Saturday, April 10, 2010

First Draft & Blogfest

Thanks so much to Anne Riley for hosting today's Murder Scene Blogfest. Before I get to my excerpt, I wanted to say thank you to everyone that stopped by for the WSW: First Draft edition. Wednesday's are becoming one of my favorite days of the week. It is so fascinating to see how different we all are in our approach to a first draft.

My first draft is all about getting the story down. It's part pants and part plotting. I just follow the ideas, and I don't try to keep to a single format. I don't edit until after the story is on paper. When I'm done, my first draft looks like a series of scenes that still need to be sewn together. That's kind of how my brain works. I see my book as a movie, and normally an out of order movie. Sometimes a passage will read like, "Jane went there. They fought. She left." and other times it is a complete crafted version. First Draft often times has a ton of question marks to hold the spot of things I need to look up, characters names, names of bars, etc. I don't stop writing to look it up. I keep going. I just say bunny and hop over it. First Draft is never seen. In draft two, I connect the dots and work on the details. 

For anyone that has an idea burning in your soul, but you are just unsure how to begin, that's my style, but I highly recommend that you READ THE COMMENTS from WSW. Lots of great ideas and techniques in there.

 Moving right along to death and mayhem. My blogfest excerpt is from my book that's in a constant state of revisions completed WIP titled IRON THIRST. This scene is in Adam Bristow's (forensic biologist/vampire slayer) point of view. He is sitting in his car watching Felicity's house, currently on the phone. He has been assigned the task of keeping her safe. And well, here... 

A movement in the corner of my vision yanks my attention to the south. “Hey, Trixie, hold a sec.” 

I set the phone on my leg. Sure enough, the bushes are moving, but the trees are lifeless. “Gonna have to call you back, love.” 

I reach to my side and grab the two blades tucked between my seat and the console. I unsnap the holster, making the gun an easier grab, then slide from the car. I don’t shut the door, but only push it to. I don’t want the slightest noise to be heard from where I stand. 

I walk, keeping my head lower than the highest part of the car. The figure moves towards the edge of her apartment building, pressing itself flat. It lingers as if listening or sniffing. I decide to go around from the other side.

Holding the gurkha in my right hand and the stiletto in my left, I inch closer. Sneaking up on a vampire is damn near impossible, but concentrating on the direction of the wind and knowing to move only when they do or when their focus is absorbed helps in the process.

His hand reaches for the screen door. This is my only chance. I don’t know him and he’s not supposed to be here; that’s all I need for my next decision. I leap. Cradling the curved edge of the gurkha around his throat, I drive the stiletto straight down into the crevice between his shoulder and neck at an angle, penetrating his heart.

Before he can scream out, I grip the hilt of the buried blade. Here is your handle… With all my force, I drag the other blade across his throat, lacerating carotid arteries, the jugular, and the larynx. And now you will spout. The blade is so sharp and the leverage that I used with the handle causes his head to nearly come clean off. The spine holds it into place.

I prefer to keep them attached. Less pieces to keep up with. I pull the dripping monster into the bushes. Grass is much easier to clean than concrete.

The vampire doesn’t move. Either injury alone would have left him incapacitated, but combining them; we got us one dead vamp. I couldn’t take a chance on him turning on me and waking the girl. She’s just clueless enough to investigate.

I place my boot on his shoulder blade and retrieve my knife. I wipe both blades across the grass, and head back to my car. Away from her house, I grab my phone and call Matt. “Hey, it’s Bristow. I’m going to need a body bag and lots of rags.”

“Jesus, man. I was watching a movie with the kiddo,” he says, letting out a heavy sigh. “I’ll round up the guys, and we’ll be there in a flash.”


  1. You have to do what works best for you. Happy writing!

  2. Wow, death by boot heel and blade! That's a great scene.

  3. I love that line -- "we got us one dead vamp" great job.

  4. Great scene. But this?

    I prefer to keep them attached. Less pieces to keep up with.

    I love that. :)

  5. Nice! Love the action in this scene, and Bristow's character seems interesting. Well done!

  6. Nice job, Alicia! Thanks for posting!

  7. Nice, but where's the murder? Thought vamps were kinda already dead...

    Nice description of the murder...wouldn't want to alarm her!

  8. First of all, I love your website design. ;) Second of all, I like that the conversation is very matter of fact over the gruesome violence that just happened. Chilling.

  9. I love the very end, it's a great wrap up to this scene of what seems to be a very every-day event for this character. Great characterization in the midst of murder.

  10. "Here is your handle." "And now you will spout."

    Great stuff :)

  11. Loved your scene--especially the handle and spout comments. Very vivid--could see the images in my mind. Bravo!

  12. Your hero is so cold and matter of fact about the killing - I know the whole kill or be killed thing - he was a bit chilly. The use of the childish rhyme I wonder if his reasons include a child he lost?

  13. I love this! Adam's approach to killing the vampire is methodical and you can tell it's not his first time. Had you not revealed he was forensic biologist, I would have thought he had a medical background of sorts because of the anatomy terms. You really got into character with this one!

  14. Great scene. Your novel is going to a joy to read.