Saturday, May 16, 2015

Developing Plot

Today's assignment to develop your plot by asking yourself questions about why the character was in a particular place, why s/he looked the way s/he did, where s/he was going, etc. This assignment had no length restrictions, so no excessive cutting was required (as it was in the last assignment).

I chose to continue the story with the rancher, linking him with the little girl I created last week. I chose to develop the plot through the eyes of another person, who will be one of the main characters in the story.

Jenna Dunlevy had admired the view when Mr. Tall, Dark, and Gorgeous climbed out of the fire engine red subcompact and settled his hat just so. But now that he was inside and wearing that horror-stricken expression, he didn’t look quite as handsome. Still sexy enough to stop traffic with those long legs clad in form-fitting blue jeans—and it was a form well worth a second look, or a sixth—but definitely shell-shocked, his wild-eyed gaze pinging from Frank Quiggley to her to little Maggie.

Maggie, who was holding Jenna’s hand like her life depended on it, skootched so close she might as well’ve been plastered to Jenna’s side, and asked again, “Wh-who are you?”

Cowboy Bob swiped off his hat, hunkered down in front of Maggie, and attempted a smile. “I’m Will Masterson. Who are you?”

Maggie’s gaze ponged from him to her to Frank Quiggley and back. “Margaret Elizabeth,” she whispered, then buried her face against Jenna’s side.

Will Masterson extended a hand, which Maggie didn’t see because she was busy trying to tunnel through Jenna’s ribs, then sorta sighed and pulled it back. “Pleased to meet you, Margaret Elizabeth.”

Jenna was impressed, but Maggie wasn’t buying. The poor kid wasn’t even window shopping, which was more—a lot more—than Jenna could say. She was definitely looking, and the display was…very fine indeed. Eye-catching. And sexy as hell, among other things, none of which she should be thinking about with a seven-year-old try to burrow under her skin. But since looking and admiring were all she could do—she’d sworn off men several years ago—Jenna intended to enjoy the view. Strangers, handsome or otherwise, were rare in Noblesville. Who is this guy?

Then he leveled those gorgeous but still slightly shell-shocked violet-blue eyes at her, and a little voice inside her shouted, Sexy as hell doesn’t begin to cover it, girlfriend! Not unless hell is the size of North and South America, with China—or maybe Africa—thrown in to balance things out.

“Ma'am.” Still hunkered down in front of her and Maggie, he nodded, but apparently didn't expect an introduction—which was a good thing because Jenna wasn’t sure she could speak without panting or squeaking or sumthin’ equally embarrassing. “Did you and Margaret Elizabeth also receive bequests from Shelby?”

Frank, who had been avidly watching the proceedings while pretending to sort through some papers, leaned back against his desk. “Maggie is your legacy, Mr. Masterson. Your daughter.”

Cowboy Bob—or rather Cowboy Will—fell on his very fine ass. Maggie burst into tears. And Jenna had to grip the lumpy leather sofa with the hand that wasn’t cuddling Maggie to keep from leaping like a hurdler over the downed cowboy and strangling Frank Quiggley.

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