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Monday 1 July 2013

End of the Hunter

So as anyone who reads my twitter will have realised;
I finally finished my fantasy detective novel, "On the Hunt; A tale of the Hunter". I'm actually surprisingly pleased with it. I say surprisingly because I very rarely like anything I write when I go back over it. I'm editing it now and other than mistakes and a couple of little wording issues I haven't changed much- if anything.
I do, of course, keep making slight alterations to make the end make perfect sense, add little extra clues where I see the opportunity to make it a bit more... realisable? that's not a real word is it?
No. Ok.
Well, thats all I'm really doing, adding clues where I think they make sense and fixing little things. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I am very surprised I still like it.

What's harder is creating the synopsis and the cover letter. I've finished both of them now but it wasn't easy. The synopsis started out as 4 pages, then I re-wrote it down to 1 and a half, then to 1 page and 1 line and finally down to a single page, but in order to do so I had to change the font, remove hte titles, get rid of all side plots, even when they directly influenced the main plot... it was very annoying.

But it's done now and I've edited the first 50 pages so I'm soon going to be sending it out again. I'm going to start with companies that allow e-mail submissions and then I'll move onto the ones that I submitted to before and then spread to others.
Fingers crossed it all goes well!

Here is the edited first chapter:


Tues. 06/05/2011 16:54
Ferron Tower

Why do you do it? I always get asked the same question. I’m always asked ‘why’. There are a million other careers I could have chosen. So many other choices I could have made. So many other things I could be doing. I had so many opportunities, but every time I think about it I always come back to this choice. I know that this is the path I should be on.
Still… that doesn’t mean I always know why I do it. It doesn’t mean I never question my choice. I’d be insane if I didn’t.
I’m a private detective. A guy with a laminate and a gun. If I were an element maybe it’d make more sense. If I could throw fire, control water, move the air, control electricity, hell even augmenting my body with the world’s natural minerals would be a huge help in this line of work, but I can’t.
I’m not an element. I’m just an ordinary guy. Well… not ordinary. I’m smart, very smart. They told me when I was a kid that I’d be a doctor or an astronaut. An accountant or a scientist. Never an investigator for hire.
I had a lot of options. A lot of options. But no matter what I imagine I keep coming back to this.
I must have a death wish.
“Alex Ferron, put the gun down.” I call across at the soon to be former heir to the Ferron house. He’s a lord but he lost the right to be called such when he murdered his brother.
He wipes his brow, but there’s no sweat there, despite the sweltering heat of his office. It’s a side effect of his condition, any moisture is instantly absorbed into him, sweat included. His eyes dart around the room looking for both a way out and a reason for the temperature.
I ignore the sweat dripping down my forehead, keeping my eyes focussed on him. I’m not as hot as he is; I took my coat and jacket off before I came into his office. I’m no fool, I know what I’m doing.
I believe that fact less every time I have to remind myself of it.
My gun is level, held straight and braced against the recoil that I hope I don’t need to feel. His gun is shaky, pointed over my shoulder more than it’s pointed at me but he can’t be expected to know that. He’s not trained with a pistol.
Unlike me, he is an element. His ‘condition’ as I so kindly put it is that he is a Soaker, capable of releasing water through his body’s pores or controlling and manipulating it with his mind after drinking or absorbing it through physical contact.
I knew he was a soaker before I came in to confront him about the death of his brother, that’s why I went down to the boiler room and turned all of the heating systems up to maximum.
A little uncomfortable for me, paralysing to him. The heat dries out the room, dries out his skin, the water he’s absorbed to fuel his magic evaporates and he’s left as a normal man. A normal man with a gun.
I wasn’t expecting the gun.
Most elements rely so heavily on their powers that they don’t carry weapons. Their arrogance is usually why I can best them but when Ferron realised I’d come here to arrest him he drew the pistol from the top draw of his desk.
“I said; put the gun down.” I repeat as he levels it on me. Now it’s aimed at me. Suddenly I wish I owned a bullet proof vest. I make a mental note to have my office administrator buy one for me- then remember I’m in the process of replacing the admin after my last one quit. “The police are on their way. You can’t run from this.”
“How did you know?” The lord asks, wiping his shirt sleeve across his head. “How did you figure it out?”
Why do they always ask? Do they think they’ll be able to get a do-over?
“Murder weapon was too clean.” I tell him. “When a normal person wipes their finger prints off there’s still traces of blood. A soaker cleans it and they remove all traces. The blood becomes a part of the magic and it gets taken away.”
“That’s all you got?” He asks.
I notice a slight upwards curve of his lips, relief? I’m not sure. Put me in a controlled setting and I’d be able to read him like a book, but here? Now? I’m not sure. The heat, the high stress indicators…? I’m just not sure.
“No.” I shake my head. “That’s how I figured out I should be looking at the nobility, not his staff. At first I thought there was a house war I didn’t know about. Killing one of your father’s sons would be a strong message from the other nobility, but it’d have been a stronger message if they went for the heir.”
“He was about to be made heir.” Ferron Shouted.
“Yeah, I know.” I respond. “Your father told me. He told me how he was planning to name your younger brother heir to the Ferron fortune and take your name off the inheritance documents.”
“One of them found out! They wanted to hurt him!” Ferron argues.
I shake my head. “It wasn’t public knowledge. The only people your father had told were your mother, you and your brother.” I pause and take a step forward. “Must have made you angry; to have him take everything you worked for, and give it to your little brother?”
“I didn’t kill him.” He shouted. Anger shows on his face. His hand moves up to touch his hair. A subconscious indicator of guilt, corroborating what I already know.
Or maybe it’s just really hot in here.
“Your dad told you what he planned to do and you lost it.” I tell him, calmly. “You confronted your brother, but he wouldn’t listen, so you took the tyre iron from his tool kit and you hit him over the head with it.” His gun lowers slightly as his eyes dip and his lips curve down in shame. That one I can tell for certain. “You hit him again and again and again…”
“I-” his gun droops to point at the floor. Mine remains raised, but at least I’m less worried about his. “I didn’t mean to-” he looks up at me, “I was just so angry!” He reaches up and runs his free hand over his face. “I just wanted to talk to him. I offered to work alongside him. Me and him running the company, but-” I step forward and let go of my gun with one hand, reaching out for his. “He told me that as soon as he had control; I’d be out on my own.” He looks at me again as my hand grips the barrel of his gun. He lets go and looks into my eyes. “How could he do that? He was my brother.”
The irony isn’t lost on me.


- James

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