Tuesday, 7 February 2012


I've been re-writing the middle of my MG novel - THE HIGH ROAD - adding in the missing Second Plot Point.

For the structure of the story to flow smoothly from Fion/Thursday to Ethan, the chapters need to alternate. I missed a trick in Chapter 10 ;) While Ethan is in school his guilt could be ratcheted tighter: all I need, apart from the whole chapter are a few small details and spot of hair dye. 

I am entering THE HIGH ROAD for the KELPIES PRIZE - and I've only got another 10 days to get the manuscript polished up, printed and posted. Aargh!



In the top of the van that had been home for months, Fion hooked her legs over the bunk bed’s safety rail. Laughing, she leaned and slid when they went around every turn in the road.
“Fion!” Mum turned in her seat. She pushed at the cardboard box of cooking utensils. They'd skidded around too.
The road that slipped around the edge of the loch had been climbing a slow and twisty route up the side of the mountain. Dad drove the final stretch, concentrating on the road and the idiot in the sports car who kept trying to overtake.
Around the next bend on the steep hill, suddenly, everything changed. A little further up the road, before the next ridge, a smouldering petrol tanker lay like a victim across the road. The mountain towered, a wall of rock on one side. Down a steep drop and through the trees, the moonlit water was like a thick silver slick. There was nowhere they could go. “We’re going to crash.”
Mum gasped, “Break, Duck! Break now!”
“Daddy?” Fion pushed herself forward, ready to drop to the floor.
“No. Fion, don’t move!” Looking back, his control slipped. The van veered and wobbled.
“Let me.” Her Mum reached over, put her hand beside his on the steering wheel.
Dad nodded. “Brace yourself, Fi.” He dipped his head so he could see her in his rear-view mirror. “Keep your head down!”
With the cold wall digging into her back, Fion pressed her forehead against her knees. He didn’t say I love you. Good. He doesn’t think we’re going to die. She crossed her fingers and wished. 

I have written a Prologue but I want it to come after Chapter 1 - What do you think?

In the interests of national security, the Scottish Government requests the support of MI 8, and the Special-ops: Extra-Terrestrial division, in dealing with this security threat. Please see the report attached below.

Classified report CE3/2012-23/15 –18.

We can confirm there has been an increase in the number of UFO sightings. Images recorded by members of the public; the radar data collected by the All Scotland Aviation Authority and the electro-magnetic evidence provided by the RAF have been studied. Our analysis confirms the sightings show UFOs of two different types.

AMBER ALERT: Possible UFO contact – Unidentified Flying Object

Last Friday, a mushroom shaped craft made several passes over Glen Shiel and the Kintail mountains. Experts confirmed the height and trajectory changed as it moved inland. It is believed the craft was preparing to land. To confirm this, we have requested additional information from the observatories in The Trossachs National Park area.

AMBER ALERT: Possible BIO contact

Our tests have shown that elements unknown on this planet were identified amongst the metals collected at Loch Lubnaig. 
Initial reports suggested that only three motor vehicles crashed on the road above the loch. Doctors treating the survivor, a female, approximately twelve years-old, have raised concerns about her internal structure. She has a total reversal of her organs including the heart. This condition would be an extremely rare birth defect. 
We believe it is unlikely this occurred naturally and could be the result of bio-engineering by an extra-terrestrial life form. 
Although more scientific study may be necessary to confirm our suspicions, this could be our first opportunity to contain, observe and examine a Being of Indeterminate Origin.

The probability that these events are linked is great. The timing of the UFO’s flight path and the crash were almost identical.

Dr August Black
Senior Scientist
Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon Unit (UAPU)

MI 8
Millbank House

Special Services branch, S:ET, has been deployed.    


If you have time to read the novel, I would love to hear some thoughts.


  1. I love Betas who use emails!

  2. Prologues come first, or they aren't prologues, but there's nothing to stop you having interludes. Um... it occurs to me that organ reversal does occur naturally though, and so probably wouldn't flag up 'extra terrestrial' the way it does here.

  3. Hi Stu
    Did I mention the metal? The crash? And the recurring sightings of UFO lights in the sky? :D
    You are right, Fion's internal organs only seemed to be an anomaly until Ethan got to work on her healing ;)

  4. OK, you hooked me. I'll read it. But, the 10 days is almost up and I'm a slow reader. I'll try my best if you still need a reader. This excerpt is VERY CLEAN, and doesn't look like it needs more that a read and overall comments. But from what I see here, an excellent story.

    As for prologues; I usually find them redundant. Almost always, the info gets repeated into the main story somewhere, usually as a sort of climax. This looks different than info that might be better placed elsewhere; but if it can be to explain other plot or character points, I'd say try to use it elsewhere.

    But I'm predisposed against prologues. It may be your's is perfectly situated.

    My email is donnahole (at) gmail (dot) com if you still need a reader.