Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Accidental NaNo Story

Yesterday I wrote how frustrated I was with my official NaNoMoWri story, the one I plotted ahead of time with spreadsheets, plot points, mid points and pinch points.

After burning out on November 10, I took a few days off to bump around the Internet, give critiques and hang out at the Romantic Suspense class I took at SavvyAuthors.com. I was fourteen days behind on the homework. But since I paid for the class I tackled the homework in the post-reply, making it up as I went along. Funny thing happened. I came up with a story concept. The instructor, Dee Lloyd, critiqued my prologue and first chapter. She suggested I drop the prologue, so I dropped it. She suggested a murder. At first I did not want to do a murder. I just wanted to do a computer crime and a kidnapping. But along the way, a body ended up under someone's car, so I got my murder.

Jennifer Cruz Jones has a new job, a new car, and a new apartment. Athletic and trim, she worked her way through college and 24 Hour Fitness. But she cannot hide from her past when the brother of her ex-fiance is murdered.
Startup founder Dave Jewell thought he needed one more cash infusion to launch his social shopping network. But when he finds blood on the frontend of his car, he is drawn to Jennifer for answers.
As Jennifer scurries to deliver the ransom, Dave uncovers damaging information about Jennifer while falling in love with her.
A hostage is taken. Dave must race against time to find his daughter while Jennifer avoids becoming the next piece of roadkill.
She headed down Trimble and turned left on Zanker. She needed to install a new fileserver. There was only one other car in the parking lot. She pulled next to it and hit the curb. Damn. She reversed it a bit and cut the engine.
A chilly gust blew dried leaves in a circle on the sidewalk. Jen locked her car and bent to examine the damage, a cracked spoiler. Her brand new Eclipse. She dropped her keys and spit on her finger to rub out the black scratch.
The car next to her stood higher and stretched over the sidewalk. That’s why she had misjudged. Her eyes widened. Dried brownish streaks flaked off the front of the grill. And there was no mud on the sidewalk. She picked off a flake and noticed a tuft of black hair pinched to the license plate holder.
Jen backed from the car and dropped her backpack. She must not scream. Drive away. Pretend she didn’t see it. Whose car was this?
She stooped to retrieve her keys. A pair of trousered legs met her on the way up. The scream erupted from her throat as strong hands clamped her wrists.
Steel grey eyes bore into hers. “Calm down. Stop fighting me. Are you here to install the NetApp?”
Jen’s breaths scattered from her throat. She tried to pull away, but the man, the CEO, the founder, Dave what’s his name, held her arms and brought her into the building.
“Let me go,” Jen cried. “I forgot something. I’m sorry. I can’t work today.”
“Look, it’s only a little front end damage. I know it’s a new car and everything. I’m sure insurance would take care of it.” He handed her the backpack.
He appeared calm, too calm to have blood on his car. Jen’s brain burst with silent screams. She forced herself to breathe evenly. Don’t be stupid. A CEO wouldn’t be driving a Camry.

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