NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 30

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

The month is up, the hard work is done and the numbers are in.

I finished the first draft, as awful as it might be, with a total of 65,265

And this is the winner’s certificate:

That’s it for another April NaNoWriMo. Now I can rest!

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 28

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

So, what happened really happened to Worthington?

Did John get reunited with his mother in the hospital?

What of Rupert and Isobel?  Did she get to meet the elusive and enigmatic Tsar?

These are all questions that will be answered in due course.

There is also the matter of what happens when John and Zoe/Irina finally meet up after he learns that she regarded him as expendable, and knowing her as he did, didn’t doubt for a minute she meant it.

Is it the folly of falling in love with an assassin?

Once again we end up at the grandmother’s residence in Sorrento, languishing sans Zoe, contemplating the future, a future that might not have Zoe in it.

His idea of setting up an investigation bureau is alive and well, run by Rupert, staffed by people who have the skills but not the confidence of others who had employed them.  Rupert is the master of picking lame ducks and turning them into swans.

Isobel, on the other hand, does not improve with age or being in a somewhat iffy, long-range, possible romance, thing.

Does Zoe return, does she call, can she drag herself away from her recently rediscovered father?

Again, you’ll have to read the book.

There’s no word count at the moment because everything is in outline awaiting writing. That will happen, I hope, tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 24

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

Zoe is now painfully reminded why she did not get involved with other people, why it was better to be responsible only for herself.  It was easy perhaps to blame John for making his own problems by not heeding her advice, but, just the same, she felt a small shred of responsibility for his current situation.

After learning that John has been kidnapped by Olga, Zoe first goes to see an old colleague, and Yuri’s friend, Dominica to interrogate her, then meets up with Yuri, and it does not end well for one of them.  After telling her he’s the elusive Romanov, Yuri informs her of the fact Olga has taken John, and that Worthington is about to use John’s mother as leverage against her.

Not knowing immediately where Olga is, but believing she will not kill him because Zoe will come to her, she detours to take care of Worthington, having finally realized why he was searching for her.  In another of her many disguises, room service visits his room, and Worthington gets more than dinner served up to him.

Of course, Yuri lies. He is not Romanov, and Romanov is not trying to kill her, but find her.

Who is her, well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

And, as for Olga, well, hell hath no fury than a woman avenging a woman avenging her son!

Today’s writing, with Zoe languishing in a dungeon waiting for a white knight, 1,923 words, for a total of 59,911.

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 23

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

Worthington was in a state, now realizing that he had become a target, and immediately assumes it was Zoe on the end of the sniper rifle.

He considers calling John and telling him what just happened, but if Zoe was there with him… 

No, better to attend to the problems at hand.  Arabella wasn’t dead, but it had come very close.  And, he suspected, it was because he had asked her to get a drink for him, and if she had not moved, the damage would be far less.

It was important then to go to the hospital with her and make sure he was then when she woke up to explain what just happened.  If she would ever speak to him again, that is.

Meanwhile, John is ‘collected’ at his hotel, and taken to Olga.  When he wakes up in a rather quaint bedroom or what seems to be a house in the countryside, he only remembers being in the hotel, then nothing.

When he is escorted to the meeting room, it is not the sort of interrogation he was expecting but is fascinated with the old Russian woman who claims to be Zoe’s mentor and teacher, and says that she has no interest in harming him, she only wants Zoe back.

John works out that the woman is in fact Alistair’s mother and presses her for more information about Zoe.

Today’s writing, with Zoe languishing in a dungeon waiting for a white knight, 1,771 words, for a total of 57,988..

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 20

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

There’s a certain air of inevitability in the air, that the bad buys are going to succeed in tracking down Zoe, using the very person who wants to keep her safe.

IT’s not exactly the result of a sneaky plan using lies and deception to get what Worthington wants, it’s more a fact that the woman he is about to use had already made a bed for herself that others would hardly want to lie in.

Arabella was not a woman who understood or practiced monogamy.  She was always a rebel, always had more than one man on the go, and had only married for the convenience, and the money and lifestyle that went with it.

