?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

So it’s all well and good that I decided to write a romantic comedy about a drive-in theater, inspired by … well, by sitting at a drive-in theater. But the story could only be set there, and even then only partially. Setting isn’t plot.

The germ of any story contains two questions: What if? What then? Those were the questions I had to answer if I wanted a good story, and it turned out the what if part was easy.

I mentioned before that there used to be three drive-ins within reasonable driving distance of my home: Now there is one. With cable, VHS, DVD, blue-ray, internet, not to mention the space age visual and sound systems of a traditional, air conditioned indoor theater, who wanted to sit in a car to watch a movie anymore?

So, what if someone did? Say, our hero? And what if that drive-in was in danger of being torn down, replaced by a mall, or housing development?

What then?

Well, my hero is not the type to sit around wringing his hands. He’d lead the charge to save the traditional family drive-in, because he’s a family kind of a guy. (This was the point where I realized my hero was a family kind of a guy, the kind who went there as a kid and brings his own kids there now.)

What then?

Okay, what if someone was sent by the development company to overcome the obstacles to the demolition? And what if that someone was a beautiful female lawyer? Suppose they met at the drive-in, without knowing they were leading the opposite sides?

Wait, what if she was uncomfortable around kids? And the guy had two? Where was his wife? Why was the attorney uncomfortable around kids? How can I make her more sympathetic? Why is she coming from out of town, instead of being a local attorney? And could there be a reason why his family already hates lawyers? We don’t want to go too easy on them – that makes for boring stories.

And what was around the drive-in, anyway? If it has enough customers to stay open, wouldn’t there be a community nearby? And wouldn’t our hero be a part of that community?

Questions lead to more questions, just as it should be with a novel length work. By now I was on a roll, creating an outline for the story while also working on character development. The characters had to be done before the outline could be completed, of course. Once they were fully developed, they’d tell me what to write.

Next: the town. You can get a first look at the drive-in in the first chapter of Coming Attractions, and vote for me at Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest:

http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts/coming-attractions/

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
cornerofmadness
Oct. 7th, 2012 02:57 am (UTC)
that does sound like fun
ozma914
Oct. 7th, 2012 07:57 am (UTC)
There's not much that's more fun than creating a new world and putting that story down fresh. Of course, later comes the hard work of revision and selling.
cornerofmadness
Oct. 7th, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
so very true
agdhani
Oct. 7th, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
That one initial 'what if' can be a killer! Its taken me and my current plot bunnies to the stage of figuring out government, economics, and religion for my 'city'...sticky subjects that I'm sure are intertwined but I am not yet sure how to define them. I think I have to write down the bits I do know...and then figure out what connects them :-/

Yours sounds much easier to sort!
ozma914
Oct. 7th, 2012 08:03 am (UTC)
This one is; I've been working on ideas for other stories where things aren't nearly as easy, which is why I decided to give myself a break and stick with the real world in this one! I've been thinking over a space opera story for years: I've got a whole 300 year history laid out, with room for hundreds of stories if I ever get around to them, but it'll be complicated finishing the background material.
amelia_seyroon
Oct. 7th, 2012 10:01 am (UTC)
millysdaughter
Oct. 7th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
Have they told you more of their secrets yet?
ozma914
Oct. 8th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah -- I know pretty much everything, now.
millysdaughter
Oct. 8th, 2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
LOL
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

September 2019
S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow