Project: Lost and Found
Market: Torquere Monthly Sips, September "In Uniform" call
Deadline: July 1, 2013
Required length: 3-8K
Final wordcount: 6456
This may have been the most outline-driven piece I've written yet. And even so, the first thing I wrote was the shorthand version of the love-confession conversation. I just outlined backwards from there.
I just sent it off. 4PM on the day of the deadline may be cutting it close, but when you consider how tight a time frame I wrote it in, I don't think that's bad AT ALL.
3-8K, it said. Oh yeah, I'll just condense this 10-20K plotbunny down to its core scene and write it as 3K, I said. Yeah. RIGHT.
Yes, I primarily engaged with the core scene - the confession of love. (And some making out and hand jobs. Yeah, "heat level: any", but they're acutely aware that they might die soon, they're gonna get physical. Also, it pretty thoroughly refutes the "you're just saying that" fear.) It doesn't have the longer period of UST buildup I intended. It's a single POV, when at 10-20K I might have used a dual one. But even with just the core happening, I still had to set the scene. Which meant about a third of the wordcount was dedicated to introducing them as officers on a B-24 bomber, and explaining what a piece of shit that particular bomber was, and sending them on a search-and-rescue mission, and describing the crash.
The crash (and their struggle to get in the life raft, they do not get eaten by the sharks at this time) counted as one long action scene. I suck at action scenes. It was a good thing I had a real crash to model it after. I did not plagiarize any of Laura Hillenbrand's words. I just lifted the framework of events: one engine running out of fuel, the wrong engine gets feathered, the flying coffin goes down.
One thing about having a lower target wordcount is that it kept me from going crazy with the research. Mostly I just concentrated on the design of the plane and that one historic crash. There was a brief sidetrack into Golden Age comics when I renamed the actual Green Hornet the Blue Beetle, and a couple of other details (like how did a Mae West life preserver fasten anyway, and how waterproof were their watches?) but I didn't need the entire arc of the war, or anything like that.
I still kept a few of the Steadfast Tin Soldier details... well, really just the shout-out to the one-legged bit by injuring the pilot's leg.
I was working on it last night while my housemate was watching Cupcake Wars. That was fine until my kid came downstairs and wanted the volume up because of the A/C and then WOULD NOT STOP TALKING. I had to resort to my big headphones. I told Pandora to build a station around Cole Porter, to keep it thematically appropriate. For the most part, it was great, although I had to tell it that although I liked songs in French I didn't want the cabaret accordion pieces, nor did I want ANY version of Beyond the Sea, and please leave Sinatra OUT. I don't care how celebrated he is. I think his voice is smarmy.
I left off last night at the beginning of the sex scene. It was a good stopping point, because sex scenes are the easiest parts for me. I picked up today and just went chugging through, with support from mswyrr and gehayi and kittygamble .
And now it's done, and now it's off, and I'm taking a shower.