It is time.
Time to finish this off. Finish off the last scene of the the trio dealing with the past that got them into one hell of a fiasco in the present.
This is the last scene before we switch back to the motel, where Sarah, Mitch, and Nathan are currently being caught in the crossfire between some drug-mobsters and a vicious biker gang.
We already know where this scene will end: Nathan and Sarah hit the road to escape from the Lost Boys, a mean gang, which will take Mitch as their hostage to get their hands on the case of drugs they only know about, because Mitch couldn’t keep his ego-stuffed mouth shut.
So, how do we get there? What causes them to get into shit with the gang? What happened to the client for whom the drugs were meant in the first place? How do Nathan and Sarah manage to escape? And, most of all, what card do we draw this time around?
Card # 11 — Puny Humans
Sometimes, it really is the end of the world. How would your story change if the stakes were cataclysmic?
Sometimes, I think, it may seem as though I don’t randomly draw a card, but pick one that might fit well. I promise you, I don’t. Every card has been randomly chosen at the very moment I started writing those behind the scenes posts. So, getting the most “Shit hits fan” card for the scene, where a lot of shit is meant to hit the fan is not planed. It just happened. Which means we get to go and finish the past timeline with a bang.
Looking at how your hero might respond to a major cataclysm — asteroid, plague, tsunami, robot uprising — can offer insights into her actions at more human-level jeopardy. So start blowing things up. Knock down some national monuments. Smash, crash, and see what you get.
What’s important to your hero? Who would he save? Where would she go? And once there, would she lead the resistance, or keep her head down?
How would a cataclysm change your hero’s interaction with the antagonist? Would they still be on opposing sides?
This might actually work so well for Nathan. He is the one that got them into this mess in the first place, because he wanted to play big. Yet, he’s also the least responsible of the three. Having the spotlight on him during something really-really bad happening ought be interesting.
This particular detail card already has a lot of questions on it, even before I flip it over to look at the actual exercises and thoughts.
So. Let’s get into some of those questions before we flip the card, shall we?
Nathan cares about others in the sense that he wants them to care about him. Respect him. Take him seriously. He feels that he has something to prove–not to himself, because he knows he’s better than what people think of him. I believe that he would try and save his friends if he can do it without causing too much inconvenience for himself. In the first scene, Sarah blames this whole scenario of him being a coward. So, now that the shit does hit the fan, I need to honour that statement or at least make it look it’s true for all that Sarah gets to see. But when it comes down to to, and we saw that throughout the story already, Nathan would cave and try anything to get the drugs and save his own ass. He’d be the guy that sells out the camp of survivors to whatever faction is leading and raiding the area, in hopes to get on their good side. I’ve always found that that kind of traitorous coward trait comes with its own kind of bravery, because he has to defy the safety of his actual friends to trust what everyone else sees as the opposition. That, in turn, can spark its own version of heroism, or lead to nothing but disaster. Both is fine by me.
But let’s look at the exercises and see what we can learn about little Nate.
A comet wil smash into the Earth in 24 hours. What would your hero do?
- Get stoned. Get drunk. Get laid. Then panic for the last twenty or so minutes, when he’s all out of substance, and he slowly sobers up to the reality of his most-certain doom. And, of course, the comet won’t irritate all life right away, so he’ll try and make up for his lack of preparation by trying to stick to other, more prepared people, friends, and family, and he’ll be that guy.
Imagine your story in a post-apocalyptic world. What would change? What might stay the same?
- Money wouldn’t be much of an issue in most post-apocalyptic worlds, but resources would be. I don’t know how much people would celebrate weddings as they did in the story, so that might also be different. But drugs can still be of value. Gangs are still around. And people in suits dealing with drugs, resources, or even lives, maybe be part of that world, too. So, other than the wedding, this story could be pretty much the same. Just darker. More dangerous to the trio for reasons other than their own stupidity, greed, and lack of self-control.
What if your hero was the invader? Consider the story if he was the conquerer rather than the conquered.
- That’s something I though of in the early stages of the story–Nathan being an actual part of the mob. He would be on the other side of the door right now, shooting bullets at his own friend and family. And–after all–Nathan was aspiring to be at that point eventually, which is why he took on that high-risk runner job in the first place. Would he be on the other side, he’d have a hard time going against his family, but would feel pressured into doing so. But, he might develop a feeling of guilt, and either try to convince his boss from killing his family, or turn against his outfit outright. I think that’s important to realize, because, even though he’s not on the other side, knowing that Nathan might be that kind of guy that comes around to do “the right” thing after all is interesting. The story does require one of the characters (at least) to develop a conscience, as we established in The Tilt (next to the element of magnificent self-destruction, of course).
I’m very happy with this brainstorm-session. Though it might have establish much content for the scene itself (which we don’t need anyway, since the previous scenes lead us to what this one should be about), it gave us a good insight into Nathan and what he might and might not be capable of pulling off.
Does Nathan come through for Sarah, and is the only the reason she at least was able to get away, though Mitch was left behind? Or did he try and run by himself, giving Sarah all the right to be pissed off at him later, when they crash the car?
Guess we have to wait until Wednesday to find out.
Any ideas, thoughts, comments? Would you have done anything differently?
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