Finishing Nanowrimo and a WIPpet snippet

We had our traditional Stuttgart Thanksgiving on Saturday, Nov. 30 (Thursday is not a holiday here in Germany), and I was so burned out afterwards, I couldn’t bring myself to post on Sunday — that I actually managed to “win” Nanowrimo! I’m very glad, not necessarily regarding the winning part, but I think of those 50,000+ words there are definitely a few that will be usable. And I’m getting quite a kick out of the mystery experiment.

Completing 50,000 words for the month of November is my biggest update since my last post, besides the turkey, of course:

Thanksgiving 2013

Mira seemed a bit skeptical about the traditional American cuisine of her Oma:

Thanksgiving 2013

Since Saturday, I’ve only managed to get another 1100 words written on Amber’s story, and 400 on A Wasted Land. But I also did a lot of brainstorming for the mystery, and that’s starting to come together — work that doesn’t “pay off” in word count but is still necessary.

Now that Nanowrimo is over, I’m going to get back to A Wasted Land. I really want to finish it, so I will have more books in the Pendragon series and I can start promoting them again. Sales are absolutely abysmal without promotion, but neither does promotion seem to pay off very well with books that aren’t in a series. Sigh.

Anyway, this week I give you another excerpt from the still unnamed mystery. My math is simple: 12/4 = 12+4=16 = 16 sentences. This is the first scene from a new POV character, a detective at the scene of the crime. Rough draft, so any comments much appreciated!

Detective Jude Forsythe gazed at the body of Richard Merritt, his hands tied behind the back of a chair, his upper body slumped forward, his congealed blood pooling on the kitchen tiles in front of his feet. Around him, the crime scene unit was taking pictures and collecting evidence: fingerprints, DNA, and anything out of the ordinary they could find. To Jude’s practiced eye, it looked like a professional job. The way the vic’s hands were lashed, the single, deadly shot to the head, the fact that none of the neighbors’ seemed to have heard a thing, which probably meant a silencer had been used.
But then there was the missing wife.
Merritt had been called in missing that morning by the law firm in Raleigh where he worked, after they had been unable to reach him on either his cell or at home. The caller at the law firm suggested the police try to reach his wife, Amber Duchamp. The receptionist who’d taken the call made a note of the names and assured the caller it would be looked into after twenty-four hours — and had filed the missing report away.
But when she got a call not long after, regarding a missing teacher by the name of Amber Duchamp, she took it to the police, and they decided to make a house call.
To find the front door unlocked, the husband dead, and no sign of Amber Duchamp.
Jude’s partner Brent strolled over, his arms crossed in front of his chest over his beer belly. “Wow, looks like the wife really had it out for him, doesn’t it?”
Normally, Jude was grateful that he’d been assigned to work with Brent as his superior, but now he had to hold himself back not to blurt out how much seemed wrong about this crime scene. “We don’t know that yet,” he said carefully.
Brent laughed. “You’re still such a good guy, Jude, you give everyone the benefit of the doubt.”

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Finishing Nanowrimo and a WIPpet snippet”

  1. My only nit . . . “To find the front door unlocked, the husband dead, and no sign of Amber Duchamp.” This sentence is just hanging there. I get maybe it is meant for the dramatic flare, but maybe then ending the paragraph above with ellipses or em-dashes? Otherwise it reads well, with good characterization.

  2. Congrats on winning at NaNoWriMo! I did a mini version of it, but didn’t entirely succeed. Still, I got a few words written, and that’s the important thing.

    Excellent snippet! I’m intrigued. Your hero seems like an analytical, but caring guy. I can dig that. 🙂

  3. yay! NaNo winner!!

    I’m confused on one part. So the law firm calls the police to report Merritt missing, and the “receptionist” takes down both names (wife and hubby) and then calls the cops when wife gets called missing? Normally people call dispatch (aka 911) and they take information down and assign an officer to the call. They don’t have to wait 24 hours to do a check; they just have to do what’s called a wellness check and go to the house/apartment/whatever. Since it’s non-emergency, it doesn’t necessarily happen RIGHT away, but it always happens within a few hours.

    Dispatch would have already entered the information about the missing hubby or the wellness check for said hubby, so they’d have everything in the record and when they put in the addy for the wife when the school called, the hubby’s call would pull up. Even if the law firm called the non-emergency line to report it, they would be transferred to the emergency line in order to have all the paperwork put in. I still don’t know who the receptionist is. It reads like the receptionist with the law firm, but then that doesn’t make sense as to why the receptionist would get the call about both.

    So yeah…that’s my mind working overtime for you.

    I do love the tension between Jude and Brent–it’s never good to have it with a partner.

  4. Looks like Brent offers Jude the cynicism he needs (or so Brent believes). but also it’s equally interesting since there was a suggestion in the earlier WIPpets from Amber’s POV that the police might be on the take…


    I agree with Adrian here as well: the ‘receptionist’ thing threw me, but I mostly skimmed it to get to the rest of the piece. Adrian gave a lot more potential details to consider though.

      1. Not that Amber can know who is on his payroll and who isn’t in her place… Makings of a lot of good subplots too,

        The joys of the crappy first draft! They help though.

    1. No, I’m an expat living in Germany, trying to instill some American culture on her granddaughters. Their trip this summer to the States helped a lot — just today, Mira informed me that she likes America and she’s going to go back. 🙂

      1. That explains “oma”. 🙂 I never really thought about it before, but I guess turkey might be considered a little odd on other continents, huh?

        I’m glad she Mira likes America. I’m a little partial to it, myself. 🙂

  5. ReGi, they actually have plenty of turkey here in Europe these days, as global as we are, and a lot of people eat turkey or other big birds for Christmas. Just not in the same way and the same time as Americans do. 🙂

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