I’ve been extremely lax with the blog posts lately, but I’d like to think I have a decent excuse: 7 days from now, I’ll be a married man. And on a cruise ship. And out of the country for the first time in my life. There’s an official buttload (sorry for the technical term) of last minute stuff to do. We’ll be catching the train down to Fort Lauderdale, hopping on a cruise ship set to bounce around the Caribbean, and getting married by the captain on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s epic tragedy. (The choice of dates is merely a happy coincidence.)
Now while I know I tend to overestimate my free time on trips, I’m still optimistic that I’ll have a few minutes to go over my research and thoughts and get some kind of outline together for my next writing exercise. I’m fighting to process it in a number of ways that contradict Coincidence’s, including being open about working on it, the ideas I’ve having, etc. I’m also outlining. Or planning to outline. It’s…not me, so bear with me and my hesitation and procrastination on the subject.
Codenamed “Project Temperance,” the story takes place through three to four perspectives. I’m thinking these will be distinct partitions, as opposed to Coincidence’s connected-yet-separate narratives. The A story is that someone at a temp agency is using the temps for her own dark plans. With all the access you give these agencies and all the trails you leave on the internet, it wouldn’t be that difficult for someone with an agenda to get you by the gonads.
A couple voices have been pretty loud in my head with regard to who’s being used: The thirty-something mechanic’s brother (unnamed as yet, but I’m liking Eddie or something with two syllables that ends in the -ie sound) is signing up with the agency as somewhat of a cover. He, in reluctant collaboration with his brother, is funneling in money through other means and is trying to cover his ass should anyone consider how an unemployed factory worker is paying his bills. The villain blackmails him to do one or more jobs for her, but is he smart enough to get out of the deal? To turn the tables?
The second voice is Candy, the only one whose name I know so far. She’s laid off by the factory she’s been working at for 20 years and, in the same week, learns her husband’s cheating on her. She’s surprisingly all right with the husband, but one of her boys’ is in on the husband’s cheating. Why is the kid going along with it and how’s it benefiting the kid? The villain doesn’t trick her so much as gently coaxes her to do the villain’s bidding, using faux sympathy.
The third is a wannabe killer who thinks he’s found his perfect first victim: the villain. The most educated and the youngest of the voices, he’s constantly seeing the world framed in his darkest desires. Every word reminds him of a killer’s manifesto; every action makes him wonder how he could twist the actor’s body into a compromised position. Seeing the villain puts him over the edge, but he has no idea what she’s capable of. Who’s hunting who?
Now, weaved through these thoughts, is the discovery of the “monomyth.” I’ve known of its various tangents and vague siblings, but now I’m clinging onto its idea as the perfect template to use. But instead of using it to define the protagonist’s journey, I want to use it as the villain’s. I have no idea what she’s doing at this point. I look at it as chaos for chaos’ sake, much like Chris Nolan’s idea of the Joker. But I have the sneaking suspicion that that’s a damn lie. There are much simpler ways to be malicious, so why go to all the trouble of stakeouts, buying apps, confronting criminals, etc.? I’m hoping plugging in info into the monomyth template helps me find out just what the deuce she’s got going on in her head. If I don’t, then what’s the point in telling the story?
And that’s the key difference from Coincidence. I thought that once I was done with that novel, I’d go on to music. But I’m finding that…now that I’ve finished the story I wanted to tell, I want to tell stories. Do you see the difference? I guess if you have a story to tell, it’s more for your own sake. You need to work out some details, and describing it to someone outside of yourself can help. But telling stories is just entertainment. It can help with issues, of course, or answer some questions you wouldn’t normally get through from internal dialogues, but it’s ultimately entertainment. And that sounds fun.
“Go on and tease me” – Lacuna Coil’s “Our Truth”