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Day 2: Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Hold

Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
... There’s also poetic justice for this crew for what they did to the women they kept....
t’s still Friday to me. [Writing early Saturday morning.] I wasn’t in bed until 6h and up at 14h. Then lots of errands. Lots of walking. Felt tired earlier—something different. I haven’t spent much time thinking about this story. I seemed to have put my mind into another lane. Not what I want. I was thinking too much about my future as a successful writer. Not simply being a writer, but a successful writer. One that makes a good living off or from it. That’s a better goal.
So what to say about this story. No title. Oh. I did decide on something. She can’t die. Too much of a downer. That would seem to rule out a revenge aspect by the husband. Maybe she does it. These guys [the baddies] have to get it in the end.
I was thinking about how she wants to sink the ship and see the captain and crew killed. But, political considerations come into play. Her hands are tied so she has to come up with something that doesn’t violate the rules. I imagined a launch sinking with the captain. Not likely. Just thought about this ship carrying weapons. Missiles etc. A warship disguised as a container ship. That seems to be too much. [Also not practical.] What would get the Chinese or Russians to fire on the ship and sink it. That’s something to think about. Another idea. These guys pick up some type of disease because of them being with these women. I know what has to happen in the end. These guys have to pay the price when they seem to be protected [from the legal system]. They could get at them, the Chinese, by pretending to be investors. Setting up plant etc… But that seems boring and convoluted. There’s always the option of hiring assassins or sending commandos but that’s too much. [And obvious and been done too much.]
I was wondering about North Korean connection. A reason for the US to act. But they wouldn’t. DPRK has nukes. So I don’t see that as an option. Is there a way to buy the ship? Not likely. Also not likely they could get it banned from cannels or ports. Here’s an idea. The ship collides with another. It’s a deliberate collision so they sink. That seems possible. And here’s the twist. The Chinese crew is rescued to a ship owned by her where they are imprisoned. So this ship becomes a floating prison and it’s assumed the crew were lost at sea. That I like… That’s a good ending. YES. YES. YES. I now have the biggest pieces. I have the premise and an ending and a good ending. YES. YES. YES. [There’s also poetic justice for this crew for what they did to the women they kept.]
I heard her say—I want them dead. That leads people [the readers] in one direction [until] they get the surprise. And I think it’s a good surprise. The ending has the requirements: (1) [it’s] set-up so not deus ex machina, (2) unpredictable (3) resolves the conflict [and (4) it’s appropriate.]
The boat has to sink because the crew has to be assumed to be missing. How to sink? Then the ship has to sink in the deep part of the Pacific Ocean so it’s not easily recovered or not easy to look at. It has to look like a sinking that has nothing to do with any act of war. And the women have to get off. So now I know how it happens [I think I meant what has to happen]. There’s an attack ship. It’s a freighter so some type. They pirate [yes, not normally a verb] the Chinese vessel so they can rescue the women [and capture the officers and crew]. And it sinks [the Chinese container ship] because of a fire caused by cargo onboard. And I know how. A JetBlue 727 left Miami and crashed within minutes of take-off. Why? Oxygen generators and tires in a hold. Massive fire. That works. They have a fire. It gets out of control.
Here’s a possibility. These guys load a special container onboard. The crew think it contains new girls. When the crew go to retrieve the girls, they get a surprise. That either releases a team of commandos or triggers a fire. [But] The fire has to be delayed. So I have to work on the details.
I also imagined a court session on the ship. Found guilty and sentenced to life of this floating prison. That way it makes it clear what is happening. [Not vigilante justice, although in a way it still is.]
Also imagined the ship wandering in the arctic. Makes for a cold environment. Another image. Instead of cabins in the super structure, there’s a series of connected containers where these women are kept. A revolting thought but it’s needed because it’s needed in the end.
So what else should I do? I had some big progress today. Much better than I expected. And I have to wonder where it came from. [Hard to say.]
The Floating Prison
The Floating Cage
The Deep Blue Cage
The Deep Blue Prison

Thinking about some of the major plot points and wondering about the end of Act II. What’s a bad, bad, bad disaster [for our hero]. She gets tossed overboard. That’s bad. But how to solve it? That’s a big challenge. Can’t swim [far]. Can’t catch a ride. I don’t know how to overcome this. I don’t know how to save her and it’s been done. Than thinking about her being able to jump ship and getting into a worse situation. Maybe the ship goes to Yemen and sold into sex trade…ugh.
I know what the disaster is. She gets bad news from the US government. It could be they searched the ship and there was no evidence of the things she was talking about. That’s possible. Or perhaps the US wants to board the ship to check, but they got word from the Chinese, do that and it’s war… Neither want to fight over this. But the ship is subject to inspection once a year for safety. Also, when entering a port, they’d be subject to inspections [customs & immigration]. Have to clear customs. There’s some details I need to get a hold of but that won’t be a problem.
Because I got my ending today, it has juiced my energy in this novel written. The drive and desire to get it written is strong. It felt like yesterday, and now more so because I know I have something I can do. It’s only a matter of putting one step after another. It’s there to do. I don’t think I [have] quite felt that way before with my writing.
Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel.
Square bracket items represent editorial comments.
James Piper
Kitchener, Ontario
Posted 2017/03/12 at 17h09ET in The Deep Blue Hold | Writing A Novel


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