Again, that this section is meant to look into my creative process, what I think about doing and how. It will come with spoilers both for the first act, and things you can expect from the second, as well. The following will, in no way, improve the actual fiction, unless you like to know what’s going on in my head as the story develops.
One Act at a time
Fiasco plays out in two acts with two scenes each per player. Between act 1 and act 2, we roll on a Tilt Table to introduce some extremely bad elements, twists, plot changes. After act 2, we roll on the Aftermath Table to see how things end for our characters.
With no other players, I have the luxury of developing the story in a quick outline before I even start dealing with the narrative. First, I wanted to outline both act 1 and act 2, but quickly realized that this isn’t as much fun. Because of the Tilt Table halfway through the game. I want to roll on that table after act 1 played out, so I have a good sense of the current state of the story, and can feel the possible effects of the twists introduced. I also don’t want to just figure out a way to splice those twist into the existing outline of act 2, but rather write act 2 with the Tilt Table and everything from act 1 in mind.
The story starts with the car crash, involving both Nathan and Sarah. Next scene goes back to the night before the wedding with Nathan and Mitch enjoying some hot girls and cold beers, partying until the early hours in the morning and missing their drop-off time for the drugs before the wedding. Back to the current time, Mitch is being tortured by some pretty nasty people about the case of drugs his wife and her brother just stole, but convinces them to not kill him because he can help get the stuff back. Scene 4 is dealing with Sarah one hour before the wedding, getting ready, when Nathan comes in informing her that all is under control, meaning that his stupidity almost ruined the wedding, though she just doesn’t know how, yet. Sarah and Nathan fight over the case of drugs in the next scene, while trying to get away from the mob chasing after the drugs. Act 1 ends with Mitch being all wasted at the alter, convincing Sarah that him and Nathan need to make a detour before the big honeymoon can start (to sell some drugs).
Details, details, details…
Three details are established, each tied to one relationship. Sarah and Mitch are connected by a need to feel the heat of the moment. Mitch and Nathan are tied to a case of cocaine. Finally, Sarah and Nathan are in an important location, namely a car crash. Let me go into a little more detail.
I only have one location to work with–and that one is a bit of an obscure one, at that. It’s Location: Uncomfortable, in a car crash. This allows me to really set the story anywhere I want it to be, as long as a car crash is involved somehow, and both Sarah and Nathan are involved (since that detail is connected to their relationship in this story). Instead of just making it one single event, or staying with the crash itself for too long, I’ve decided to use it as narrative device for both the subplots going on. Since one plot deals with the aftermath of that crash, and the other plot steering straight for it, making the crash more of a point in the story where both timelines collide seems like a good idea. Which, in fact, was my very first idea after the setup: the car crash is the beginning and the end of the narrative, location-wise.
The 2kg of cocaine are pretty straight forward. It’s the reason the after-wedding plans fail, the reason Sarah and Nathan end up where they do, and the reason Mitch is being tortured. It’s also the reason Nathan gets to go along with the couple in the first place.
Between Mitch and Sarah, the detail is “To feel …the heat of the moment”. That ties in perfectly with the idea of two timelines–in the past, Sarah wants to be emerged in this whole wedding-thing, the excitement of going on their honeymoon. In the present, she’s trying to escape with a case of drugs she just stole from her new husband and his drug-friends, feeling a sort of rush from it and the resulting car chase and crash. You’ll see what I mean once you read over the synopsis of each scene in order.
As you will see, things end on a rather bright side (the last scene playing out the successful wedding). Which bothered me at first, to be honest, since the narrative starts so heavy. But I think that once I introduce the Writer Emergency cards, things will get a little crazier than I anticipate at this point. Also, the next act will become a lot darker once we go into some of the details hinted at in the NOW-scenes.
That’s enough of talking around. Time to look at the actual outline of Act 1.