My WIP is on hold. It lacks ongoing conflict. My protagonist’s actions don’t affect the big picture. It’s your fault I know about these faults. You made me read many good writing blogs. (Yes, your fault. I see your half of a conversation on Twitter and want to see the rest.)
I also need to focus on a smaller number of spinning plates. My WIP has been set down gently and is wrapped in foam on a safe shelf. There is a box beside it to collect random thoughts, so I don’t have to open the WIP and risk spinning it before I have time to do it right.
Now you make me do this.
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next seven lines as they’re written–no cheating!
(Gulp. I’m still surprised what started as 11 pages of 60 page story is now 86 pages. Fixing the aforementioned problems will make it even longer.)
At nine minutes, still damp, she reported to the office and saluted Gunnery Sergeant Hammett. He nodded at her salute, gave her a data pad and pointed to a chair. “You know the drill, Cadet.”
She wrote. Stick to the facts as I saw them. What if it wasn’t him? The assassin would still be out there, and she had assaulted an innocent victim.
Stick to the facts. He was an intruder. She had immobilized him.
Did she over-react? Should she have stopped after shooting his leg? No, he would have climbed back to the roof and escaped. Shooting the rope, making him fall, risking a broken neck – that had been stupid. She should have shot his arm. An easier shot. He would have hung there until security arrived.
Bonus: Same universe, set 5 or 10 years later. Very different person and story. Hard to believe the last time I touched the file was 2003.
She didn’t need a boyfriend. That would imply that she cared about him, that it would hurt if she lost him. She hurt enough already.
She called him.
“Keyop? It’s Hannah. I’ve got to cancel the ride tomorrow. There’s a sick bobcat in the bush, and the Ministry’s asked for volunteers to track it down before it attacks anyone.”
“Can I help?”
“Pick me up at seven. Volunteers are to meet at the dam. Bring lunch.”