Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Offshore become The Sea Sapphire

In the days after my last post it dawned on me that the centre of the story was the ship rather than the personnel and I started to have doubts about the title. It's happened before. "Mitchell's Run" began life under another title, so did "The First Born". As with the others, changing the title changed my perception of the story, opening up possibilities I'd not considered before.
Apart from the prologue, the story begins with the introduction of the ship and will now end with the aftermath of the sinking described in the prologue. This was my original outline and the name change gives me the chance to cover other aspect of offshore operations.

Friday, December 07, 2012


I began writing Offshore in 1982 while working on offshore supply and anchor-handling boats in Australia, both off the North-West coast and in Bass Strait. Originally it was little more than a series of notes written at odd moments and was intended to follow the members of a normal nine-man crew of one swing. I put the notes together into a story after I published my first romance novel in 1999, but there they languished until after Coasting was accepted for publication at the beginning of 2012.
I opened the story file while deciding whether to continue with the third volume of The Alliance series of science fiction/fantasy or continue with the semi biographical sea story theme started by Coasting.
The story I created in 1999 was simple and linear, beginning with a prologue in which the central ship had sunk and ending at the same point when the story of it came to happen ended. I started writing with that  and the outline of the nine characters in mind.
Other characters emerged as I wrote, some drawn from memory and others created by the story itself. A few elbowed the original characters aside, supplanting them in importance and changing both the flow and direction. I kept them disciplined for a while, but today I gave up and gave them their head.
I admit to having little Idea where the story will lead now, but I am enjoying the journey more.