m not sure if I might use ‘Betrayal’ instead.  But a decision on that is a long way off.

Now it’s time to park the manuscript, at the moment running to over 80,000 words, more than I actually intended, and let it simmer in the back of my mind until the first edit next year sometime.

Having parked two or three other projects so I could concentrate on this, now I can go back and continue with my episodic stories, and, at last, find myself able to progress at least one.

But, let me say this, it’s a hell of a way to write a novel in a short space of time.

“One Last Look”, nothing is what it seems

A single event can have enormous consequences.

A single event driven by fate, after Ben told his wife Charlotte he would be late home one night, he left early, and by chance discovers his wife having dinner in their favourite restaurant with another man.

A single event where it could be said Ben was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Who was this man?  Why was she having dinner with him?

A simple truth to explain the single event was all Ben required.  Instead, Charlotte told him a lie.

A single event that forces Ben to question everything he thought he knew about his wife, and the people who are around her.

After a near-death experience and forced retirement into a world he is unfamiliar with, Ben finds himself once again drawn back into that life of lies, violence, and intrigue.

From London to a small village in Tuscany, little by little Ben discovers who the woman he married is, and the real reason why fate had brought them together.

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onelastlookcoverfinal2

Things to do when it’s raining outside

It’s one of those grey, dark, wet mornings where you can inadvertently sleep in because the bedroom remains dark for an extra two hours.

That could be a problem if you have a day job, like most of us.

But, today is Friday, and it’s just what I need.  The news is telling us that six months worth of rain just fell in one hour.  That’s a lot of rain, but it isn’t going to break the drought.

But that’s not a topic that can make a story work.  I need something poetic, dramatic, or a catalyst.

Time to mull over the latest storyline, marshal my thoughts, write the prose in my head.

OK, that not working for me.

The rain is getting heavier, and is splashing outside; the steady waterfall of overflow from the gutters is taking away my concentration.

 

Rain, rain, go away …

 

I have two different visions.

A cold, grey day in London (is there any other sort of day?) waiting for a train, and seeing the woman of your dreams go past, standing in the doorway, and in that fraction of a second your eyes meet, a connection is made.

I suspect it has fuelled many a song such as ‘The Look of Love’.

The second is on a desolate section of coastline as for north as you can go in Scotland (yes, I am a glutton for punishment), and she is standing on the cliff top gazing out to sea, hair blowing in the wind.  Silent, strong, resolute.

 

Rain gone.

Notes hastily scribbled in a notebook for later reference.

Time to go out and check if the garden has derived any benefit at all.

“Sunday in New York”, it’s a bumpy road to love

“Sunday in New York” is ultimately a story about trust, and what happens when a marriage is stretched to its limits.

When Harry Steele attends a lunch with his manager, Barclay, to discuss a promotion that any junior executive would accept in a heartbeat, it is the fact his wife, Alison, who previously professed her reservations about Barclay, also agreed to attend, that casts a small element of doubt in his mind.

From that moment, his life, in the company, in deciding what to do, his marriage, his very life, spirals out of control.

There is no one big factor that can prove Harry’s worst fears, that his marriage is over, just a number of small, interconnecting events, when piled on top of each other, points to a cataclysmic end to everything he had believed in.

Trust is lost firstly in his best friend and mentor, Andy, who only hints of impending disaster, Sasha, a woman whom he saved, and who appears to have motives of her own, and then in his wife, Alison, as he discovered piece by piece damning evidence she is about to leave him for another man.

Can we trust what we see with our eyes or trust what we hear?

Haven’t we all jumped to conclusions at least once in our lives?

Can Alison, a woman whose self-belief and confidence is about to be put to the ultimate test, find a way of proving their relationship is as strong as it has ever been?

As they say in the classics, read on!

Purchase:

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Sunday In New York

Writing about writing a book – Day 6

It’s been a long morning, and I sleep in.  I think the extra time is warranted because I wrote until there was nothing left in the tank.  Then, I let the plot unfold in my mind as I slept.

I had a dream.

I have IT experience.  I know the how hard it was, in the early days of networking, to get it right.  And all of the factors that have to be in place to keep it working.

I become Bill Chandler.

Servers, server software, wiring, Ethernet. Internet, wan, lan, hub, switch, meltdown.   The days when desks had terminals, not personal computers, and then the sudden disappearance of the mainframe, to local area networks.

The bottle of Scotch in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet (in the days when occupational health and safety was not so strictly enforced) for celebrations when it worked, or commiserations when it didn’t.

 

So, today I’m expanding on the plot lines:

 

Chandler, recently divorced, and now on his first holiday on his own, contemplated what he’s going to do.  It doesn’t last long and is recalled to the office to manage a crisis.

Back in the office, Benton unavailable, Chandler goes to see Aitchison, Security chief.  There he learns of Richardson’s murder, of which suicide, the police theory, the least likely cause, and that of Halligan, whose death is also questionable.  There is also a question over the computer network and that of another running within their current system.  This is something Chandler knows nothing about.   There is a way of finding out if such a network existed.  Meanwhile, the implications are frightening, and Aitchison is clearly afraid of something.

OK, another character has popped up, Halligan, but we’ll worry about that later.

Back on familiar territory, Chandler gets down to the job of finding out what information he can.  Before beginning the physical search, he is questioned closely by Gator, the policeman, on external communications involving their computer systems.

OK, that’ll need a bit of background on Gator and what information he has.

After Gator departs, Chandler goes to find Jennifer.  By now, the whole network is down and they discover several servers have been tampered with, in fact, the very ones believed to be the gateway to the ‘hidden’ network.  Alas, the evidence had been removed.

Deciding there was nothing that could be done because the maintenance contractors have been called in, Chandler and Jennifer go to lunch.  Chandler runs into a very frightened Aitchison who cryptically says he fears for his life.  About the same time shots are fired, Aitchison is killed, and Chandler seriously wounded.

 

Wow, I’m getting better at this planning stuff, though it’s early days yet.  There are several ideas about the ramifications of Bill getting shot, but that can wait till later.

Time to flesh this plotline out in words.

Doesn’t look like Sunday is going to be a day off.

 

© Charles Heath 2016 – 2019