Tag Archives: Ginnie Dare

Ginnie Dare: Blockade Runner – Snowflake Pt. 5 "Ginnie's POV"

Part five of the snowflake model has you write a page for each character’s story arc. Essentially the story from their POV. I decided to do this as a sort of “debriefing”.

Virginia “Ginnie” Dare Debriefing Report – It’s been a busy few months since we left the colony at Eshua. I’ve adapted the Eshaun crystal to a variety of applications. The most success I’ve had is making it jam the current level of scanner technology that I’m aware of and pushing that past theoretical limits to cover tech that I’m not aware of. I kept Dad in the loop on this one since he was still a little upset about the secrets I kept from him and the rest of the crew. That’s understandable I guess.

I also decided that I want to be more involved in the daily goings on onboard the Helena. As a result I’ve learned more about how the ships runs and about navigation. Dad says that if I’m ever to run a ship, something I’m not convinced I want to do, that I need to be at least familiar with every function. It made him happy and it kept me occupied when I puzzled over something particularly challenging.

All of that was set aside when we got an emergency communique from Rafe a while back. An old friend of Dad’s is the President of the colony there. Some research told me that they’re important to the manufacture of elements used in the Peeg. Apparently they decided to secede from the Commonwealth. That happens occasionally, a colony figuring that they’d do better on their own. So far as I’m aware there’s never been a successful attempt. The Commonwealth always manages to convince the colony that there are far more advantages to staying in the fold. That’s not to say that there arent’ independents out there, but once you’re part of the “happy family” you’re in to stay.

Dad shared with the crew that we’d been hired to take them some important supplies, things they depend on a steady supply of and won’t get once the net is tightened. Not everyone was on board. It surprised me that Jonas didn’t want us to get involved. It took time to get the supplies together. During that time I worked out a way to get us in under the SDF’s security net and a way to burst communicate with them once we set up a station on the planet itself. That will make future communication easier.

Once we made it into the system proper, everything ran smoothly. We didn’t run into a problem until we literally ran into one. None of us expected the SDF to seed the system with mines. Apparently they were attracted to us even with the cloaking I used. The first one caused minimal damage. Jonas said they primarily serve to alert the locals to the presence of undesirables and aren’t typically configured to cause major damage.

We stopped the ship and Jess and I went EVA. Unfortunately one of our cargo pods was badly damaged and ejected itself. We weren’t able to re-attach it and were in the process of rigging it for towing when Jonas showed inbound SDF scouts. The only choice we had was to route the pod to a nearby satellite while the Helena went on to the planet. Dad said that he’d set up secure communications and either get a tug out to us or come back in the Helena. We agreed to coordinate one they offloaded the main cargo pods.

Thankfully our pods are equipped with sufficient motivators for brief in system travel. It’s hardly a replacement for an actual shuttle and it’s usually used for the rare situation where we can’t get the Helena to a cargo elevator. The satellite was close enough that it only took us an hour to arrive. In a day that seemed doomed to failure after failure there was a malfunction in the thrusters. Jess was able to bring us in, but she broke her leg during the landing. To say that I was nervous is an understatement. She assured me that she’d be okay and the medkit we had access to agreed. I set up the secure transponder so that the second Dad was able to communicate we’d be synced up. In the process I discovered that we weren’t alone after all.

Unfortunately, once I unscrambled the encrypted radio transmissions, we found out that the people were terrorists bent on destroying part of the colony, using the Helena to do so. We weren’t able to contact anyone without risking unwanted Commonwealth attention. So it was up to Jess and I to take care of them. First I was able to set up the transponder to scramble any outbound communications. That meant they wouldn’t be able to trigger anything remotely. Second, I was able to make it seem like someone or something was passively scanning the moon. That kept their heads down. Jess was able to rig up some directed energy weapons and we made it seem like they were being pinned down by SDF forces.

