Wednesday, May 6, 2009

29 Drop the Needle

TITLE: A Change of Plans
GENRE: Women’s Lit

Having met on a long plane ride to Fiji and sharing a private boat ostensibly to the hotel, Killian and Katrine are stranded on a remote, deserted island after blowing up the boat and killing the two men who were kidnapping Killian: the captain and Jonathan, Killian’s midlife crisis boyfriend.

“What the bloody hell?” he said as a horrific scream pierced the air. He tried to run, noticing that he was maneuvering well now in his leg irons. Two minutes later he reached Katrine, who was standing on the edge of the water, still screaming, staring into the bay. He wondered how he was going to survive even a day with this woman. “What’s wrong with you?” he demanded. In response she pointed toward an outcropping of coral, then turned and ran. He looked in the direction she had pointed, where several birds were perched in the water. His entire body began to shake as he realized they were picking at the remains of Jonathan, stuck on the coral that was now exposed at low tide. He dry heaved several times before falling to the ground. This can’t be real, he thought. Five minutes passed before he was able to stand up. He made his way back to their clearing, where he found Katrine rocking back and forth, her knees pulled up under her chin. He sat down and put his arm around her, needing the comfort as much for his own sake as for hers.

“It’s okay,” he said gently. “I’m glad he’s dead. It was us or them. You were right - we’ll make the most of this until we get rescued. I will not let Jonathan win. But I can’t help until these leg irons are off. Can we please work on that now?”


  1. I cringed at the image of the birds eating the remains of someone. yuck. He seemed to recover from his extreme emotions fast and want to comfort Katherine.
    Sounds like an exciting part to the story. The dialogue was a little stilted and the paragraphs need to be broken up a bit better. but it's not bad.

  2. Killian is gay? bi? I like all the drama anyway. Katirne's reaction seems completely reasonable given the situation, so he comes over as a strange one.
    A silly point but the name Katrine makes me think Latrine. Maybe consider Katrin?

  3. Felt a bit garbled-- maybe the breaking up suggested by Beth would help.

    Personally, I like to know what people are reacting to before I see their reaction, so the scream before the swearing is more useful to me-- otherwise I feel like the movie was missing the sound at first.

    And, nit-picky, but I always thought dry-heaves kept a person from standing, so falling after they were done feels a bit awkward to me.

    I'm assuming the bi-/gayness will be clear before this point? I was confused by the intro too.

  4. Oh my, the birds were a serious visual. It was well done. I think reaking up the paragraph might help the flow when reading.
    I would read more,
    I was interested in his leg irons and why he had them. I wanted to know who these people were and what was going to happen to them.

  5. Dialogue is a way of pacing. If you bury dialogue in the middle of a very long paragraph you lose the effect.

    The reader also forgets the conversation.

    The very long paragraph is so slow the book would scare me. You need much more white space.

  6. I agree with everything said so far. The paragraphs need to be broken up, but sometimes what you have on your writing program and how it looks in a blog are two different things.

    Your visuals are great! You also had me racing to find out why Katrine was screaming, then had me cringing over the birds.

    Thanks for sharing your piece.

  7. The Author here. Thanks for the feedback, both positive and negative. I've already taken the breaking up of the paragraphs to the manuscript, although it isn't as globbed together on the 8 1/2 by 11 size but it certainly helps. Killian is absolutely gay, and this is not a romance novel, if that helps any. They've only known each other for 24 hours. All comments appreciated!!!

  8. The guy caught on the coral really creeped me out. Great job! I only have one small nitpic (tiny one). The sentence about 5 minutes to recover himself sort of jilted me out of the story. Don't know why but it did.