paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
I had such a good head of steam going up until now, 11k words in this new one, and I was liking it...until...
I don't know what knocked me down, but I have no one old enough and willing to be a sounding board while I work through this, so I'm turning to the old on-line journal to talk to myself. Sometimes that works.

Everything was going great until I was almost done with chapter 3, where Mickey has the new Serendip position, and I realized I don't know anything about the corporate secretary pool vs. executive assistant, vs. administrative assistant. Give me an ER at 3 a.m. or a retirement center or a plasma donation center and I can write a scene that pops, but what I'm doing now is flat and fails to convince me it's authentic. If I can't even convince myself, I am incapable of enjoying that particular item I've written.

But I so don't want to give up. Here's the good about it (aside from being the first genuine fiction effort I've made in 3 years): The "what if" element is intriguing: What would happen if Austin up and quit Serendip? Where would that leave Mickey? Serendip employs her, not Austin. So would she be absorbed back into the general secretarial pool, or what are the chances another executive would be needing a personal secretary at that exact time? And what, then, is the nature of Mickey and Austin's relationship? Was it just a professional based phenomenon, Mickey at the service of Austin by virtue of her paycheck, with some personal gratification (excitement) and maybe some genuine friendship to sweeten the pot? Or is there a deeper connection that transcends the paycheck?

Secondly, there is the murder mystery aspect, with the scientific twist. I'm working on a premise that involves a synthetic virus infused into a plant, then crossbred several times over until a particular mutation occurs with the foreign dna that causes havoc. The original instigator is a sort of semi-innocent bystander, but there's a real villain who wants to possess this technology and mass produce it for personal gain. I have Austin, trying to solve the initial murder of the semi-innocent bystander, getting sucked into a bigger situation with the villain where he is simultaneously helping his scheme and trying to subvert it.

To connect the two plotlines, I have Mickey being forced to choose for whom she works: Serendip for a career, pay, and benefits, or Austin for good-will and great uncertainty. He promises adventure. Maybe the sky is the limit, but nothing with him is guaranteed.

Okay, now re-reading what I've written here, I have a clearer idea of my goals and objectives. That was helpful. I can also see a little better where I want to position Mickey. So I do not want her working for a particular boss, but for a supervising secretary of an entire division pool. That would guarantee her new job would be exceedingly boring and unchallenging compared to what she's been used to.

The problem here is I think if Mickey had a truly lucrative, stable position that made good use of her talents, I don't know that she'd be willing to chuck it to go follow Austin. The way I've written this up to now, Austin has not been too considerate. He betrayed her, and he's got to see that and come to grips with the part of himself that acts on pure intellect without the input from feelings, particularly empathy. Is he capable of being empathetic? To what degree is he capable, and will it be sufficient for Mickey to gamble on choosing him and a new geography vs staying with what she knows?

OK, what if I have Mickey being offered either a downgrade in position or a severance package? That would take me back to chapter one and significantly change her direction. Ummm, yeah...yes, I'm liking this idea better. OK, that removes my quandary about chapter 3 and the dumb scenario that falls flat. I know all about being between jobs. I've had severance before and God knows I've been on job hunts. I can write that. Of course, now I have to go back and figure out what Austin assumed Mickey would do when she was suddenly out a job. Was he planning to cut ties. No. Absolutely not. He knew she'd have severance, and he planned to "come to the rescue" before the severance ran out. He just didn't bother to explain it to Mickey.

I'll keep on thinking on this. I'm glad I thought of this account. This was way more productive than I thought it would be. OK, time to call the kids in and get everyone to bed. I'll revise and push forward tomorrow.
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paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)

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