Starting a story is an interesting process. I feel it is always good to start in the middle of an action and learn the situation and characters going forward. One of the dangers is of getting sidetracked into events that make no difference if they are there or not. In writing, everything needs to serve the story or rather the momentum of the plot. Here is an example of an unused opening for my Rebel’s Edge series. In fact, this portion is not used at all in the completed manuscript as it really is an aside. The Lakes is based on real place I used to ride my bike to as a teenager, traveling down lonely paths to find nature in the suburbs.
The Lakes wasn’t always fenced off like this as it used to be a place of wonder and escape from suburbia. The area was once a rock quarry now abandoned and filled with water to give some apartments their namesake and justify the cost of a view. Teenagers used to party here and drink beer and smoke on the small beaches or take canoes out above the depths. I was lucky enough to experience some of it and miss the bad things.
Every once in a while there was a drowning, but the scene that shut The Lakes down was of legend. Stories change as they are handed down and retold and I believe this one is no different. I was hanging out with Emilio and Alex, the guys I party with in the neighborhood, when bold and brash Marcos told me the newest version. Apparently, there were a bunch of kids hanging around and drinking in the sun as usual with a few of them swimming and funning around. One guy swam farther out and got close to a canoe that was occupied with some dude and a couple of pit bulls. The dogs must have got upset from the splashing water and jumped in, thrashing the guy in some kind of bloody frenzy. Girls screamed and everyone freaked out. By the time the cops came most of the kids had split. The police searched, even brought in divers, and never found the guy’s body. Supposedly, there are all kinds of caves and stuff down there, deep under the water, from when this was a quarry. A line from a horror movie finishes the story in my head with, “He’s still down there.”
The intro touches on the character’s, Johnny’s, interest in horror, but it was the wrong starting point to enter into the story. The location was fine, but I needed to focus on leading up to the inciting incident to move forward. The above discard was meant for the third and final book. Over the Edge, was the hardest to write of the series. Being based on a true story made it difficult to follow as real lives take different paths. The key I found was to keep the narrative focus on friendship with few exceptions and that is how I was able to stay on course with the similar theme of Punks, and Suburbia.
All three manuscripts of my Rebel’s Edge series are complete and in the submission process. I look forward to the day I can share them with the world.