Today I officially passed the 50,000 word point – in actuality I’m well past that and will keep pushing my story along for a few more days. The thirty possible events I had was a good start but the plot quickly took its own shape as I dove into it, like a good improv player, and said yes to new possibilities that weren’t in my mind when I started.
For me one of the crucial ideas is that I don’t have to finish this story arc in 50,000 – it allows me to explore and not rush things or discount things that don’t fit into my original notion. This gave me some great subplots – Dan’s RCMP history, the photo leaving serial killer, his sister’s business manipulations – none of which were in list of 30 possible events.
playing with the rough boys
My intention was to world build Dan’s life quickly then send him off on his Maritime adventure by the 30,000 word point – looks like he won’t be leaving town till after the 60,000 word point. Adding stuff about sexual harassment, sexual consent and even a mild antigay marriage stance by Dan (he’s not impressed by gays aping heteronormative behaviours) has bulked up the the text more than I anticipated. All for the good of the story.
Each day I’ve been excited to sit down and write what comes next. My writing pattern changed somewhat as well. Thanks to my upstairs Airmac I was able to use it at times when I didn’t have access to our desk top. Some days I did pass 3000 words but the way I bank words I hit the 50 mark earlier this week but was in not hurry to declare. I’ll post count updates past 50, but you’ll have to trust me for that.
(This is from November 18 at about the 43,000 word mark. Dan has an office in the floor above his store, The Camera Depot. Jill owns a coffee cafe that shares part of the building.)
Shouting erupted from the store below. Someone was very angry. Occasionally under medicated street people would wander into the store. This sounded like one of those. It was the sort of physical confrontation that he found difficult to handle.
The hardest part of his security training was the hand to hand combat. He was good enough to get a passing mark but he dreaded that class more than any other. He’d often found himself physically sick by the end of the class. He was grateful that he never had to put use what he had learned or ever had to defend himself.
He went to the monitors to see who it was and if he needed to call the police. It was a man moving too much for Dan to fully see his face. He walked down to the bottom of the stairs and stood at the entrance to the Depot.
“What’s all the commotion?” He asked.
The man turned and charged at him. Dan held his ground, stepped aside at the right moment and nudged the man as he rushed passed him. The man lost his footing and fell on the stairs.
The man laid quiet for a moment then turned himself over. His nose was bleeding.
“What the fuck!” He said. “Look what you’ve done.”
It was John Kilpatrick from Unsolved Cold.
“John?” Dan said reaching over to help him up.
John grabbed Dan’s forearm with his left hand, pulled himself up and at the same time swung with his right fist catching Dan under his eye.
Dazed Dan staggered back as John hit him again in nearly the same spot. Blindly he struck out with his elbow and felt it hit John’s chin. John crumpled to the floor.
By then Ushio was pulling Dan away. The pain in his eye made him dizzy. Ushio lead him to a chair by the order desk.
“Police are on the way.” Sandy said.
“Which means we’ll see them in about two days.” Dan said. His eye had swollen shut.
“Here,” someone handed him a cloth with ice in it.
He glanced up with his good eye. It was Jill. “Thanks.”
“What was that all about?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Ask him.”
Dan peered around. John Kilpatrick was gone.
“I was John Kilpatrick. Don’t ask me why though? I only met the guy the once a few weeks ago.”
“Weird.” Sandy said. “I think you should go to St. Mike’s emerg and get that looked at asap boss man. I’ll deal with the police when they get here.”
Dan got up. Dizzy he sat back down.
“I’ll get a cab.” Jill went out to the street and came back a few minutes later. “Got one. Come on.”
“Ushio get my shoulder bag from upstairs. I’ll need some i.d.”
Three nurses, two x-rays, two resident doctors, one eye specialist, a gauze apparatus over his eye and six hours later Dan was squinting around the waiting area for Jill. She was talking with two unformed police officers.
They came over to him and introduced themselves.
“I’m XX Marks and this is my partner XX Howard.”
He shook their hands.
“How’s the eye?” Jill asked.
“Not as bad as it feels. Luckily they see no fractures around the eye socket or cheek. The eye itself appears to been bruised but the extent of that damage can’t be ascertained until the swelling goes down. No broken blood vessels though, which is a good sign.”
“You’ll be glad to know that we have detained Mr. Kilpatrick.” Marks said.
“Thanks.” Dan said. “That was fast.”
“Being that drunk makes people do foolish things like wandering up Yonge Street with blood dripping down your face. Made him very easy to pick up.” Howard said. “His blood alcohol count was off the charts.”
“When we got the call from your store we realized some of what happened.” Marks said. “We’re still not clear on why though.”
“Neither am I.” Dan said. “It was just a routine day at the office and bam he comes in ranting at my staff.”
“We saw the video. Great set up you have.” Marks said.
“Didn’t keep this from happening though.” Dan half-laughed.
“So you really don’t know why he was upset?” Howard asked again.
Dan explained how he knew Kilpatrick, then a bit about the missing children’s case and his personal interest in it.
“He’s said nothing to you?” Dan asked.
“We won’t get much out him till he sobers up. By which time I’m sure he’ll have his lawyer by his side. That was the one thing he most clear about. He wanted his lawyer to sue you, some black bastard named Baxter.” Mark said.
“May be you should talk to Baxter then.”
“You know who that is?”
“He’s the producer of Unsolved Cold.” Dan said. “I think I have his card.” He looked in the little pockets inside this shoulder bag and found it. “Here it is.” He handed it to Marks who looked at it then handed it to Howard.
“We’ll get in touch with him.” Howard sighed as he made a note of the name and number on a pad. “We’ve dealt with Quintex before.” he glanced at Marks.
“Yeah they wanted to do a Bad Boys Toronto then discovered how boring Toronto really is.”
“Is there anything more?” Dan asked.
“Nope. it’s all pretty much open and shut as they say. Assault, video evidence, witnesses. He’ll be charged. His lawyer will see what we have and they’ll plea. Most likely it won’t even go to trial. Unless …”
“Unless what?” Dan asked.
“We find some evidence that you instigated this. That become mitigating circumstances. But that doesn’t sound the case here.” Howard said.
“Can we give you a lift?” Marks asked.
“Sure.” Jill smiled. “You can drop us off at the scene of the crime. I’ll give you a cup of coffee you won’t forget.”