#Writerinmotion Week 3: Third Draft

I can’t believe we’re halfway through the seven-week blog journey already.  Within two weeks, this experience would come to a close. But let me explain my train of thought of what new changes I’ve made in my short story. Thanks to my three CPs, K.J. Harrowick, Coffee Quills, and Kathryn Hewitt for making great suggestive changes to help me tighten and trim my short story down to 138 words. Although I didn’t get it down to 1K even, it was close enough at 1038 words for a tight word count. And thanks to my author editor friend Jeni Chappelle, she said it was okay and close enough to send it off to her by this weekend. So hopefully she can nitpick those 38 words for a cool 1K even for the final draft.

I enjoyed writing Adrienne’s mini story as I still plan to write Light My Fire into a full novel next spring for Camp Nano. And this final draft would be included in one of the final scenes. The genre and title is TBD next year for sure. Since I didn’t have any screenshots last time, I do have a screenshot of my first page of my short story. Those passages highlighted in pink colors is what my 3 lovely CPs had commented on. Some I accepted and the others I had passed on. I didn’t have time to create a stronger ending to my story.  But it would have one in the final draft.

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Here’s my 3rd draft of Light my Fire, my adult mystery short story.  And down below, I’ve created a special mood mood too.

Adrienne Sinclair sprinted past the Point Reyes Shipwreck sign and headed to the charred fishing boat. She grabbed her iPhone and snapped a shot of that landmark against the starry night. She captured the moldering beauty. The Pacific Ocean lapped in the distance, carrying its secrets with seaweed and seashells in the foamy tide.

Her sturdy booties clunked on the deck. She shone her penlight around the splintered wood from aft to starboard and flicked on the blacklight feature. A path of faded dried blood led to the galley. She held her breath as she stepped closer to the crew rooms.

A dark looming shadow moved toward her. “Adrienne, what are you doing here?”

She gasped at seeing her ex-partner in crime, Sebastian Pruitt. “You!” What was Sebastian doing here of all places?

He stood at the bow and smirked. “The same as you—claiming the prize.”

Once a con man always a con man. “Get out of my way. Or I’ll call the cops on you.”

“You wouldn’t dare.”

“Should you be locked away in prison?” As far as she was concerned, he belonged there to rot for the rest of his miserable life.

“Didn’t you get the email?” Sebastian asked.

Adrienne scowled. Since when they did release his sorry ass?

“Released a month ago for good behavior. I’ve served my time.”

She groaned. She wanted nothing more to do with him. “What do you want, Bastian?”

He cursed out loud. He had hated that nickname when they were together. “I’m here to help you find the letters.”

“Help? Why would you want to help me?” I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you, Sebastian. “You’ve lied to me in the past. I don’t buy it.” She stepped away from the crew rooms and navigated her way toward the staircase to go belowdeck.

He pointed his flashlight in the same direction. “Come on, Rennie. I know what you’re after.” He closed in the distance to her and fingered a strand of her sandy blonde hair. “I know you still want me, too.”

“Ha!” Every bone and fiber of her body couldn’t stand him. She tried not to let him ruffle her feathers when he used her hateful nickname of “Rennie.” It made her cringe. “I doubt it. I’ve moved on. And I don’t know what you’re referring to.” A cold wind blew and chilled her as she went downstairs to the mid-cabin. “We’re no longer a team anymore—professionally and personally.”

“I know where it is. Let me lead the way.”

“What are you talking about?” Adrienne asked.

“Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night.” He led the way and found the locked safe. “Aren’t you a bit interested on why someone set this boat on fire?”

She spun the dial to twenty-nine. “Not really.”

“C’mon.” Sebastian smirked as he folded his hands on his hips. “Don’t you want a nibble?”

Adrienne didn’t blink. She wasn’t going to bite. She rotated the dial to seven. “No.”

“I have the correct combo for the lock safe. Your last digit is wrong.” His dark blue eyes widened with pure delight. “I can read your mind and have known you so well..”

Little did he know what surprise she would have for him. “You think you do.”

“It won’t work…”

To prove him wrong, she spun the dial to fifty and pulled the knob. Nothing happened. It was stuck. She cursed and tried again. No luck. She kicked the safe. “Damn you!”

He laughed out loud and shook his head. “Told you. Let me work with you on this. Trust me.”

She shot red-hot daggers at him. “Why should I?”

“Because we’ve worked well together.”

“In the past, but not anymore.” She rubbed the back of her neck and sighed. “All right. What’s the last digit?”

“Ninety. The year Van Gogh died. Try it.” He folded his arms across his chest.

She rolled her eyes. Why didn’t she think about that before? Adrienne rotated the dial to ninety and yanked the wheel. It clicked open. She removed Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night and searched the matting for a bulge. “Sebastian, how did you figure it out?”

He grinned and crouched down. “You learn a lot in prison. And that’s including a new interpretation behind the story of this painting…”

“What? Van Gogh was in an asylum for his hysteria when he painted it.”

Sebastian lifted the artwork and flipped it to the other side. He snatched her flashlight and shone the light around to the middle of the matting in a slow careful manner. “True. But rumor has it, Van Gogh thought about committing suicide. He contemplated escaping this world. Failure at love and art and in life…”

Adrienne gasped as she found a slit opening in the matting. “What?”

“It’s true. He wrote private letters to his brother Theo and to Dr. Rey. Those were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum. It never made it to any biography. It remained hidden in there.” He pointed to the safe.

“So what stopped him?”

“The guards. It’s all in this loot.”

A knowing smile formed across her lips. Those purloined letters could make her a ton of money. “So what does this painting have to do with the boat?”

“People were trying to find those letters. Someone stole it and kept it hidden here. Engine failure caused the boat to go aflame.”

What a crock! “I bet you had something to do with the arson and theft. How else would you know these things?” She grabbed a stack of missing mail. “Confess!”

He laughed. “I’m telling you the truth. I was in prison during that time.”

She stepped away from him. “You’re lying. The San Diego PD told me about your prison break.” She pointed her finger at him. “I know your penchant for starting fires.”

Sebastian dropped his jaw and cursed out loud. “What?”

“You’re busted! You’ve walked right into the trap.” She displayed the taped wire on her chest. “Game over. You’re going back to prison.” When the three police officers took Sebastian away in handcuffs, a slow smile formed across her face as she left the boat.


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One Response

  1. Much smoother! Love your changes Kristen. This story keeps getting better and better. Interested to see what feedback Jeni will give you!


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