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

NANOWRIMO Supplementary – Day 5

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I’ve managed to come back from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (where I’m deeply immersed in another story) for long enough to continue writing the last few chapters of the NaNoWriMo project.

Today, I wrapped up Chapter 33 and went through the aftermath of the latest attack on the main character, with a little assistance from a new operative, and one I’m beginning to like more than I should.

I’m hoping this is not a bit-part player whose going to steal every scene she’s in.

Then it’s onto chapter 34 where we get to sit down and discuss what happened and why.  Sometimes we tend to overlook the obvious, and not realise that what seems too good to be true generally is.

And where the title of the book gets justified.

There’s more than one betrayal going on here, and it’s going to be a hard pill for one of the characters to swallow.

“Echoes From The Past”, buried, but not deep enough

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What happens when your past finally catches up with you?

Christmas is just around the corner, a time to be with family. For Will Mason, an orphan since he was fourteen, it is a time for reflection on what his life could have been, and what it could be.

Until a chance encounter brings back to life the reasons for his twenty years of self-imposed exile from a life only normal people could have. From that moment Will’s life slowly starts to unravel and it’s obvious to him it’s time to move on.

This time, however, there is more at stake.

Will has broken his number one rule, don’t get involved.

With his nemesis, Eddie Jamieson, suddenly within reach, and a blossoming relationship with an office colleague, Maria, about to change everything, Will has to make a choice. Quietly leave, or finally, make a stand.

But as Will soon discovers, when other people are involved there is going to be terrible consequences no matter what choice he makes.

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Writing about writing a book – Day 5 continues – The complications of life

I hate it when other characters are drawn in, and without a proper introduction, the reader gets confused.

Well, let me tell you, the writer can get confused too.

The introduction of Jennifer cannot go without the introduction of Ellen Bill’s ex-wife, and we have talked a little about her background before.

She has a role, one that will have a major impact later on, but every now and then she is going to appear, adding to the backstory between her and Bill.  There is no real animosity between them, their parting amicable because both knew it was time to end.

Bill’s problems were brought about his military service, and her father has a part to play in the story, though I’m not sure how to weave this in yet.  But it’s not so much what Bill remembers of his service, but of what he has forgotten, or more to the point buried.

That will eventually rise to the surface.

However, at this time, it’s still at the part where the narrator has to introduce Jennifer.

There are three distinct stages to this relationship between the two most important characters, and as it happens it’s Ellen unknowingly that brings Bill and Jennifer together,

 

Then Ellen, my estranged, and sometimes difficult wife decided she wanted a divorce.  I had no objection, and that was most likely the problem.  Perhaps she had expected me to fight for her, but she had made it clear, many years before, that she was no longer interested in preserving the marriage and was only keeping it up until our two daughters were old enough to fend for themselves.

That time had come.

I found myself in a situation where I needed someone to talk to.  I was not one of those people who made friends easily, nor did I spend much time seeking the company of other women.  I had my work, and it had been enough.

But Ellen’s request for a divorce, for some reason, had shaken me, and the day I got the phone call, Jennifer has bustled into my office as she always did, dumping the pile of log file printouts on my desk, and instead of leaving, perhaps she had seen my look of dismay, or more to the point, utter shock, and stayed.

It caused a slight change in our relationship.

 

I’m still working on it, but there will be more.

Or fewer words perhaps, after all, it’s only meant to be a brief introduction.

See how simple things become complicated, very quickly.

 

© Charles Heath 2019

“The Devil You Don’t”, be careful what you wish for

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John Pennington’s life is in the doldrums.  Looking for new opportunities, prevaricating about getting married, the only joy on the horizon was an upcoming visit to his grandmother in Sorrento, Italy.

Suddenly he is left at the check-in counter with a message on his phone telling him the marriage is off, and the relationship is over.

If only he hadn’t promised a friend he would do a favour for him in Rome.

At the first stop, Geneva, he has a chance encounter with Zoe, an intriguing woman who captures his imagination from the moment she boards the Savoire, and his life ventures into uncharted territory in more ways than one.

That ‘favour’ for his friend suddenly becomes a life-changing event, and when Zoe, the woman who he knows is too good to be true, reappears, danger and death follows.

Shot at, lied to, seduced, and drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems, John is dragged into an adrenaline-charged undertaking, where he may have been wiser to stay with the ‘devil you know’ rather than opt for the ‘devil you don’t’.

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NANOWRIMO Supplementary – Day 4

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It’s been nearly a week since I’ve put a word to paper, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it.

And, today, I set aside some time to complete the last chapter of section 2, and in the process, make some amendments to the penultimate chapter of that section.

It changed the word count for that chapter to 1,031 up from 919 and added 2,155 words for the last chapter.

I’ve also tidied up the plan for the last four chapters of section 3, one of which had been done, leaving three.

Then it will be a matter of writing the epilogue, or section 4, which was going to have four chapters, but it now seems like it might be two, or three depending on how events work out.

Also, I had got all the chapters in their relevant files, and formatting, ready to be combined into the first draft of the book.

So far the total words written is 82,690, far more than I expected.