What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Friday, March 23, 2012

The things that got away, or when the train goes off the tracks

SO, just working through some things. One of my thoughts has been to write the continuing story of Gary Mullens, Bladesman. Yes, I've had ideas for it.

Actually one of my originally unrelated story ideas was an assassination by flame thrower. Actually I originally wrote this as an experiment in screen writing. So I formed it from a cinematic framework which would have to be changed, because you can't do camera tricks in narration (okay, well, not the ones I was thinking of). While I was writing Bladesman I did figure that the assassin character, which was actually a special operations mob enforcer, would be a perfect fit for Gary. And that the position of bladesman would also include exotic weapons.

So the basic plot is there's a meeting of some conspirators in a restaurant, they're in a booth discussing overthrowing a local mob boss (they're lieutenants in this organization and they're talking about rubbing out the big boss). A lone assassin enters the restaurant and lays waste to the conspirators with a flamethrower, setting the place on fire (of which they already called the fire department before they walked in).

One of the things that bothered me in Bladesman is that while there are women in high positions throughout the story, they aren't closer into the main story. However I did set up that all of the Old Man's daughters are power hungry, and the Old Man is suspects them of trying to muscle him out, all while he's trying to keep them insulated from the criminal side of the organization.

And then I was reading some thoughts on the Bechdel test. And I was thinking that my first novel sort of fails that test (because it doesn't have women discussing between only themselves as it's told first person through Gary's eyes). And that moment happened where the scene clicks as the daughters discussing offing the Old Man. The Old Man knows about this and sends Gary to kill his daughters. Ooo, lotsa angsty family guilt and conflict.

And then the other part of my brain kicked in and said, "Wait a sec, you're going to give the daughters a primary spot, have then discuss real issues and make real plans, all of which doesn't include talking about boys, shoes, or clothes all to say, 'hey, look, I pass the Bechdel test' only then to kill them all in a blazing ball of fire?"

Yeah, not so great an idea after all, is it?

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