We kept up the siege until dad contacted us and arrived, followed by the SDF. I found the tracking device with Brad’s help and was able to trace it back to the President’s aid. After that things went even more pear shaped. I had to end up giving my research on the cloaking device over to the Commonwealth. They took the terrorists into custody and their representative seemed to listen to reason. They took down the blockade and let us go on our merry way, for now at least. The whole thing makes me even more glad that I’m not entering the academy.

Ginnie Dare: Blockade Runner – Snowflake Pt. 4

This is step four in the Snowflake method.

By this stage, you should have a good idea of the large-scale structure of your novel, and you have only spent a day or two. Well, truthfully, you may have spent as much as a week, but it doesn’t matter. If the story is broken, you know it now, rather than after investing 500 hours in a rambling first draft. So now just keep growing the story. Take several hours and expand each sentence of your summary paragraph into a full paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end in a disaster. The final paragraph should tell how the book ends.

I would love to know if you see any major problems or if there’s anything that interests you particularly about this process or the results so far! Sound off in the comments.

The settlers of the gas giant Rafe, one of the primary sources of fuel used in Perry-Gamblin drives, are seceding from the Commonwealth and have been cut off from aid by a government blockade. The Dares have been hired to run supplies to them in secret, able to do this thanks in part to modifications made using the Eshuan crystal. The succeed in getting through the first layer of the blockade without being spotted. Halfway between the outer ring of security and their destination they hit a mine that damages one of their cargo pods. They must make an emergency stop to repair it before they go on and they have to do it before Commonwealth forces arrive.

Ginnie and Jess to go EVA and repair one of the the damaged pod. It takes longer then they realize. The damage will not allow them to repair the connector and there’s no easy way to get it back on. Jess can jerry rig something, but before they’re able to the ship picks up an incoming scout. The only choice they have is to steer the pod to a nearby moon using emergency thrusters, and park it there. The Helena continues to Rafe and must maintain radio silence. They plan to get a tractor to come retrieve the pod along with Ginnie and Jess in 24 hours or less. Unfortunately the pod’s systems are damaged too and it crashes on the moon, injuring Jess.

Ginnie goes to find a place to set up an encrypted beacon she fashioned from the damaged parts of the pod’s radio. They don’t want to use it until the Helena is closer, but it needs to be on the highest point she can find. During her explorations she discovers what she thinks is a colony outpost. It strikes her as odd since there’s nothing important on this moon. She hacks into their channel and discovers that they’re terrorists, plotting to destroy the settlement making the Commonwealth and the Dares look responsible. Ginnie and Jess must find a way to stop them not only to save the colony, but to save their shipmates who will be caught in the attack and all without alerting the Commonwealth to their presence. They come up with a plan equal parts A-Team and MacGyver.

One of the agents working for the Liberation Front (President’s aid? Choochus?) gets a signal knows that the jig is up and sets the backup plan in motion. He alerts the President to the existence of the bomb and accuses the Dares of being in league with the Commonwealth. There’s a tense showdown. Jonas uses his military experience to help disable the bomb, but that doesn’t ultimately free them of suspicion. The President makes them leave and promises that they will work it out latter. While the Dares are on their way back Choochus alerts the Commonwealth to the Dare’s presence in the sector and via an improvised tracking device he planted gives them their coordinates. The Dares make it to the moon and succeed in recovering Ginnie, but a host of Commonwealth ships block their retreat.

The Dares reveal the presence of the Liberation front and their plans. Ginnie and Jes are able to produce the captured terrorists. Ginnie is able to get the tracking device and prove that it belonged to the president’s aid. The President is able to use this incident as leverage to ask for the blockade to be stopped. Colonel Delaney decides that having the terrorists is proof that the blockade is too much of a hardship on Commonwealth citizens. The Dares also offer to give up their “cloak” to the Commonwealth in exchange for amnesty for running the blockade. They are granted it, provisionally, and leave the sector for the return trip home.

