Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mad Writer's Club Week 7-- Clashing Storylines

One of the strangest thing about the manuscript I'm working on, (for all those keeping track it's my cracked out modern hockey rewrite of "Dangerous Liaisons"), is the schizoid differences between the various storylines of over a dozen characters.

Ideally, I outlined and intended to do a tongue in cheek rewrite just using the templates for the major characters, Valmont, Merteuil, Cecile, and Madame Tourvel. I really wanted to pay homage to the novel I am such a fan of, but also, I wanted to add a little bit of fun and humor to it, while also paying note to my rabid love of professional ice hockey. Even at THIS point it's already gone too far haha.

As the draft moved along though, weirder stuff began to pop up--like the talking goalposts, and a weird secret society that has its roots all the way up to the Vatican, and the appearance of a living saint! Truthfully, a lot of those storylines have a lot to do with my adolescent adoration for Anne Rice and the original "Dark Shadows" TV series. *salutes them*.

The storyline that surprised me the most, however, was how deeply I began immersing into the lives of the children of the characters. Initially they were just to be background fodder, only brought forward when needed as an excuse to bring character A (a nanny or parent) into a situation where they could interact with character B (another parent). Or they could pop forward with a cute scene or a reason to give a typically "bad" character a "see, she really has heart!" moment.

I couldn't bring myself to stay so distant though. Argh! I began to probe into the lives of the kids and spin tales for them. While the adults in this story are busy plotting, and seducing, and being seduced, what could the kids possibly be going through? Kids aren't stupid, even if things aren't spelled out for them they still notice when things are off. What sort of effect does all this craziness have on them?

And just like that, a door opened. Things in this reality are so weird that I began to write story-lines for the children that open doorways for them to other realities. A world where cursed mummies attack, flying monkeys descend, evil doppelgangers threaten, and magical scepters can transport them to different times and places! And this is not stuff just in the children's heads, this is REALLY happening to them right under their parents' noses and NO ONE notices.

Now the fun of it, is that none of these adventures are completely experienced upfront for the reader. The reader sees only slightly more than the parent sees, but not the whole picture. It'll just be a tease of the world that is mostly hidden from adults but is present and perfect for the children to escape into while the authority figures in their lives prance around their own soap opera.

Will any of this work? DOES THIS WORK?


We'll see. The point is, I get to put in a mummy's curse. Woo!


No comments:

Post a Comment