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.