We’ve seen our perfect heroine and our perfect hero. For the sake of utility in this post, I will call her Anna and him Zachary. They have met in a bar and exchange phone numbers. That night, Zach sends a text to Anna telling her what a great time he had and how he looks forward to taking her out, maybe on the weekend.
Anna replies that she had a good time, too, and will let him know her schedule. She works weekends at the local hospital. She’s an ER nurse, working long days and then taking three off. But the schedule rotates so she never knows for sure when she will be working or on call.
We have a pretty good set-up here but we need tension. Either Zach will not contact Anna again, or when he does her phone will be out of service. Did she lie to him? Is she really a nurse or is she a fraud? If he does not call her, will she assume he found someone else more interesting?
At Real Good Writing, Rachel Giesel lays out four steps for plotting our story. http://rachelgiesel.com/blog/character-driven-plot To hasten our process here, I am presenting the following summary of our story. Anna and Zachary meet, like each other, and exchange phone numbers. They exchange texts that night. Tentative plans for the weekend are presented.
Somehow the communication between them stops, for unknown reasons. Anna discovers something seriously messed up about Zachary and blocks his number. She then does all in her power to work against him. Zach tries to contact her, frustrated that the first woman who has caught his interest in a long time seems to be ignoring him.
A few months pass and Zach once more focuses on his work and no longer thinks about Anna. Heading home late one night, his car is struck by a semi on the freeway. The driver of the truck had a heart attack and failed to brake when traffic slowed. Zach was aware enough of the truck coming to move to one side, avoiding being crushed completely. He is trapped in his small sports car, his right leg crushed in the wreckage. EMTs arrive a work for an hour to free him.
At the hospital, Anna is working when she sees Zachary being brought in. In spite of herself, she is drawn to the man. She learns he is in bad shape, his spleen ruptured, and he may lose his leg. He is rushed into surgery.
Anna’s shift ends soon after, but she comes back in the morning, her day off, to check on him. He opens his eyes when she is there, says her name, then loses consciousness again. The hope in his voice strikes her deeply. What if she is wrong about what she thinks he has done?
Desires: Both these people want to find a loving companion and go through life together. Both have extremely stressful careers to which they are dedicated. We haven’t found out yet what Zach does, and that might be anything. Anna doesn’t want to give up on him only to find out she’s wrong. Especially now that he might need her more and more. Zachary can’t believe she’s there when he wakes up, but can he start a relationship with her if he does lose his leg?
Well, I guess we’ll find out next Thursday when I wrap this up! Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday to introduce a new author.