Saturday, July 14, 2012


                                                              THE ARREST

“Police, open the door.”
The pounding and shouts roused Ben out of a deep sleep. He sat up in bed, sure he was dreaming when a loud crack splintered the door of his studio apartment. Officers dressed in swat-team uniforms flooded the room. Arms yanked him to his feet.
“Wait a minute. Stop. What’s going on?” Ben’s protest was met with an arm to the throat as he was wrestled to the floor. He felt a knee to the back of his neck as metal cuffs pinched on his wrists.
“Would someone please tell me…”
“You have the right to remain silent.” The officer continued reading Ben his rights before they hauled him to his feet.
“At least, give me my pants and shoes…wallet.”
Someone swore and tossed a pair of jeans in his direction. A grim officer helped him dress and allowed him to slip his bare feet into his shoes, while others rummaged through his dresser.
“Found it.” An officer held up a package. No one else spoke as two strong men hauled him downstairs and into a squad car.
Ben’s questions remained unanswered as they sped to the police station. He didn’t bother to protest when the officers led him into a small room furnished with two chairs and a table. He realized a video camera captured his every move so he sat quietly, careful not to show any emotion.
After twenty minutes, Detective Grissom entered the room and slapped a folder on the table. He scrapped out the chair sat across from Ben and took his time shuffling the papers in front of him.
“Drug possession with the intent to sell,” he growled.
            Ben started to speak but realized the situation was hopeless. He wasn’t involved in drugs. Didn’t have drugs in his apartment. That didn’t mean they weren’t placed there by rogue cops. He listened while Grissom read off the charges.
            “You’re in serious trouble, young man.”
Ben stayed silent and stared at the detective.
Grissom’s voice rose to a higher level. He stood and began to pace the room. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
Ben clamped his lips.
Grissom stood between Ben and the camera and slapped the open folder before him. “If you don’t plan to talk to me, I’ll have no option but to book you. Understand?”
Ben noticed the detective edged the folder in his direction. He glanced down and squashed a smile when he read the note. We got them, Ben. I’m placing you in protective custody until it’s time to testify.
Undercover agent, Ben Marks nodded. Instead of a cell, another undercover agent rushed him off to a motel room. It was much better than the grimy apartment he rented to take part in the sting.
Joyce Brennan  July, 2012

When writing a short story, start with action. You don't have the space to set up a descriptive background. Don't name minor characters unless they're important to move the story forward or are involved in the conflict. I also try to stay in the main character's point of view. Keep  your reader guessing until the end. 
The same holds true when writing a longer manuscript. Choose the main character,(hero/herorine) and try to keep your story in their point of view or that of the secondary character. (lover/detective/ best friend, etc.) Don't jump from one character's POV to another in the same scene. Stay consistant. Flush out those characters with description sprinkled throughout your novel. It's boring to read that Suzie has long blond hair, blue eyes and a smile that lights up the room. Show that.
 "What is she thinking?" I'm often asked how to place a character's inner thoughts in a novel. Skip the ("I can't stand him," she thought.) and either write it in italics or simply write, "I can't stand him."  No-he thought/ she thought. Give your reader credit. Also, don't go into a long narrative of your characters thoughts. You might put your reader to sleep. Mix it up with dialog and/or action.
Keep writing, Joyce  


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