Having children had been a bore, and once they were delivered, they were someone else’s problem.  She was then able to go back to her jet-set lifestyle, touring and cruising the world.

It was also a world that which Worthington and his brother had moved in, and Worthington had been and still was, one of her lovers.  It was what made it so easy for him to enlist her, though she was not really interested in what her son John was up to.  He was too much like his father, and she needed little reminder of him.

For Worthington, he could not believe his luck, for a second time.  It was as if the Gods were lining up the ducks all in a row for him.

But she agreed to a weekend in the best hotel eating the best food and going to a very exclusive concert, where they would be mingling with ‘almost’ royalty.  She loved to drop names.

However, the secret was not a secret the moment she was seen with Worthington by Sebastian, all be it by chance.  Sebastian would have to find John and alert him to the dangers that were about to present themselves in the benign form of his mother.

Could things get any more complicated?

Today’s writing, with Zoe languishing in a dungeon waiting for a white knight, 1,650 words, for a total of 52,769.

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 29

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

In a day of going over old ground and making it new again, I have revisited Zoe’s residence in Paris at the time John called, and found it empty, except for some kid who was all ‘get lost or suffer the consequences.’

Who is he?  We flesh that story out, and how it relates to Zoe and those early days in the story.

Similarly, I’m not happy still with how Worthington discovers Zoe, and this is going to need some more work, and definitely a rewrite.

In fact, I might have to revisit his whole appearance in the story and make it a little less bombastic and a little more subdued seething anger.

The whole Marseilles episode is good, it’s just the end and this discovery of who is behind Zoe’s abduction that needs a little work.  This is where we sow the enigmatic sees of Romanov and his purpose for wanting Zoe if it is not revenge like it is assumed.

Similarly, that whole thing with the Russian Minister and Anton needs a lot more work because there appears to be a connection between him and Romanov, but there’s not.  This is just Olga leaning on her connections to get a result.

Then Zoe takes off to find Romanov, or is it those seeking revenge, it’s not quite clear, and leaves John to contemplate his future.  Perhaps a piece here between them that sets the tone for the relationship over the coming months would be good, and the trigger that sets John off on a quest to find her.

His excuses at the moment are wishy-washy at best.

Phew!!!  Never knew self-criticism could be so harsh!

Today’s writing, with Zoe languishing in a dungeon waiting for a white knight, 0 words, for a total of 8,871.

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 17

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

Yesterday there was a moment where I went back over the plot, and whilst that exercise was a success in a way, it also got me thinking, and like always, I couldn’t sleep, thinking about how the timeline was working, but the narrative wasn’t.

Yes, I made the fatal mistake of considering editing in the middle of a writing marathon.

What brought this self-destructive mood on? A movie. No relevance at all to my story, but it was a study in interactions between disparate people, which is what I have going on between John and Zoe.

It works in the first story because they are thrown together and everything is new and crazy.

In the second, the premise is that the novelty of the thing they had is wearing off.

Zoe needs to keep occupied and doing something other than all she’s ever known is not exactly on her to-do list.

Of course, that’s all put on hold because she is now a target because of the death of Alistair, and it’s a problem she has to take care of. Alone.

I realize now there needs to be some discussion around this, and the way the story starts does not set the scene.

Similarly, there should be more definition of the relationship as it stands, or not as the case may be, and reasons why John decides to go after her, if only to get the truth because he believes she is using the people seeking revenge as an excuse to keep him at arm’s length.

And, from her perspective, it’s not so much she doesn’t want to be with him, it’s because she doesn’t want him ending up dead, given the sort of people she was up against. Not being able to articulate her feelings, as it’s not something she really knew how to, there’s bound to be some confusion.

Inevitably he is going to find her, and when they d, the reasons why they are together are clear, but there’s still many reasons why he shouldn’t be there. Her life is not the sort of life he would want, by choice, and it’s not going to improve, so where is this thing going to take them?

