I am going to finish this story if it kills me.
Harold’s story has been a very difficult one for me to write.Â Dude is seriously the hardest protagonist I’ve ever worked with.Â Here are a few of the reasons:
- Harold is male, elderly, and severely handicapped.Â I cannot claim a lot of experience with any of these conditions.
- Harold’s handicaps make him extremely inactive.Â This is not, generally, a good quality in a protagonist.
- Harold is intended to be bitingly witty.Â I am not bitingly witty.
- Harold really cares more about his past than his present.Â Which means lots of backstory, flashbacks, and other things that are tough to handle well
Add to this the fact that this is my first short story in years, and my first in the mystery genre, period.Â I know plenty about mystery novels, but mystery stories are kinda different.Â They’re often limited to one, maybe two twists, and some of them are really more crime stories than actual mysteries.Â I am having to feel my way a little bit
Now, here’s what the story has going for it:
- I have both a good acute issue (plot) and a good chronic issue (emotional story).Â And they relate well to each other.
- I really do like Harold very much.
- I have a strong sense of exactly what each scene should entail.Â (Though that doesn’t mean that getting the specifics down is necessarily easy.)
And so, once more into the breach…
2:21 PM: Ensconced in a corner of the office, ready to start.
2:54 PM: Just having a hard time concentrating today.Â Mark keeps talking about going out to see Iron Man 2.Â So tempting…
2:58 PM: Ok, I am going back to the drawing board on Scene 3.Â Right now it’s just a conversation Harold overhears.Â I need to find a way to make his voice a part of it.
3:44 PM: Laundry’s done.Â Â Break for folding.
4:18 PM: Back.Â But honestly, this is going nowhere fast.Â I think I’m going to try not liveblogging this story for a while, and see if I can get some traction on it.