Sunday, February 13, 2011

First Draft: In the Flow

I recently wrote the entire first draft of a novel -- almost 60,000 words -- in three weeks. I wanted to take a break from writing Bev Deller mysteries and felt inclined to write a romance or love story. I ended up with an action-adventure/romance that popped out whole.  I could barely type fast enough to keep up, as the story played out in my head.

The story started out to be about a widow who goes on a cruise alone and meets a man. For the first few chapters, it looked like a straight up shipboard romance that might get a little frisky but would otherwise be along the lines of some of the other things I've written (e.g. A Home for Two). But then the hijackers took over the ship, and the story took me for a real ride, both externally with action (guns and explosives) and internally as the main characters engage in a fight for the life of the protagonist.

Writing this story was a thrill ride for me. There is more narrative than in any of my stories, and a lot more action. There's also more sex and violence, which I don't especially care for, but they are both essential to the story that wanted to be told. The first draft is complete. It will go on the shelf for a while until it's ready for editing. I don't know what will happen to it in the editing process, but I can honestly say I had a total blast writing it!

The working title is Second Chances. Here's the prologue:

Virginia stood on the roof of the lifeboat with her rifle pointed at the top deck of the cruise ship sitting dead in the water. As if in slow motion, she heard shots, saw several passengers fall and then the screaming started again. She focused on the place where the passengers fell, and waited. Then she saw the tip of a gun being waved in the air. The man holding the gun turned slightly toward her, and she shot him. She didn't think she killed him, but at least he fell and dropped his gun. She hoped one of the passengers would have the presence of mind to hide it or throw it overboard.
She saw movement out of the corner of her eye, and she shifted her aim to her left. One of the hijackers was standing near the railing aiming a rifle at her. She shot him in the head. The next instant, she felt the slug hit her. Her hands clasped her chest. She tried to call his name. Nothing came out of her mouth but a gurgling noise – and blood.

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