Friday, April 13, 2007

New story

Though this week has been insane, I have given my brain a small chance to rest in that I didn't make myself think about the new
story I plan to write for my last submission of the semester. When I think about a story, it's pretty much all I can think of. Even when I'm not "working," part of my brain is sorting through things I see and do to see if any of them might berelevant to my story in some way.

Now the time has come to start the thinking process hard core. I want to begin writing on Monday, using my new but so-far-trusty method of writing forward for 2 hours at a time (meaning no going back to edit or reread).

My new story will be a mystery of sorts, inspired by, I assume, Brian, who loves mystery books, movies, and radio dramas. Here's the basic premise. I'd love to hear what you think!

A woman comes home early from a meditation retreat (for a yet to be
determined reason--maybe everyone was coming down with a stomach bug
and they suggested everyone leave). She didn't have her cell phone or
any way of communicating with her husband, as part of the desire to get
away from it all. She and her husband had been having problems (of some
sort, though nothing super serious), and the retreat was a time to get
away and think on her own for a week. She comes home and finds her
husband is not there. The house is fine, though some of his personal
affects are missing. And there's mail all over the kitchen floor, but
that's normal because their cat always knocks it off the table, where
her husband leaves it.

She calls some friends, no one has heard from him. He works for himself, so there's no office to check with. After the requisite 24 hours, she calls the police. They are very snide with her and imply that he obviously ran off, probably with another woman. Though she knows how it looks, she knows that that is not true. Despite what was going on between them, she knows he would never do something like that. The cops all but laugh at her. She goes to a private detective who basically does the same thing. She's getting angrier and angrier, and also starting to doubt herself and her husband, though most of the time she is still convinced.

Something else has to happen at this point, but I'm not sure what. Maybe she ransacks the house for clues of an affair or... something. She probably also has frustrating phone calls with family and friends. Eventually she finds a detective who believes her, and her sense of relief is amazing. I want that to be the climax of the story--that finding someone who believes her, and believes in her marriage is the important thing. The denouement will be when her husband comes home--he had gone
to help his brother on his fishing boat, and had left a note that the cat knocked off the counter with the pile of mail. His phone had fallen into the water, which is why she couldn't reach him, and he hadn't bothered calling because she wasn't supposed to be home yet anyway.

Themes will be: trusting your gut, trusting in marriage (even when it's hard),
and the relief that can come when someone believes you.

If you have thoughts on the idea, ways to make it better, what to have happen in the middle... or anything... please comment! Best Blogger Tips


TI said...

You're so good. I like the plot. I am already caught up in it. I think that the police and everyone who won't believe her should be developed as sexists who are dismissive of women's concerns. One small plot point that I wondered about: why would she not have called the brother in the initial bout of calls?

Bug said...

Thanks TI! I agree about that sexism will play a role. Re the brother, I think he will live out of town somewhere, so the wife wouldn't think to call him since he's not local. Does that seem plausible?

Repeater said...

I also like how you've got a plot all planned out. My process is very ambiguous, I have a character idea & just let it flow. This seems like a better tack. I also like ti's idea of sexism. I once had a cop that insinuated that no one actually tried to break into my apartment (I saw a hand on the windowsill!) He said I was probably scared because my male (very flaming gay, by the way) roommate was out of town. So frustrating. I like the premise, and the trust issue a good one. Sorry I don't have any further ideas. I'd have to write it myself to do that!

Kim G. said...

What if when she goes through the apartment, she finds something that looks outwardly like he COULD be having an affair. Like a silk scarf or earrings or a book that doesn't belong to them. (Perhaps it's a gift he bought for her or some other woman in his life, his mom, sister, etc.) This could further cement the idea that even in the face of one more piece of evidence that others would interpret as "affair behavior" and conflict with her firm convictions that he isn't.

For the beginning, what about a good old fashioned case of the the norovirus to send everyone home? Or a sewage leak? Or the demolition of a nearby building that creates so much noise, there's just no way anyone can meditate. Something that further makes the contrast between what something looks like and what it really is.

OK - are ya thinkin', "Sheesh lady, get your own story!" Sorry for so many suggestions, this just sounds like a fun premise. Be sure to share the final product with us all!

FatCharlatan said...

Wow! I don't have anything to offer because between what you already have down on virtual paper here and the notes from the commenters (commentors?) above you're pretty much all set. I LOVE this theme--extremely relatable and relevant. And I'd love to read it when you're done and if you're willing to share (and no worries if you're not...I totally understand).

Good luck with this piece! :)

bostonerin said...

I also like the premise (I'm always up for a good mystery!). I'm wondering, though, if you're going to go with the belief in marriage/trusting your gut, why she can't "solve the case" on her own? That would reinforce the theme. Or, instead of having a detective believe her, and be that validation, have it be another character who isn't a professional lawman..could be a friend, older woman, etc...

*leaves 2 cents on the table...*

DJPare said...

Oh, those darn cats...

I like it! I was originally going to say that the woman herself start investigating, but then I saw where you were going with it, how it was really her internal investigating...

It's a good premise!

Bug said...

Wow, thanks so much for the great advice and suggestions. You've given me a lot to think about!

briliantdonkey said...

She finds the clumsy beginnings of a love letter(poem) sitting on the bed,counter, computer, or in several crumpled up pieces of paper in the trash can by his desk. Turns out he is writing them for their upcoming anniversary and she wasn't supposed to find them. If he never did such things(considered himself too manly) it could still cause her to have doubts initially if you wanted to go that route.


Anonymous said...

Awesome writing. I wanted to keep reading on and on.
Glad to have found your blog...through a link from another link, etc.