Ginnie Dare: Blockade Runner – Snowflake Pt. 3

Step Three of the Snowflake – The Characters:

Virginia “Ginnie” Dare

  • DoB – August 18th, 2257 (Age 15)
  • Description – Black hair, dk. brown eyes, 1.75 m., slim build running to curves, dark skin
  • History – Born in space to a spacing family.
  • Marooned with an injured Jess, Ginnie needs to make sure they survive and discovers a plot to destroy a portion of the Rafe colony.
  • The character’s motivation – To become a more vital part of the ship/be seen as more of an adult.
  • The character’s goal – Survival of her team/the colony
  • The character’s conflict – The terrorists
  • The character’s epiphany – Becoming an adult can’t be rushed.
  • During a less than routine repair, Ginnie and Jess get marooned on Rafe 3 a large rocky satellite. Jess is injured and Ginnie needs to set up camp. While placing an encrypted radio beacon, she sees some activity on what is supposed to be an otherwise barren moon. She catches some local radio traffic that indicates these people are here for nefarious purposes. At first she thinks that they are plotting an attack on the Commonweatlh presence. After checking with Jess and doing some further investigation they find out that it’s the colony they want to attack. They will be targeting the space port that Helena is supposed to land on. The two women must stop the attack until they can get into radio contact with someone.

Jess Murphy

  • Description – Light brown hair cut short, hazel eyes, 1.5m wiry build, very pale skin, freckles
  • Jess must help Ginnie as best she can, while injured, to help Ginnie survive and to warn the Helena and or the authorities.
  • The character’s motivation – To help Ginnie grow.
  • The character’s goal – Survival
  • The character’s conflict – injury/terrorists
  • The character’s epiphany – What mistakes you can let someone make.
  • Jess calls on Ginnie to help her effect some repairs once they are past the blockade. It’s not part of her normal duties, but Ginnie’s expressed an interest in learning new things since she’ll be staying on board for a while. The pod they’re working on becomes damaged and ejects from the ship taking the two women with it. They’re close to the moon and use the tools they have to guide the pod and its contents safely to the surface. She’s injured in the process and must guide Ginnie through getting a shelter set up and a radio beacon. Then she must also help her deal with the terrorists.

Nuchtchas – President of Rafe

  • Description – Long straight black hair with a green streak, blue eyes, 1.63 m curvaceous, milky skin
  • Nuchtchas is leading her people in a secession and they’ve hired the Dares to help deliver some supplies.
  • The character’s motivation – A successful and peaceful secession from the Commonwealth.
  • The character’s goal – Getting the supplies necessary to make that happen.
  • The character’s conflict – The Commonwealth and the Liberation Movement.
  • The character’s epiphany – She will realize that the cost of freedom can often be too high.
  • Called by her people to break from the commonwealth, Nuchtchas wants to do so as peacefully as possible. Long time friends with Walter Dare, she hires his company to deliver data, some raw materials, and necessary fuel to take them through what may be a long siege. If the first one goes well there may be more and if the secession is successful a lucrative contract is guaranteed. She’s caught between negotiating with the blockade and keeping her people happy. They’re in the third month and getting restless. She’s aware of the small minority involved in the Liberation from but is unaware of what they’re willing to do.

John Wilkerson – Leader of the Liberation Movement

  • Description – Crewcut sandy hair, greenish brown eyes, 1.7, thin build
  • He believes that Nuchtchas is a weak leader and that decisive action is necessary to throw off the shackles of the Commonwealth.
  • The character’s motivation – Separation from the Commonwealth and its eventual downfall.
  • The character’s goal – Freedom for Rafe and the presidency.
  • The character’s conflict – Ginnie and Jess
  • The character’s epiphany – Don’t mess with the Dares.
  • John has long been dissatisfied with Commonwealth rule. He believes that Rafe’s abundant mineral resources belong to the people first and foremost. He also believes that the Commonwealth is holding all of the colonies back. He has a small loyal team behind him. If achieving his goals cost lives, even his own, he believes that it’s worth it (though he won’t risk his own unnecessarily). He is personally overseeing operations on the moon and will try and cause as little collateral damage as possible he knows the Dares are coming and will try and make it look like the Dares are in collusion with the Commonwealth and brought a bomb in to destroy the space dock. In one of the pods there is just such a bomb placed there by one of his allies outside the blockade.

