2019 Nanowrimo- Beneath the Ice

Here it is almost November and I’ve been prepping. I’ve left off writing anything for awhile as I tried to immerse myself into this story. I like the plot. I love the idea of where it goes. I had fun looking up some of the specifics I would need to know.
Who knew how to preserve biological evidence? I thought you could just put them in water/alcohol/formaldehyde and voila’ it was preserved. Oh NO! That is all wrong. The pieces of body parts would be destroyed and no DNA could be recovered. (I hope I read it right.) I’m assuming that all the jars you see with biological matter in them are meant to be preserved not re-examined.

It is necessary for my doctor character to have done the same thing I did and read about the proper way to preserve these items he received. Which he did. Then when my Detective and the FBI agent show up and take possession of said body parts, they can be tested for DNA and eventually matched to any existing DNA submitted by relatives.

I listened to my favorite podcast TRUE CRIME ALL THE TIME with Mike and Gibby for the last four weeks. They examined John Wayne Gasey. What I learned from this case is there are still bodies not identified.
I was just as curious about that as they were. One hypothesis they came to was; maybe it was better for the families to have some hope their loved one would show up, then to find they were the subject of JWG degenerate and public interest.  I can understand that.

As I plot the story is may seem a bit hypothetical. I’m fine with that. Most good stories stretch the imagination to its breaking point. Could it happen like I write it? Yes.  Is it probable that it would happen this way? Meh, not really. But it’s a really cool story.

For the month of November I will need to be writing, at the least 1, 666 words  A DAY.  I find it’s not all that hard to write 2,000 if the mood strikes. It becomes more difficult if you’ve written your plot into a corner and can’t get out. I know because I have at least 3 novels in progress. I add a little more to their plots when the muse strikes.

What does it take to write a novel? Determination and a good story. When I wrote The Vanishing of Katherine Sullivan I was driven to tell this story. I knew it would be a good one. I don’t even remember if I had much plot prep done. I jumped in and started writing and the story flowed out of me.  How did that happen? How can I get that to happen again?

I took James Patterson’s Master Class and finally read two of his books. I’m not hooked. The first one of the series, about a woman detective, captured my interest. Book #2 lost me. However I am intrigued by his style. He writes each scene as a chapter. There is very little segue needed. The setting and character development is done in bits and pieces. This could be useful in my story. I’m going to attempt to replicate his style. It may be more difficult and I’ll have to just write and edit later.

Here is the premise of my story:
Andrea Wilson is with the St. Paul, MN Criminal Apprehension Unit. She’s been there two years. On this frigid day in January 2020 she is watching cutters harvest ice from Blue Lake to be sent to Harriet Island for the Ice Palace project. The water here is the cleanest of the lakes surrounding the city limits.

 As she watchs there is a commotion around the area where the blocks of ice are directed to a conveyor that ends in a truck. She sees something that disturbs her and makes for the opening in the barricade. After flashing her badge, she heads for the men congregating around the blocks. There, frozen in the clear ice is a net full of body parts. A head and three feet cut above the ankles. In the next block of ice is a part of a torso and what looks like arms.

That is the beginning and inciting incident. I’ve learned a lot about serial killers and their habits. I don’t think I’ll insert the killer’s mind into the story. I want to keep the guessing process much like it would be if you were following it in the newspaper or on TV.