So eight weeks into this, Lily doesn’t have a plot, something you have all pointed out. And I don’t really want her to have a plot because then it won’t be play anymore. But even I am starting to be annoyed by how shapeless it all is. So I went back to my old standbys: conflict analysis and acts.
Goal: I HAVE NO IDEA. She likes Fin.
Antagonist: Dorothy (I think.)
Goal: Cover up what she’s doing at the museum. (I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT IS, EITHER.)
Lily starts therapy, meets Fin, rejects Seb.
Dorothy . . . I got nothing.
Okay, how about Lily has just been fired from the museum for getting too close to something Dorothy doesn’t want uncovered. Plus there was an ax. Really, I got nothing.
Scenes so far:
Lily vs. Dr. Ferris: Meets Nadia (What is Dr. Ferris up to anyway?)
Lily vs Seb: He wants something from her (No idea what)
Lily vs. Fin: FIrst Meet. Vikings to the right of me . . .
Fin vs. Bjorn: No you are not interested in Lily
Lily vs. Fin: Swapping back stories
Dorothy does something that threatens the Diner, bringing the Diner Band into action. That would be Lily, Fin, Bjorn, Van, and Cheryl. And possibly Dead-Eye Guy, who’s name should probably be Dick, but then Cheryl would just lose it.
Scenes so far:
Lily vs. Nadia: Vikings
Lily vs Bjorn: Where’s Fin?
Lily vs. Fin: First fight
Fin vs. Bjorn: Violet
Lily vs Fin: Regroup with Pie
Lily vs. Seb: Park with ice cream and Fin
Fin vs. Dead Eye: Lose the gun
Lily vs. Dead Eye: Scares off Seb
Fin vs. Bjorn: Wrong Move
Fin vs. Bjorn: Stop saving me
Lily vs.Fin: Half Pass
Lily vs. Fin: Fall
The Diner Band figures out what’s going on, Dorothy tries to burn down the diner building?
Scenes so far:
Lily vs. Cheryl (and Van): Pizza
Lily vs. Dead Eye: Cheryl’s Half Pass
The Diner Gang brings down Dorothy.
Scenes so far:
Snippet of Cheryl talking about having sex with Louis in the exhibits
Okay, that’s bad but not impossible. It’s bad because it’s too early in the game to be doing this, not because the plot will be difficult.
The museum plot is really a subplot here, it’s the romance that has the juice. And I’ve been thinking about it and I think I want this romance to run smoothly. That is, everything around it is going to be nuts, but Lily and Fin meet, negotiate the relationship, test it through trauma, and commit without any Big Misunderstandings or really any big fights. There’s that early fight outside the diner, but the next day they both want to make up. Fin is just a steady, good guy, and Lily is just a great woman. There’s something really comforting in that.
Which means Bjorn and Vanessa will get all the drama as foils. And of course, there’s Cheryl. I like the idea that Lily and Fin are eye of the hurricane, very calm while everything swirls around them, the arc just them growing closer. Because I also don’t see any reason for them to fight. They’re both free, they’re both in their thirties so less likely to make mistakes because they’ve already made them, they’re ready for calm and stability. It just makes sense that they’d move quietly through the noise and the haste, finding what peace there may be in a committed relationship. It’s not a romance plot I’ve written before, so I think that would be interesting.
Plus there’s Cheryl’s obsession which I thought was going to be mindfulness, but then Allanah said “Marie Kondo” and there’s something about Cheryl letting things go with joy . . .
And since this is not going to be book, it doesn’t matter that it’s not riveting.
The key is to make whatever’s going on at the museum echo what’s happening at the diner. The diner people are all going blithely on their own way, and so are the museum people and then their paths cross. I kind of like the idea that Dorothy is a doppelgänger of Lily, efficient and angry. If Louis is in charge, that makes Cheryl his opposite number, which is underscored by the fact that they used to be lovers. I can see Seb and Bjorn as parallels easier than I can see Seb and Fin, so I should look into that. Jessica and Van? Nope. Van’s opposite number would be somebody brilliantly efficient, working outside the chaos. Hmmm. Maybe Fin and the Dead-Eye guy, if he’s really working for the museum, somebody outside it–Fin and Bjorn are outside the diner–but allied with it in some way.
Fin/Guy in the suit?
And I’d need some diner regulars. Damn. If my diner was open, I’d go and listen to what people were saying.
I don’t want anything with high stakes, no international art thefts or anything complicated. I don’t want anybody running drugs. Really, the only thing I need to keep on playing is something that jogs the Girls awake.
Maybe the guy in the suit in Dorothy’s brother. That could be interesting, two guys that aren’t involved in the two settings getting sucked into the conflict to help women important in their lives. And then the guy in the suit (suddenly I’m getting Person of Interest vibes) falls for Cheryl. There’s something about these two quiet guys standing off to one side, shaking their heads as Cheryl and Louis become crazier and Lily and Dorothy get serious. I just don’t know what’s going on.
Of course it took me a couple of years to figure out fully what was happening on Nita’s island, but that was a book.
But I did get everything put into chronological order in one file, so that’s something. There’s nothing new in there, so no need to read it, but it’s here if you want to look. And it’s about 21,000 words, so that’s 20% of a novel, 80% of a novella, but it’s not a book so it doesn’t matter.
So what’s going on at the museum? Something with Louis’s secret Viking society, about which I know nothing. Not drugs, not high end art theft, nothing complicated. I’m good with low level graft, but that seems so pedestrian for Dorothy. I think Dead Eye Guy is Dorothy’s younger brother. I don’t think Bjorn and Vanessa get PoVs, but I think Dorothy might. Dorothy has needs; what are they?
And now I must hit the grocery and the pharmacy, finish putting the 2007 posts back, and do the third day of Nita by doing a scene list and starting to cut things and put in the pieces I haven’t added yet. Also the yard is a nightmare and so is the house. Packed, the days just are.