Okay, so I’ve been procrastinating. Writing a tight script for this video has turned out to be considerably more of a challenge than I anticipated. For some reason I’m having a really hard time getting it pared down to where it’ll move quickly and carry viewers right along. I’ve trimmed and tweaked and deleted and put back what I deleted, and I’m still not entirely satisfied.
Here’s what I have so far, numbered by sequence.
1. Eastertide 1775
2. British warships blockade Boston’s once-thriving port
3. while the Regulars occupy the city.
4. As conflict builds to a deadly confrontation
5. Elizabeth Howard plays a dangerous game
6. By day she flirts boldly with British officers
7. and by night, as the elusive courier Oriole,
8. she smuggles intelligence and weapons to the patriots
9. But with the arrival of Jonathan Carleton
10. an officer in the Seventeenth Light Dragoons
11. she must fight a war of wits and words
12. as he quickly becomes her most dangerous foe.
13. As the first blood is spilled at Lexington and Concord
14. and Elizabeth is drawn ever closer to the carnage of Bunker Hill
15. Carleton sacrifices his life to save hers
16. Now can she rescue him from the hangman’s noose
17. and her heart from his keeping?
18. The nation’s epic war for independence begins . . .
19. Book cover
I’m fairly happy with the beginning, but segments 9 through 15 are driving me crazy. Obviously I need to convey that information, but it has to be concise and flow naturally. Right now it feels awkward and clunky, and I’ve played with it to the point that I’m no longer objective.
Of course, a huge obstacle to writing this is knowing that I have to find images to illustrate each sequence. I’ve accumulated a number that work fine, including a couple of video clips. But for several of these lines, finding anything that’s even an approximation of what I need is going to be a major task. How do you illustrate fighting a war of wits and words, for pity’s sake? But I love that line. It captures the interaction between Jonathan and Elizabeth in this book perfectly in just a few words, so I don’t want to give it up.
Well, crumbs. I guess I’ll just have to set this project aside for the time being, mull it over, and pray the muse eventually comes up with a stroke of genius.
The good news is that I’ve made good progress on Crucible of War. I’ve gotten my characters across the Delaware with considerable travail, and now I’m adding research notes about the Battle of Trenton directly into the file. Once I have a moment-by-moment narrative of a battle in front of me, scenes develop vividly in my head and spill out on the page. So I’m eager to finish entering the dry narrative so I can use them as a springboard to create some exciting action.
By a fortuitous stroke, the latest issue of the DAR’s magazine, American Spirit, included an article about American prisoners of war during the Revolution that I found quite helpful for the development of my plotline at the end of Crucible and beginning of Valley of the Shadow. Lots of great detail there that will make its way into my story! When the stars all come into alignment like that, it keeps me forging onward.