Another story meeting.
We’ve completed the story up to the point where the creatures are to be revealed, and our characters have to take off on a dangerous journey through the mountains while being pursued.
Today, we wanted to review the outline, and add more clear roadblocks to their juggernaut trip (is that redundant?) to create explicit points of conflict escalating toward the final resolution. We had a general escalation outlined, but wanted to make it better defined before starting the writing.
We’re going to create three challenges. We’ve chosen two and will find the third tomorrow. It’s important that the incidents feel organic to the story, driven by, resolved by, or directly affect elements already present in our mythos or in our characters. No lame “oh, I fell, I twisted my ankle!” moments.
More importantly, we had one major plot point to nail down. We’ve got two primary male characters… dude A is a douchebag, dude B is a good guy. The original plan was to have dude douchebag killed early in the juggernaut, and dude good guy die later, near the end. Dude douchebag was intended to be a somewhat shallow character, not quite a red-shirt, but not someone people would be connected to – or more to the point, he would be someone whose death people might cheer.
However, he’s grown, since we let him choose his voice to a certain extent, and has become more defined and complex. That’s great… he’s a multi-layered douchebag.
Our good guy is still complex… a nice guy with a troubled marriage (though he doesn’t know it), who just wanted to have some quiet time to write (a purposeful cliche – or homage) who has been royally screwed by his best friend and business partner (dude douchebag).
Neither of these guys is going to make it out alive… the overall goal is to have our primary woman character develop into a stronger person over the adventure… to become a hero a-la Ripley.
She’s about to be sent on a cross-country forest trek to (hopefully) safety, pursued by beasties, with two other women, and one of these two guys. Both of the other women are rather duplicitous and can’t be trusted either. They’re just more emotionally accessible than dude douchebag.
So here’s the question… do we want to kill off the douchebag character so early now that he’s become more interesting, and have our audience watch the good guy character make the trip through the forest? Or kill off our good guy, and have our audience watch the bad guy character make the trip?
Are we (and our story, and our characters, and our audience) better served by sending our growing hero through the woods with two other women and a douchebag guy? Or with two other women and a good guy?
We’ve made our decision. We’ll begin writing it next week.
What would you do?
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