Reality vs Story


This’ll be the last of my NaNo 2016 samples. The edits of Picture Perfect have started in my head. I may make a few notes but the plan is to go back Lazarus Kiss and get that in shape to blog it starting January, 2017. Once that gets done, then I have Cold Dusters which needs a major edits & it’ll be blogged in 2018 – a day at a time.

One of the things I deal with frequently is keeping my characters realistic and the world they live in realistic. The character building I do often reflects elements of my life that may be true to me but may not make for a real world to many people. I don’t drink alcohol, smoke, use recreational drugs, spend time in bars, participate in sports, swear a lot – hence the bulk of my characters end up being non-smoking, non-drinkers etc.

6dcb02They end up living in a sort of ‘clean’ world. I’ve tried to have them pick up a cigarette, do a joint and it comes across as awkward and unnatural. Do I want to stop my conversations & actions with – he lit a cigarette, she poured another drink – I don’t know how to work these habits in casually – smokers have to be chain smokers & that has to be a part of their character.

They end up living in a sort of ‘clean’ world. I’ve tried to have them pick up a cigarette, do a joint and it comes across as awkward and unnatural. Do I want to stop my conversations & actions with – he lit a cigarette, she poured another drink – I don’t know how to work these habits in casually – smokers have to be chain smokers & that has to be a part of their character.

xmasmugsBut as I look at my various Nano writings my characters rarely go to the bathroom either. They do drive, take public transit, rarely listen to music, always watch TV, never complain about the weather. I strive to make them emotionally real while resisting the use of daily minutia to clutter things up. Maybe this’ll be one of the challenges for NaNo 2017 – create a character who casually smokes – but doesn’t light up another cigarette simply so I have more words on the page.cbschool

This last sample continues the dinner date with Stan but I’ve jumped over the dinner (which I wrote) to get them into a compromising position. The Catholic girls’ school (pictured above) in Sydney is real but the tower (as far I know) is world building. I know people who frequently ‘infiltrate’ abandoned buildings.

“I want to show you something. Drive!” Stan ordered.


“To your hotel. Not for what you think.”

There was some traffic on the streets but the city seemed deserted compared to Toronto downtown at 11 p.m. on a Friday night. He parked in the hotel lot.

“This way.” Stan took him by the hand and lead him across the street from the hotel, up a side street to a school yard with a tower on one end. “I have the key.” He unlocked the door. “This was once a Catholic all-girls school. It’s been closed for several years. I’d love to the it over for a real museum. Too much money goes to Louisbourg.”

Dan felt his way careful as his eyes became used to the light. The stair way coiled up along the tower. Light came in through the regularly placed windows. When they got the top landing Stan pushed the door opened.

“Watch for pigeon shit up here.” he said as they stopped out.

They had a view of the harbour in front of them, the two views of the city on either side of them. Dan rotated slowly and took an endless series of panoramic pictures.

“This is a spectacular view.” He said. He leaned over the sides of the tower to get shots looking directly down to capture the reflection of lights on the tower’s windows. “Can we get out to the roof from here?” he asked.

“Roof?” Stan said. “Are you nuts. I wouldn’t even do that in daylight.”

“Something to look forward to next I’m back here.” He leaded against the stone railing. “I love this castle tower feeling. I wish I had hair to let down.”

“In this case your prince has taken the stairs.” Stan kissed him tentatively.

Dan pulled him closer and let the kiss last longer. He was a little dizzy when it ended.

“Mmm.” Stan kissed him again.

Dan didn’t resist Stan’s hands as they squeezed his butt and then felt his crotch, pulling down his fly.

“Slowly.” He pushed Stan away from him. Started to do his fly back up.

Stan knocked his hand away. “That’s not going to happen.” He undid his pants. “You’ve had your eyes on this from when we met this morning. Even when I wasn’t in the room it’s all you’ve been thinking about.” He grabbed Dan just under the chin and yanked him quickly to his knees. “Self-defence 101.”

On his knees Dan whacked the back of Stan’s knees and rammed his stomach with his head. Stan lost his balance and fell on his back. With his pants around his calves he couldn’t get up with Dan’s weight holding them to the ground as Dan stood up.

Winded by the head butt he lay there gasping for air.

“Okay Okay you win.” Stan said groping for the top of his pants. “I totally underestimated you.” He struggled to get up but Dan kept his foot on Stan’s pants.

“Is this why the pool is so small for you here?” Dan asked.

“I … I’m sorry. Really sorry Dan.”

Dan moved back to let him get up.

“I do have a reputation for being a little too aggressive.”

“Attempted sexual assault is more than a little aggressive.” Dan said. ‘Even in the most romantic setting.”

“You aren’t looking for romance. Are you?”

“Aren’t you?”

“Sure.” Stan brushed leaves off his jeans. “I guess I really blew it with you? Or did I even stand a chance?”

Dan followed Stan down the tower stairway. What signals had he missed? Was Stan’s initial flirtation a red flag he should have taken heed of or was he so sex deprived his mind didn’t care.

On the side walk he declined Stan’s offer to walk him back to the hotel.

“I know my way back and you know your way home.”

“You know this isn’t …”

“It is good night. Thank Helena for a great meal.” He turned and walked in the direction he hoped would take him back to the hotel. He glanced back a few times to make sure Stan wasn’t following him.

It was after midnight when he got back to the hotel.

“There’s an urgent message for you.” the deck clerk gave him note.

“Thanks.” he opened the note and it was from Baxter. ‘Answer my texts, asap.’

Dan had turned his phone off while they watched the Cold Canada promo. He checked his texts in the elevator. Baxter wanted to know what he thought of the promo. How urgent could that be?

“They spelt my name right.” he texted back.

In his room he tossed his shoulder bag and camera on the armchair. The camera was still on. He’d forgotten to turn it off. Not exactly forgot as Stan hadn’t given him an opportunity. He picked up and saw that the setting had been changed panoramic to video. So he had a recording of the assault. Would that come in handy in court? To think he planned to send flowers that man the next time he was on the east coast.

He sat on the bed to take his shoes off. There were some white gooey splotches on the cuff of his jeans. When did the little creep have time to shoot off on him. He must have come while Dan was standing on his pants to keep him on the ground. Came without jacking off just by being … dominated. Restrained. By Dan. How weird was that.

(When I had them going up the stairs I had no idea of what was going to happen between these two guys. But it’s always good to get your characters in trouble whenever possible.)


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