Colonel Ed Delaney – In charge of Commonwealth blockade “Operation Hydra”

  • Description – Bushy silver hair, light blue eyes, 2.1 m, stocky
  • Delaney is near the end of his career and wants this last mission to be his final gold star.
  • The character’s motivation – a glorious retirement
  • The character’s goal – To bring Rafe back into the fold.
  • The character’s conflict – Both the liberation front and the legitimate government are doing everything they can to stop him.
  • The character’s epiphany – Doing the right thing is more important than glory
  • Delaney is given this final assignment – do what it takes to bring Rafe back in to the Commonwealth. Equal parts military leader and diplomat, he’s a powerful personality. He arrived with the blockade three months ago and has regular contact with the presidency. He has agents on Rafe feeding him information and knows more about the LF than Nuchtchas does, though not about the attack. He and Nuchtchas have become fairly friendly thanks to regular calls, but he is as unrelenting as his superiors. They will not break the blockade under any circumstances.

Ginnie Dare: Blockade Runner

This is the beginning of the snowflake for the Ginnie Dare: Crimson Sands sequel.

Step One: While running a shipment of fuel to a planet who’s seceding from the Commonweatlh, Ginnie and Jess get stranded on the planet’s moon where they discover a plot to destroy the secession making the Commonwealth look responsible.

Step Two: The settlers of the gas giant Rafe, one of the primary sources of fuel used in Perry-Gamblin drives, are seceding from the Commonwealth and have been cut off from aid by a government blockade. The Dares have been hired to run supplies to them in secret, able to do this thanks in part to modifications made using the Eshuan crystal. A malfunction in the ship’s systems require Ginnie and Jess to go EVA and repair one of the pods, which results in the pod getting ejected along with the women causing them to be stranded on a nearby moon. While waiting for the ship to return and pick them up, they discover terrorists on the moon, plotting to destroy the settlement making the Commonwealth look responsible. Ginnie and Jess must find a way to stop them not only to save the colony, but to save their shipmates who will be caught in the attack and all without alerting the Commonwealth to their presence.

Pre-sale for Ginnie Dare: Crimson Sands

So here’s the cover art for the novel. This is all feeling very real now. I need to do some edits and make sure this is the best book possible for you (and for me) so I’m still shooting for a May, 1st 2011 deadline. I feel like that will give me plenty of time and I work well with deadlines.

So here’s where you step in. If the cover or the previous write up inspire you to support me on this, you can pre-order now. I’m doing this so that I can pay ED at Peculiar Comics for the work he’s done (something you haven’t seen yet) and so I can secure some other odds and ends for this. The more pre-orders/support I get the more awesome this whole thing will be.

So, here are the tiers for support:

Tier One (Seraph) – For $5 you receive an electronic version of Crimson Sands, signed, dedicated, and numbered as well as a Twitter icon indicating your level of support.

Tier Two (Cherub) – For $10 you receive a paperback version of Crimson Sands, signed, dedicated, and numbered as well as a Twitter icon indicating your level of support.

Tier Three (Archangel) – For $15 you receive the benefits of both Tiers One and Two plus a bonus short story in the Ginnie-verse that only you will see (bonus story will be in e-book form).

Tier Four (Principality) – For $25 you will receive the benefits of Tier Three plus your name and URL will be listed on the back page (if you so desire).

If you don’t want anything in exchange and you just want to kick a buck or two my way, this is also an option.

Thanks again for your continued support! If you have any questions please drop me a comment or shoot me an email or a DM. As we get closer to launch I’ll be looking for podcasts and blogs to come on.