Simple Decisions

Been a while since I typed directly into my laptop. It never feels comfortable to my hands.

I’ve resigned myself to the seeming fact that this 1000 Day effort will be going out with more of a whimper than a roar. At least I keep getting back here, huh?

Rebecca pushed back from the flit pad railing. Tjon wouldn’t be coming back, and, except for the stars, the sky felt the same way she did: empty. She knew running wasn’t his choice, but the angry words they’d shared [at their last encounter] sapped her full confidence in that thought.

Uma was dead. Tjon was missing. And [the girl] had murdered [someone] and run deeper into the building. Rebecca checked the charge on her weapon; not much juice remaining. [The girl] needed to be stopped, so she holstered her [blaster, ugh] and pulled the barricade apart. She was going back in.

150 words on day 987

In the Beginning there was a Garage

Lets try last week’s successful TB exercise on the Hartwhile gang’s opening situation…

Narkkid (I forget this name often and don’t much like it when I remember) opens the door to the front bay and a body rolls into the shop.

1) Therefore they determine to move the body across the street to the bar, but the girl wakes up and karates the gang to the ground.

2) Therefore they determine to call the police, but the girl runs away before the cops arrive.

3) Therefore they nudge the body outside to let her revive on her own, but she lays in the street all day unmoving, but alive-seeming.

4) Therefore they drag her into the office to revive her, but an important customer arrives to distract them and she’s gone when they get back.

5) Therefore Narkkid calls an old friend to cart the body away, but the police arrive before the friend.

6) Therefore they put her in the customer waiting room to let her finish sleeping it off, but the ‘hospital’ goons arrive to take the girl away seemingly against her will claiming she’s an escaped patient.

7) Therefore…but, her boyfriend arrives to help her home.

8) Therefore…but, it begins to pour outside and they invite her back in.

One of the compelling notions of the Therefore…But exercise is that it neatly encapsulates both the protagonist’s and the antagonist’s forces within the story. Everything in the therefore portion belongs to the protagonist taking action based on the situation. Everything in the but portion belongs either to the antagonist or the author.

I’m thinking though that if you’re careful you could invert this relationship too. Or that this relationship inverts itself in the last act of the story. Eventually the antagonist is reacting to the increasing capability of the protagonist.

302 words on day 959

In Which Tangent Man Plays a Minor Role

Yesterday one of the reasons my writing came to a halt was I’d introduced a possible new character along with Constable Ock. This character (unnamed in the writing, but suddenly alive in my head) has the potential to disrupt the remainder of the plot I’ve got in mind both because of her early prominent placement in the story and her general intentions. She also has the potential to insinuate herself into the plot neatly, but with added tension. I wasn’t immediately sure how to include her. The balance of my halted writing came from my trying to write a cop well enough not to be noticed.

Now that I’ve got a plot of sorts, I’ve got to develop the theme a bit. What cream is rising through the milky bubbles of my poorly stirred plot is that ‘mothers will always protect their children’. However, nascent instinct tells me some catalytic element is missing from that theme. Maybe there should be a ‘because’ at the end? Ugh, I had a book which defined theme in a way that resonated with me—I can’t find it.

Found it!

And he, James N. Frey, in it, “How to Write a Damn Good Novel”, calls what I’m thinking about a premise. Maybe that’s what I was thinking too. Based on a quick re-read I’d amend my phrase above to ‘protecting your child ruins the status quo’. I should make that sound more fun to read. I’m not sure there is much drama in not maintaining the status quo.

271 words on day 923