Saturday, April 7, 2012

Write On Edge Prompt: Romantic Things Happening

Things need to happen in a story. This we know, but sometimes the advice we get regarding exactly what needs to happen… well, it frankly sucks. Take this one, pulled from an unnamed source, and quoted in Marion Roach Smith’s The Memoir Project:

“Today’s fiction tip for writers: A good way to ‘liven up’ the plot of a novel is to give the characters some romantic interest. Wrong: Doreen entered the room. Right: Doreen entered the room and had sex with Roger.”

For Friday, we’d like you to take this advice with a grain (or a generous handful) of salt. Introduce a romantic interest or opportunity and see what happens.

Word limit: 450

This is more of a character sketch than a piece that will be included in an actual story somewhere...I think.  Either way, let me know what you think and please enjoy.

Shawn sighed as he wiped the blood from his face.  Rachel would kill him when she got her hands on him again.  And that was going to happen any minute.  That she was in love with him was a given.  The problem was that he didn’t know for sure how he felt about her.

Which was how I ended up on this mission getting my ass kicked, he thought to himself.

With a strip of relatively clean cloth from his undershirt keeping the blood from running into his eyes, Shawn ghosted his way back to the extraction point.  Nights were short on this planet because of the binary star system it orbited.  The first morning rays painted the way to the waiting spacecraft.  And her.

She was tall with long dark hair and the bluest eyes he’d ever seen.  She was also the only woman he’d met in his career that stood a chance of beating him in hand to hand combat.  And she was the pilot on this mission despite everything he’d done to get away from her.  But she wasn’t watching his direction at that moment, giving him time to study her.

He’d known instinctively Rachel was a good woman, the kind he’d have thought about bringing home to meet his family before he lost them.  But there was also something about her that set his teeth on edge.  He just couldn’t figure out what it was.

His movement caught her eye and she turned to him.  He watched as relief was replaced by fear and anger.  She’d seen the blood.

“Shawn, baby, what happened?!” he could see the unshed tears as she ran to him.

“The mission.  Whadda ya expect?” he brushed by, head pounding too much to deal with her.

Shawn stepped onto the shuttle and froze.  A woman sat strapped into one of the passenger seats.  She was thin, too thin.  She had strawberry blond hair.  Shawn’s blood boiled when he saw the bruises on her uncovered skin.  He couldn’t tell much more about her since she wouldn’t look up at him.

He moved to the back of the cabin, dropped his gear, unloaded his rifle and secured it in the gun locker.  He noticed the woman jump when his pack hit the deck.  Shawn took a first aid kit and went to the head.  He winced as he pulled the blood crusted strip off his head and again when he cleaned the wound.

“That’s the best it’s gonna get,” he muttered.

Shawn put the kit away and turned to head to the cockpit.  As he looked up, he met the woman’s cloud grey eyes.  It was as if she was looking into his soul.

1 comment:

  1. I like the action parts a lot in the story; it comes to life when you describe his responses to the situations, like using the clean shirt to stop the blood flow.

    I think the middle drags down a little because there's a lot of exposition/background in a row. I think Rachel's reaction to his wound shows how she feels about Shawn without you having to explicitly state it.

    The woman with the soul-finding eyes was a surprising ending, and it made me even more interested to see what might happen.