Monday, November 04, 2013

NaNoWriMo - Late out of the gate

It's November, and once again I'm participating in the National November Writing Month event. The goal, as always, is to write at 50,000 word novel in the space of 30 days. The purpose, however, is a little different. By having such a goal, it forces the writer (or at least this writer) to bypass their inner editor and just get the words down on paper (real or virtual). So my blog posting might not be as regular as you, dear reader, have come to expect.

My professional writing is carefully edited and researched by myself and by others. So I tend to write carefully. But for this event, I just open up the spigot and let it flow. Editing afterwards is a real chore, but it's still thrilling to watch a novel (however misshapen) take form as the month wears on.

This month, I start with a slight disadvantage. I was unable to begin until today, which means I'm already a few thousand words behind schedule. So I'll really have to pick up the pace.

I have another disadvantage, too. My original story outline just wasn't coming together at all. So at on the last day of October, I scrapped it and started over. The new story has promise. Below is the outline, such as it is.

There's only one problem, though. Although I'm only about 1,500 words into the story, I'm already off track and have introduced a new concept to the story. Where this one ends up is anybody's guess!

The Burning Death

Short plot:
It's 1936 and someone is stealing scientists to work on a special weapons system – a heat ray that can melt steel like butter. Raven tracks the villain to his island lair off the coast of Maine. X intends to sell the device to the highest bidder. In order to ensure it won’t be stolen, he has a bomb built into the only working prototype that receives a continual radio signal. If it’s interrupted, the bomb goes off. All of the documents relating to the ray are stored in an single vault, deep within the island.

Plot outline:
Chapter 1: Plant is raided and scientist stolen – Rowland reveals that several scientists have gone missing.

Chapter 2: Raven talks with Conners about pattern. There seems to be a pattern of experts in two fields. Body fished out of East river.

Chapter 3: The Barrs are talking with Roland when King bursts into the scene. He wants to know what Conners thinks, too. He reveals that the dead man is one of the missing scientists. Post mortem reveals he was chained.

Chapter 4: Conners kidnapped from home. Barrs have gone to pick him up, fail to stop kidnapping, but manage to down one of the kidnappers.

Chapter 5: Captured kidnapper just a local hire, but does give a name of who hired him. Y. MacGuffey tracks down Y in local tavern. Makes arrest, but Y is gunned down in the streets.

Chapter 6: MacGuffey goes to Y’s apartment looking for clues with Raymond, looking for clues. As they search, gunmen burst in and fan the room with a heat ray.

Chapter 7: Raymond manages to get MacGuffey out through the fire escape and fights off the gunmen. He drops on one, knocking him cold. The boss of the retreating raiders kill the captured man.

Chapter 8: Conners force to work on project – sees setup. Chained to work area, as are all scientists. Small prototype kept in vault where everyone’s papers are stored every evening.

Chapter 9: The body has a matchbook for a diner in Casco Bay, Maine. There’s also the last part of a phone number. King starts tracking the number, advises the Barrs to stay out.

Chapter 10: The Barrs arrive in Casco Bay. As Raven, Raymond goes to the diner and hangs out. Eventually he sees the boss. He signals Crow, and the two follow him to the docks and watch him take a launch out. They wait. When the launch comes in again. They slip into the water with breathing tubes. When the launch leaves, it drags Raven and Crow behind it.

Chapter 11: Conners surreptitiously palms gear. With it, he escapes from his cell. He soon discovers, though that security is too tight.

Chapter 12: The Barrs land on the island. They explore cautiously. There is a test site for the large heat ray. They see it in action. Crow is sent back to get help.

Chapter 13: Conners finally meets X and recognizes him. He is told he will cooperate or else. Raven glides through fortress, mapping it.

Chapter 14: The launch is in the middle of the bay when the pilot spots the rope pulling Crow. Getting suspicious, he stops the motor and begins to pull it in. A fight ensues and Crow is apparently killed. The launch returns to the island.

Chapter 15: The pilot reports the stowaway, and since he was coming from the island, the alarm is sounded. Raven is captured.

Chapter 16: Crow manages to swim to shore and contact King before passing out. The question is, will they arrive in time.

Chapter 17: Crow returns to the island. There’s a private airstrip on it, and he sees planes arriving. He sees the emissaries getting out, and recognizes Graupner!

Chapter 18: Conners opens his chains, and manages to free the other scientists. They overpower the guards and make for the door, but are met with heavy resistance.

Chapter 19: The heat ray is revealed, with Raven bound before it. As a small demonstration, X turns on the ray to its lowest setting, burning Raven’s abdomen. He then opens the bidding.

Chapter 20: The auction starts. Graupner tries to take control, but time bomb is revealed. He needs to sit down and bid against the others. Crow races through fortress.

Chapter 21: Conners and his escaped scientists have to go lower into the fortress. Bidding continues

Chapter 22: Resistance increases for Raven. X warned that there’s trouble. Bidding is suspended Conners and scientists reach vault. This is where transmitter is stored. Conners has idea.

Chapter 23; Raven breaks through guards, and now faces the heat ray. X fires up the ray. The bidders scatter in confusion. Raven dodges ray as it destroys chamber. Conners cuts off the transmitter. Both ray guns explode

Chapter 24: Raven is buried under the rubble, Crow is dazed. Conners and scientists fight their way up, and are met by King. Crow manages to free Raven and the two disappear before King arrives. X is killed, and most of the bidders are captured. Graupner escapes.

Chapter 25: Epilogue . Wrap up loose ends

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