Thursday, June 07, 2007

Little Did He Know
Last night watched the dvd Stranger Than Fiction which began a discussion about writing fiction. Both Dave and I find writing about our real lives pretty easy, like talking, but writing a story is so different, even if you realize you are in charge of the events and characters and can do anything that you like with them. Putty in your hands.
Why is it then that we haven't given it a try? Well, the usual. Fear of failure. Isn't that what keeps us all from doing stuff? Yeah. But...
I mentioned to him that I know a good start to a story and there is usually a point in the narrative when the main characters have to make a decision and that is where the plot happens or at least the dynamics of the story take place.
Here is gist of the story.
Boy and girl work together and have just met. So often a plot centers around one hating the other and then something happens to change that and then they fall in love. But how fake is that? Have you ever hated someone first and then clicked later? Nah.
So this time what happens is that the boy notices the girl but the girl is oblivious to the boy. Why? She is messed up with two other men at the time. Busy girl on a mission, looking for Mr. Right. Neither of them will pan out.
Eventually, disgusted, she notices right under her nose the boy of the story. Why isn't he a possibility? And why isn't he making a move?
Little does she know (the omniscient narrator speaking here) that he has thought about this. He voiced this thought to a co-worker and was dissuaded. The co-worker knows something about this girl.
The girl of the story decides to take matters into her own hands. Does this ever happen? Not likely. Most of the stories I have read have the main guy character forcing the action. Men write stories about what men do. But what if this time the action is motivated by the girl?
OK, we like this.
The girl decides to ask the boy out for a drink after work.
He is surprised and happy and no one else hears this proposal, so he agrees. He makes a decision.
Little does he know that this is the life altering decision.
The girl decides that they should meet at a bar at 9pm. No picking her up at her apartment, in case this is a disaster and she needs to make a hasty retreat.
Arriving at the bar early, the girl goes up to the second floor and orders a drink. The second floor bar has couches and a fireplace and the girl feels it is more homey than the first floor, which also has a bar, but the restaurant makes it difficult to have a quiet conversation. The girl has been here before.
9pm comes and goes and nothing happens. The girl has finished her drink. No boy.
Little does she know that the boy is downstairs waiting at the bar for her to show.
Now the decisions happen. Does she wait? Does he feel she has stood him up and he leaves? Does she chat up some other guy at the bar and leave with him? Does the boy ask the bartender if there is another bar in the restaurant where possibly a girl could be waiting for him? Does the girl get up and decide to look for the boy downstairs? Does the boy assume the girl is no good as warned, and then have several more drinks and get in a brawl and end up in the local police lockup?
If they don't make the right choices here everything changes. Little do they know that their entire lives teeter on this choice.
The boy does ask the bartender and the girl does decide to look for the boy downstairs. They meet as the boy is climbing the stairs and the girl is descending.
Click. Their lives begin.

9 comments:

  1. When my boys came home from school whining about fiction writing assignments I reminded them that the only professionals who get paid to LIE convincingly are (fiction) WRITERS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous11:49 AM

    True or False?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Natalya12:10 PM

    i want to hear more, what happens next?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous1:01 PM

    This sounds too much like Mills and Boon. Start with the NOW life, much more interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Two thoughts:

    Nice plot. Flush this out with a little writing style and you'd have decent short story, just to test your chops.

    To pull on a different set of emotions, try an unhappy or unsettling ending, maybe a strange suprise ending...just to stretch.

    Not trying to give unwelcome advice. Just sharing my immediate reactions.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mel, get the book "No Plot No Problem" by Chris Baty - you can write your novel in 30 days! There are lots of NaNoWriMo writers on the AQ web ring. You can do it!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. susan_from_nerk6:34 PM

    You need to play Barry Manilow's "All the Time" when you're writing the story. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Set it to music, write some sexy lyrics and you have the makings of a new musical.........And then, and then, you could design the sets...and make oodles of money in order to go buy your dream house with retirement goodies.
    I have just about decided that you, Missy, can do just about anything you set your mind to doing. Good luck......Liz A.

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com