story process #5

Time to jump off this crazy train and wrap up our Kaelin story. I won't lie. I've been struggling with seeing the end. It's why I haven't started writing yet. I know his main struggle--Warrick Oman wants Kaelin dead and is using this opportunity to see it done. He's just ruthless enough to use his granddaughter as bait, a granddaughter he's pretty sure is lost anyway. Kaelin can't help but hope she'll be okay; he loves her.

My main constraint/obstacle for Kaelin is a lack of violence. I want Kaelin to outwit his foes, not out-shoot them. Short stories with a load of violence aren't hot sells. And, in this story, killing demons who have taken possession of humans is moot anyway--they just find another host.

I do think there should be another, more plausible reason (obstacle) for his not using violence, though. It's set in London, so maybe MI5 is on the scene, watching for him to mess up. That actually makes sense; Mosaic is (in the books) thought to be a crime syndicate which raises money for a terrorist organization. And Kaelin has a well-known, if not proved, history of violence. He's a character MI5 would be watching.

Kaelin is also in this alone, with a protesting Ryanne. To be an obstacle, she's got to want to stay. It's fun to rescue someone in a story, but it's even more fun if they don't want to be rescued.

So that's three obstacles: no violence, he's working alone, and his rescuee doesn't want to be rescued.

So. My obstacle: how does Kaelin outwit the demons and Oman and get the girl home? Have I written myself into an impossible corner? I think not. I think the key lies in turning one of his obstacles into a path, and off the top of my head, I pick MI5. If they can provide enough of a distraction, Kaelin could use that to get Ryanne out and present her to her grandfather.

These kinds of switches can be fun, if properly handled. We're in Kaelin's POV, so it's probably best to have the idea of using MI5 happen at the last possible minute. Up until that point, MI5 must provide a nearly insurmountable obstacle (Kaelin has had his most valuable weapon taken from him: his rifle). Kaelin's history is one of murder, and MI5 suspects this. They'll arrest him at the slightest inkling of violence. That seems a likely track, but I have to have him get out. He's got to have the resolution scene where he gives Ryanne back to her grandfather. So, the logical solution is for him to allow Ryanne and himself to get arrested on false charges, something MI5 would disprove within a day or so.

I'd say I have enough to go on to start writing. I don't have to have every detail, just a fresh-broke trail to a clear goal. Anyway, as always...thoughts?

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