Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The evolution of a story

A Maritime Tragedy is my first contemporary sea story written entirely since my retirement. All the others had their first drafts written while I was on board various ships over the years. It had its beginnings in my distaste for a genuine tragedy high jacked by a union campaign against cabotage (in this case the transport of cargos between two ports in the same country by foreign registered ships). The misinformation they used irritated me at the time. It was too simplistic and focused entirely on their cause, ignoring the reality behind the sinkings. My first draft was technically accurate, based on the most probable scenario, given the known facts. It introduced the necessary characters and had them play their parts as they would in real life. Its only function now is a skeleton for a story.
One of the characters stepped forward in my mind as someone I might have known and his story became the real Maritime Tragedy. A good man, he does his best, but external circumstances overwhelm him in the end.
It happens.
I look forward to seeing this one published because it involves me enough that I am writing the ending reluctantly, even if the underlying love story endures.