Friday, 15 February 2013

The Journey of a Story...Part Two: The Characters

Welcome to part two of my journey from random thought to story where I answer the question of where do ideas come from.  If you missed the first part click this link, Part One:  The Idea, to see what it was all about.

So my wife and I went to this house and thanks to my imagination we got all freaked out.  On the ride home the idea kept building in my head.  A couple goes out to this house and sees what we saw, but something more sinister.  What kind of characters would those be?

Do I put it in Prince Edward Island where Red Island is set so I can use Sgt. Reid?  Nah.
A married couple?  Nope
A couple?  mmmmmm maybe

My first attempt at a novel was called Murder in the Wolf Moon.  It was really old school.  A detective couple just happened to be at a resort on an island when someone gets killed.  Didn't see that one coming.  It ended up being a bad novella that will forever be locked up somewhere in my mother's house.  From that story, however, I did get two characters named Jake Hart and Chrysanthemum Flower, Chrys for short.  Her parents were hippies.  I'm getting off track.

The couple came together in some short mystery stories.  I remember one was titled something like, The Mystery of Rose, and got me a nice shiny form rejection letter from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.  I then saw them again in January/February of 2005.  I was working midnights at a corner store/gas station and was asked if I wanted to be in this underground magazine called The Core by a co-worker.  It was mostly poetry of local writers, but I put in a short story about all the characters in my head that I have ever written coming together to play cards.  The characters that had been in completed stories were fully developed players and those that had been in unfinished stories were faded faces in the background.

So, I started thinking Jake and Chrys would be good for this idea.  Only I don't want them to be detectives.  And I didn't want them to be a couple.  What then?  Brother and sister?  That could work.  I also thought that I would like part of it to revolve around a restaurant.


I suddenly realised that this other novella that I had finished, Living off Chris Isaak Dreams and Ethan Hawke Fantasy (I was infatuated with Chris Isaak music and Ethan Hawke movies at the time) was losely based on Jake and Chrys.  It was about a guy named Zeke who owned a small restaurant.  His sister was a secondary character.

What if I brought back that idea as well?
If the characters didn't work once, what could I do to get them together?  I want them to be locked in my head so that I know who they are and what they can do.  But that's part three.

1 comment:

  1. May be 2 teenagers looking at places to have a murder mystery party or a Grad party, or just a party, or just two friends travelling across crountry, car broke down, noticed a house.... Though that's been done before. I liked your Jake and Chrysanthemum stories, but as I'm your Mum I like all your stories.