After the previous scene, when I posted one post (“posted one post” really?) talking about my thoughts before and after writing the scene, I’ve decided to split those behind the scenes posts in two for the rest. Would have seemed more professional to think of that before, but I got too excited to share the actual story.
The reason for that is that I’d like to share the card I draw and the thoughts it provokes before the story continues. This way you, the reader, can sort of think along with me how things may unfold now that we have the card drawn. it might illuminate some things happening in the story contrary to the outline previously written, that would otherwise make little sense until after the scene publishes, and the behind the scenes post follows for that week.
And you also get three posts per week for the Writer Emergency Fiasco. That must count for something, no?
Anyways, here is the card I pulled this time, and my thoughts for it.
Card # 15 — Secret Society
Your hero has stumbled upon a dark conspiracy — or perhaps he’s been part of it all along.
That’s interesting. Looking at the picture and reading the text, I almost dread this card. I just started this whole Fiasco, and I don’t know how much I like to introduce a conspiracy right away.
But let’s look at the detail-card first, before we start to panic. It says:
Secret Societies aren’t just for thrillers. From Alcoholics Anonymous to Girl Scouts, every group has goals, rituals and inside knowledge.
Is your hero trying yo get in — or get out?
Whether it’s an ancient fraternity, a midnight bowling league, or that house down the street with the strange noises, secret societies provide your hero a chance to enter a hidden world, or escape a nightmare.
Now that’s a little more helpful. Now we’re not necessarily talking about a cult or conspiracy (or a conspiracy about a cult!), but can use this idea to, perhaps, get the characters going in the drug business–namely by making the drug-mob the group and our hero the one that either wants to enter, or is already part of it.
Originally, I wanted Mitch to be the wanna-be drug pimp, while Nathan is more of the user and not really more but the go-for of Mitch. Since Nathan is the “hero” of this scene (the character with the focus on him), I’m thinking to turn this around just a little bit. Or better: to make Nathan more ambitious in the drug trade.
So. They’re still at the strip club for the bachelor party, just as the outline said they would be. First I thought Mitch is the one that organized the 2kg drug drop-off the next day, but now I might change that. I think it would be more interesting if both of them did a little dirty work in the drug business, but nothing big. But Nathan is the one who wants to prove to Mitch that he can do more than just consume this stuff, and dragged him into bigger deal right here at the strip club. Somehow, Nate managed to negotiate himself between a deal-in-progress, where he offered to deliver the drugs to the client for the local drug-pimp (operating from the club, of course) for a small fee and future employment. Perhaps he heard that the pimp’s usual drug-runner was busted recently, and he needs to replace him on very short notice with someone the local cops aren’t suspicious off, yet. That would make the drug-pimp the “secret group” Nathan wants to be part of, and Mitch is all to happy to join, since drugs is sort of his thing.
That would make that bachelor party scene the very intro for why Mitch and Nathan are delivering drugs in the first place. Of course they’ll celebrate the potential future employment by one of the biggest names in town with way too much drink, smoke, and powder.
Wow, that came out good. Now I even have an idea for the “bad guys” in the next scene. Once I write the current scene out, I will have a good feeling for just what kind of mob we’re dealing with here, making Mitch’s hostage-like scene easier to flesh out.
Let’s look at the back of the detail card, where we find a set of questions and exercises to help us get a better understanding of our characters and the narrative. We already fleshed out a nice scene, but maybe we can gain some more ideas or insights from this.
Who runs the group? Is your hero vying for leadership, or is he a threat in some other way?
- A name for that drug-pimp would be good. Something really cheesy, maybe? Like Lewis “The Knuckle” Parker (Lewis Parker. Really?). I’ll brainstorm a cool name before writing the scene. And I don’t think Nathan want so lead or threaten the group; he wants to work his way into it. And right now, if I go with what’s written above, the group needs Nathan.
How do group members identify each other? List some gestures, clothing or signals they might use. If your hero tried to fake it, what could go wrong?
- Since the group is not so much a secret society, I don’t think this applies too-too much here. Respect is a big thing. They need to trust you (and they never trust you), so following orders, talking only when asked, knowing your place–those things are essential.
List rituals or practices that are special to the group.
- Same as above. Need-to-know only. Drugs are always a hot topic, and the cops are always watching. So the best practice is to blend in, to keep it cool.
Is the group trying to expand, or remain exclusive. What might they do to protect their secrets?
- A bit of both. Expand their clients, but keep the inside people to a minimum. The less people are involved, the less things can go ugly. And more profits for the big guys, of course. And they will do what it takes to not get busted. Make of it what you will.
There you have it. A new card for a new scene putting things into a new perspective. Find out how all this plays out in the second scene of act 1–published next Wednesday!
Any ideas, thoughts, comments? Would you have done anything differently?