I’ve decided to start writing down the story/book plotlines that spring into my head on an almost a weekly, sometimes daily basis. None of these make it to “first base” in my writing process. (1) To purge the hard drive and pretend I’m still involved in the creative process during school I’ll post theses up periodically as “Throw Away Plots”. Folks can comment, steal them for themselves, ask questions or whatever. Who knows, maybe when I’m a tired old hack and I’ve written everything I need to write I’ll come back to these and give them a shot.
Todays throw away plots inspired by the pleadings of Ridgeway:
Working Title(s): “Fathers Legacy”, “Views of a Killer”
Fiction – Modern Day
Plot Hook: Ridgway was married, has a son currently serving in the Marines and worked in a local truck plant for a decade or so. What’s the story behind these individuals who shared his life yet never knew he was a killer? I can envision it being from the kids point of view growing up with whom he must have at one point looked up to as Superman, did the relationship strain and break over the years? Did the son suspect? How does he handle it now and after Ridgway is imprisoned. Same concept for coworkers of Ridgway. No car chases, no explosions, character driven human story. There’s a couple of different tracks to take on this. Either research it heavily, perhaps even try and interview Ridgeway’s son for an accurate portrayl OR go solely off publically available information and fictionalize the struggle/choices.
(1) Aside on my writing process and a feeble sports metaphor: To me the strongest pull of a story comes with a plotline (for others it may be character or location). When a viable plotline comes into my head (its just the bat connecting with the ball, could be a foul, could be a homerun. If it sticks around in the brain for awhile and withstands the intial tests of setting, relevancy etc. it makes it to first base. By second base I have a pretty good handle on what the arcs of the story will be. Books on third base I could, given time, sit down and tell you not necessarily word for word but probably scene for scene for the length of the novel. Those are the ones I need to write, the ones pressing on me hourly, I have about 10 or so of those, half ficiton half non-fiction. Most of those have been up there for in excess of a decade becuase I stopped adding to them when I realized just how dammned long it took to write a book, “…on a kinswords grin” is the first of them. I’ve lost count of the 1st and 2nd base books I have, I mean I can recall them if I think long enough, but I’m not actively plotting them on a frequent basis. So these ones I post truly are throw away for now. Enjoy! =)