I haven’t thought it though, so I’m going to take some time out to sort it out. I’m 47,000 odd words into the narrative, so I have a day, two at the most to review, and perhaps rewrite to get the missing perspective I’m looking for

Today’s writing, a part of the assessment of their relationship underway, 560 words, for a total of 47,626.

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 17

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

Yesterday there was a moment where I went back over the plot, and whilst that exercise was a success in a way, it also got me thinking, and like always, I couldn’t sleep, thinking about how the timeline was working, but the narrative wasn’t.

Yes, I made the fatal mistake of considering editing in the middle of a writing marathon.

What brought this self-destructive mood on? A movie. No relevance at all to my story, but it was a study in interactions between disparate people, which is what I have going on between John and Zoe.

It works in the first story because they are thrown together and everything is new and crazy.

In the second, the premise is that the novelty of the thing they had is wearing off.

Zoe needs to keep occupied and doing something other than all she’s ever known is not exactly on her to-do list.

Of course, that’s all put on hold because she is now a target because of the death of Alistair, and it’s a problem she has to take care of. Alone.

I realize now there needs to be some discussion around this, and the way the story starts does not set the scene.

Similarly, there should be more definition of the relationship as it stands, or not as the case may be, and reasons why John decides to go after her, if only to get the truth because he believes she is using the people seeking revenge as an excuse to keep him at arm’s length.

And, from her perspective, it’s not so much she doesn’t want to be with him, it’s because she doesn’t want him ending up dead, given the sort of people she was up against. Not being able to articulate her feelings, as it’s not something she really knew how to, there’s bound to be some confusion.

Inevitably he is going to find her, and when they d, the reasons why they are together are clear, but there’s still many reasons why he shouldn’t be there. Her life is not the sort of life he would want, by choice, and it’s not going to improve, so where is this thing going to take them?

I haven’t thought it though, so I’m going to take some time out to sort it out. I’m 47,000 odd words into the narrative, so I have a day, two at the most to review, and perhaps rewrite to get the missing perspective I’m looking for

Today’s writing, a part of the assessment of their relationship underway, 560 words, for a total of 47,626.

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 15

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

Today, we’re back in Vienna, with Zoe planning their escape. We’re off to the railway station and catching the train. Unfortunately, Worthington is able to track them and knows exactly where they are, and where to direct his hit squad.

And you guessed it, mayhem is about to erupt in the station. But, as Zoe knows all too well, chaos can be her best friend, and they escape.

Sebastian knows something is afoot with Worthington, because all of a sudden, he has disappeared.

That’s good for Sebastian in one sense, he can go ahead with the interrogations of Isobel and Rupert in his quest to find out where John, and ultimately Zoe, is.

But the thing is, they are disinclined to be helpful in any way shape or form, and Isobel in particular, tells him to bring on the torturers.

Weird maybe, but Sebastian knows she’s probably getting a kick out of it.

Today’s writing, with Isobel laughing in the face of danger, 1,905 words, for a total of 43,067.

NaNoWriMo – April 2022 – Day 12

First Dig Two Graves, the second Zoe thriller.

Today we are in Vienna, at the hotel that Zoe was staying trying to get information out of the hotel staff. This leads to a contact on a riverboat that goes from Vienna to Bratislava in Slovakia.

Yes, we’re off to Bratislava, chasing Zoe down.

In the background we have the shadowy Worthington, pulling endless strings, gathering information on her whereabouts for John. He had deduced that if John can find her, she will pause long enough for Worthington’s hit team to get there.

John does not realize he has ulterior motives, but, then John doesn’t fully understand the spy business.

John also tasks his newfound private investigators to track her down, and Isobel doesn’t disappoint.

Then, a photo of her from Worthington arrives, she is discovered, and, as you can surmise, all hell breaks loose.

I’ve always wanted to go to Bratislava, ever since I saw it in a James Bond movie. That showed it had trams, and I’m one of those people who love trams, trains, buses, anything that reeks travel.

I would also like to hop a boat and travel up the river, perhaps from Vienna to Bratislava, or beyond.

One day.

Today’s writing, with John desperately trying to find Zoe, 2,525 words, for a total of 36,812.