You’re doing it wrong…

Yay I’m writing, and it feels great.

Unfortunately I’m doing it wrong. I wanted to write a short story that would act as a prequel to my NaNoWriMo project this year. However, what I’ve done so far is write 1,006 words that have seen a spacecraft land on a planet, and my protagonist go through customs, and ride a taxi to a hotel. It’s not even got him in the room yet.

It’s not a big deal, obviously – a lot can be cut out in the edit, but now I’ve realised the problem I need to write differently, or face having an extra difficult edit process to cut it down. Makes sense? Unfortunately, there’s now a cognitive dissonance between what I’ve written and what I will be writing, switching styles after you’ve started isn’t great.

Needs must though, I feel the need to write this because I’ve made the decision for my NaNoWriMo novel start in the middle of it’s B plot, while the A plot has a more traditional three act structure. So the short story I’m writing is the first part of that B plot, it’ll give me some reference points, without bogging down the main novel with what really isn’t necessary for the story.

Plus it allows me to achieve one of my favourite things in novels, having a world that exists beyond the novel itself. One of my most hated things is stories that take place in a bubble, you want indications of a rich back story that led up to the events of your novel, without directly featuring them.

I also want to do a second short story, this second featuring a bit more world building so being broader in context than my current short story featuring the back story to the protagonist.

In the meantime, I need to get less detailed and more action and intention orientated to make this short story work. I’d like to limit myself to four thousand words.

I’ll publish the short stories on here once they’re done.

Short Story: The Peculiar Blade

I was in Scarborough for the weekend just gone, and took the opportunity to do a little writing – okay, it’s been a while since I actually wrote a story. Mostly I keep plotting them – but this one had no plot, I just wrote. It is very strictly a short story to enjoy, there isn’t much depth to it. I did enjoy writing it though.

The Peculiar Blade

by J L Lawrence

Thomas McVey looked at the peculiar blade in his hands and felt a strange premonition.

He walked over to the window and reflected on his quiet surroundings. He had always loved rainy Scarborough with its quiet, yet wild seaside. It was the place he always came to when in hiding, it was easier to move between the north and south halves of the city, and the headland made for interesting defensive positions.

From his room on the top floor of the hotel, looking out over the North bay, the sea wild with high winds, the sun deep down, he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Mark Kowalski. Mark was an tenacious police agent who Thomas had known for some time was on his trail. Two years previous Thomas had got on Mark’s radar with an operation in Bristol, then again, another operation in Devon, that he had tracked him down in Scarborough over 300 miles away did not bode well.

Thomas gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He looked older than his forty-five years, somehow the past decade on the path of revenge had taken its toll, but it had also made him lean, he had the hungry look of a predator, his skin was taught over lean muscles, belying a hard and fast man. What few acquaintances he had still contact with, saw him as a hard, focused and dark monster. His enemies saw a man to whom death would be inevitable, but until then he was a dark and dangerous killer best to be avoided.

But not even an incredible person who had dozens of kills under his belt, and had fended off more than his fair share of assassins, was prepared for what Mark had in store today.

The rain hammered like jumping rats, the wind made the sea roar, making it hard for Thomas to see and hear the danger around him, the only thing he was sure of was that Mark Kowalski was out there waiting for him.

As Thomas stepped outside and Mark came closer, he could almost see the hungry glint in his eye, and Thomas knew this man had violent intentions.

“I am here because I want justice,” Mark bellowed from the street, in a deranged tone. He slammed his foot down. “I frigging hate you, Thomas McVey, come down here and face me.” Despite the roaring from the ocean Thomas heard him nearly perfectly.

Thomas looked back, even more surprised and still fingering the peculiar blade, then he made up his mind and left the room and riding the antiquated lift down to the first floor where there was a communal balcony empty with the weather. “Mark, you must think I was born yesterday,” he called out.

They looked at each other with angry feelings, Detective Kowalski pulled a handgun from beneath his jacket, a simple Browning and took aim.

Thomas ducked back inside, and head for the stairs down, keeping an eye out for an attack, but he made it to the ground floor doorway.

Suddenly, Mark lunged forward and tried to punch Thomas in the face. Quickly, Thomas grabbed the peculiar blade and brought it down on Mark’s skull.

Mark’s dirty legs trembled and his ugly arms wobbled. He looked anxious, and scampered back, fumbling with the gun. Several over men rushed into the corridor; their guns ready.

Thomas smashed the fire alarm, and retreated back into the stair way, he ducked down heading towards the basement.

The unknown men followed him, but Thomas had moved into a narrow corridor with a blind right hand bend, which allowed him to meet the shadowy men one by one in close quarters, and he rapidly despatched them, rendering them unconscious or unable to stand as opportunity dictated. He wasn’t interested in a body count, he had no way of knowing who these men were, despite being sure they weren’t police.

Mark staggered through the narrow corridor, he started shooting blindly before he could see Thomas, sending ricochets and brick shards flying around the corner. Thomas had no choice but to retreat, coming to the large boiler for the hotel.

“It’s no use,” the detective called out, you’re trapped, and I have a gun and you only a knife.

Thomas refrained from replying, he focused on understanding his setting, the pipes and tanks that filled the boiler room.

Mark charged in, firing that anything that looked like a man. He fired three times before his gun was empty, and he had to stop release the clip to replace it.

Thomas charged out from behind one of the boiler tanks, hot and sweaty but still ready and able to fight, he let forth a roar as he drove the knife in between the ribs of the vengeful detective.

Mark let out an agonising groan and collapsed onto the ground. Moments later Mark Kowalski was dead.

Thomas McVey went back upstairs, and filtered into the crowd making their way out due to the fire alarm, disappearing from the crowd he walked the one mile back to the South Bay and took up occupancy in his back up hotel, and made himself a nice cup of tea.

THE END