Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Write What You Know: Part 16

This is my first draft for NaNoWriMo 2016 novel Write What You Know. It's only a rough draft with very minimal editing and will, more than likely, contain, typos, grammatical errors, plot holes, or conflicting descriptions. It also includes notes to myself and excerpts from the novel the MC is writing that I try to indicate through various formatting that doesn't always translate well with my limited html skills. Furthermore, this particular novel is... there's no delicate way to put this... this novel is fucked up. So, especially in this rough draft crazed sort of NaNoWriMo way of writing, it may be difficult to read or follow.  I'm still posting it here because I want to shed more light on the process of writing to encourage and inspire other writers or readers who are interested. To learn more about this project, or my daily NaNoWriMo postings, please read Day 1-7.

Write What You Know, Part 16
By Stephanie Thompson,  1, 457  words

Read: Part 1Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15

“ This should make your day. Here’s the print out of her records, boss.”

Gimlet handed him a half inch thick file folder when he was expected a piece of paper.

“What the hell? I did a records search, nothing came up, he said.”

“Apparently, she changed her name back in Virginia, so nothing came up until we had her social and prints from booking. She’s a total bat-shit case with a history of drugs and violence. Looks like a good suspect, boss.”

Wes was too relieved to tell Gimlet to stop calling him ‘boss’. He was damn near overjoyed when overjoyed when Rodriguez came out of interrogation with the rights waiver. This case was actually breaking his way for a change (dude, sort your timeline shit out cause it’s kind of important).

“Excellent. Let the agent know that her client has waived her rights, so she’s free to shut the hell up and sit down if she insists on hanging around but a lawyer isn’t necessary. Then someone bring me the phone and someone else see if Ms. Fields wants something to drink. Oh and go stand over somebody in fingerprints to compare her’s to whatever we pulled off the cell phone.”

Wesley sat down with the file and read very, very carefully. He was the stalker finally and he needed to know his prey.

She spent time in hospitals, that part was true. Some times as a mental case, more often asa druggie, but these days they usually kept them in the same place. Everybody told her different things: she was too wild, she was anti-social, she was a danger to others, she was a danger to herself. Nikki was a figment of her imagination. Nikki was a fragment of own personality. Nikki was a completely separate personality created out of some trauma buried deep in her memory, Nikki wasn’t real at all and she was a liar.

Christie didn’t mind being in these places. It was better than being at home where she was always in trouble. Where she had nothing in common with anyone. Where she was constantly bored and stifled. In the hospitals, she had friends, there were like-minded people, there were activities, and, most importantly, she had a lot of alone time.

Juvie was the worst which is why she spent the least amount of time there. She wished her doctors could have been there to see what real anger and violence was like. In comparison, the time they set that car on fire (figure out who’s car this is) was kid’s birthday party tricks.

All of that was the past. That’s what the last doctor saved in her very last hospital stay. Before they released her because she was 18 and neither the state, her dead parents, or her absent guardians could keep her locked up against her will anymore and she couldn’t stay voluntarily.  It was the past and she should have a clean slate. She deserved it for putting the work in. So she became Christie Fields. She went to college, graduated and everything even though her first ‘NRaged novel was published before her senior year.

And when the publishers asked for a bio blurb, she made something up. Something nice and bland with general details. And when interviewers wanted to know more, not out of interest she realized but for their content feeds, she embellished the blandness with more blandness. Christie Fields was a normal person with a very active, bloody imagination according to the whole world. But the truth was that Christie Fields is as fictional as Nikki Vampyro.

The wait after Sgt. Rodriguez left was longer than she expected. Someone brought her water and the was the last person she’d seen for an hour and a half. Her knees and back hurt from the too small plastic molded chair. Her mouth was dry because the single paper cup of room temperature water wasn’t enough. And now she had a tingle in her bladder like she was going to need to pee soon.
On top of that the room wasn’t as silent as she thought, the giant caged brown clock ticked loudly. Louder each minute it passed.

Gripped the edges of seat in attempt to not chew her nails. The sharp plastic dug into the meat of her fingers keeping her in this room without making her look nervous to whatever cameras were watching her.

You should try the doorknob, it could totally be unlocked and you’re just sitting here like a chump.

I’m not here voluntarily, I can’t leave at my leisure. If I try to leave, I’ll be escaping custody.

Did I say leave? If you want to be a baby about, just go cause a fuss. Make mr. Bossman come see you on your tim, don’t wait around for him. It’s just a power play, you know how this goes.

Well, he is the one with the power because he’s the one who arrested me. He’s the one who knows what the situation is. He’s the one with whatever evidence he’s got. I’m basically a bystander.

Fine, do nothing, keep being a bystander. That’s basically the story of your life anyway, to hear you tell it, but that doesn’t make you innocent, that’s only a facade of innocence and when he does get in here, I guarantee he won’t be buying it anymore. He’ll know who you are by then.

He’d never seen someone sit so still waiting in interrogation before. Usually the people they brought in for questioning, especially after an arrest, and especially after 20 minutes of waiting start breaking down from the stress of their predicament. For some it meant crying, for some it meant practicing their story or demands, for some it meant pacing, and yet still for others it meant constant fidgeting. He figured by now she would have crumbled up her paper cup, changed positions once, maybe even switch chairs, or started chewing her nails the way she did during their first encounter.

Jennifer Transom, the suspect formerly known as Christie Fields, sat like she was doing an hour long mannequin challenge, staring at the things she was staring at (The clock? The Table? The door? The wall?) with the same intense, wild stare she had when they were in her hotel room. Despite reading her entire history twice, he did not understand her any better. Despite being armed with the facts, the evidence, her history, his suspicion, and his authority, he didn’t feel like he had any power whatsoever.

Still his only choice was to open the door.

What’s it like being a writer? Another popular question. What’s it like being a writer?? How do you write a story?

Being a writer is like being a director of a film. You have to get your characters from point A to point B but you can’t just plop them down at point B and consider your job done. Only the bad directors (or is it screenwriter?) do that for bad movies. Have you watched, say an fluffy romantic comedy, and watched the whole thing, intent, not missing a beat, giving it your full attention even though it’s obvious it’s not good and you’re not really enjoying it, then get to the climax, the music swells and the characters give their emotional appeals, you can tell it’s suppose to be full of emotion because the music is all swolled up but you’re mostly sitting there screaming at the tv “What?! What is happening?! Why are you saying this? Nothing you’ve done or said means or indicates any of these things!”

That’s what happens when you just go through the beats you know a story is suppose to have but you don’t have the skill or or care enough to actually move your characters there. You just set them down. Beat A, Beat B, Beat C and so on. Meanwhile, the audience doesn’t care about your characters and everything sounds unnatural. You didn’t direct things correctly. You have to guide them right, to where they need to be and go and do, even if they don’t want to go that way.

I don’t know, maybe that’s not what it’s like. Maybe it more like being the banks of a river. Gently guiding the river of words, characters, and emotions through the landscape of the story, shaping the story while the banks themselves get shaped by the course of the river, changing as it changes. Very organic and very natural, gentle it just feels right. And it has the same kind of power, the flooding destruction, the unpredictable violence, the occasional surprise turn. The ever present danger of drowning and getting lost, caught up in your own creations.

Thanks for Reading!