Coming to the Climax

First, an update: I have been writing every day, and last night hit 45,000 words. That’s 75% of my total goal of 60,000. I’m not sure if I will hit that target for my final word count, but I should definitely finish by the end of this month.

Now, on to the story. Please note that there will be spoilers!

Last week I decided I had messed around enough in the middle, and it was time to bring things to the climax. So the first thing I did was to kill off one of the kids. Lisa was the unlucky target.

Andy and Lisa had gone down to the beach to spend some time alone before Lisa’s parents came to pick her up. The killer, Matt, snuck up on them using his power of illusion, drained Andy’s energy so that he couldn’t fight back, and cut Lisa’s throat. Then he carried her into the river and let the current take the body away. A rainstorm washed away all the blood and other evidence, and Matt used his illusions to hide them as he carried Andy to his van.

Meanwhile, Carter and Cailin get worried when Lisa’s parents show up and she doesn’t come out to greet them. Cailin inspects the entire camp using her super vision and finds that both Andy and Lisa are missing. She figures it must have been Matt, and suspects that he is taking them both to the cabin to kill them there. However, she can’t spot them on the roads. She talks Carter into coming with her to the cabin to wait for them there, and they fly off together. With her super speed, they get there in minutes, and make plans to ambush Matt when he arrives.

About an hour later, Matt shows up in his invisible van and drags Andy into his killing shed. Andy is still paralyzed, and offers no resistance as Matt ties him to the autopsy table. Cailin discovers that Lisa isn’t in the van, and wonders what happened to her. Matt takes out a journal in which he logs all of his victims and writes an entry for Lisa, answering her question. She is very upset, and they decide that they should forget about catching Matt and just work on getting away with Andy.

The two kids  fly down to free Andy and get ambushed by Matt. He drains their power and takes Cailin into the cabin and ties her to the bed. Then he brings one of the other kids into the cabin and ties him to the table. She thinks it is Carter, but she can’t see since she is paralyzed and forced to stare at the ceiling. It actually is Andy, and Carter is now strapped to the autopsy table in the shed.

The plan for the next part of the story is that Cailin is recovering her strength faster than the others. I’m saying it’s because her power of super speed gives her more energy than most people, so she can recover faster. I’m also considering something similar for Carter with his super strength, but haven’t decided yet.

My original plan was to have Lisa show up to rescue them after healing from her injuries and coming back to life. However, I’m not sure how she would get to the cabin, and Cailin also has the power to free them, so I’m reconsidering. I will probably still bring Lisa back, but now I’m thinking that Cailin will also have a part to play in the ending.

Actually, another thought just occurred to me that may have some promise. What if Lisa  or Andy find out that they can “borrow” the powers of the others? Part of the premise of this story was about these kids learning to work as a team. Having one of them use the powers of the others to vanquish the killer would wrap up that arc nicely. If you want an example of this, think of how the Fantastic Four defeated Doctor Doom in their movie, Rise of the Silver Surfer. Johnny Storm took all of their powers to go after Doom. This would be similar. I’m thinking maybe Andy should have the honor, as his solo powers aren’t as flashy as the others.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do with the killer once they take him down. I was planning on having them capture him, but maybe a quick death would be better. I guess it depends on whether or not I want to bring him back for a sequel. Right now, I’m not planning on another book, but who knows? I could always write the ending to leave it as an option.

The other thing I have to think about is how to send the kids home. Will they be heroes for stopping the killer? Or will they be in trouble for leaving the camp? What will they do on their own after they go back to their separate homes? All of these questions have to be at least partially answered for the ending.

As you can tell, while I may not think that I can hit 60,000 words, all of the wrap-up required after they stop the killer may very well bring me to that target. I won’t know until I’m done.

After I finish, the plan is to throw it in a drawer and leave it alone for at least several months before I look at it again. I won’t start editing until I’ve let all of the finer points of how to make it better settle in my head.

That’s about all for today. I’ll be back on Wednesday with another update. And now, I’ve got writing to do!

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4 Comments

Filed under ROW80, The Writing Experience

4 responses to “Coming to the Climax

  1. Glad I read your whole entry. My reaction to Lisa getting killed was, “Yuck!” Why is it the girl gets killed? But then I read later that she comes back to life. Still, that’s a hard sell for a YA audience and may suggest too much author intrusion. But you know your story and your characters. What is the purpose behind this whole complex of kids, serial killers, violence, torture, and murder? Does good overcome evil? I hope you hit your 60,000 and more.

    • The girl got killed because she is the one with the healing power. My rationalization for bringing her back to life is that she is like the cheerleader in the TV show “Heroes”, and her body can recover from even fatal wounds. I figured if it worked for them it would work for me.

      As far as the purpose of the story goes, I’m not sure what you mean. The idea is to tell a story about some delinquent kids that work through their struggles with making the wrong choices and working together as a team. Good will overcome evil in the end, but there are a lot of shades of gray to explore before they get there.

      Thanks for the comment! It always helps when someone gives me feedback on my story. Sometimes I start heading in the wrong direction and your comments help me figure out when I need to refocus to make the story better.

  2. I like your idea of letting the story rest for a bit–I’ve done that with several pieces to find that the fresh look really helps.

    As for the borrowing of powers,that could be an opportunity for one of the kids to make a wrong choice by borrowing without invitation, maybe? I know it’d have to go earlier, but then could pave the way for the right use. Just a thought.

    It sounds like you’re doing well on the goals, even if you take a few more days in September to get there. 🙂

  3. Just an idea that popped into my mind when I was thinking about borrowing powers. Could Lisa have borrowed Matt’s powers when he first captured her? She could be experimenting with them before Matt slits her throat, then uses it to make Matt think he was killing her, and she fakes being dead while floating down the river to try to get away for more help.

    If you want a “messier” ending, emotionally, you could have the kids capture Matt, and fight over whether to kill him or turn him in. Finally the desire to kill him wins out, but authorities show up before they can complete the killing, leaving him alive for later stories, should you want to use him.

    As for the kids going home, you can’t have the kids get in trouble, if this is truly a YA novel. I’d get so pissed off by reading this that I wouldn’t want to read any further, but, after all, that’s just me. Kids believe that they are adults in smaller bodies, and you have to let the ending play out as such. The parents can sympathize, etc., but I would shy away from punishing the kids. Their ordeal is punishment enough.

    Finally, if they go their own separate ways, you might want to allude to some secret blog/chatroom/xxxxx where they continue to stay connected into the future.

    Good luck on finishing and getting to 60k!

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