Monday, July 8, 2013

A Western in 30 days

Day 1

Today, I’m supposed to be getting what Nik calls a “plot-plan” constructed. Whew. I usually get an image of the first scene and an idea of the last scene and then sit down and write from the seat of my pants. But the ongoing exercise is profitable. Here’s what I found out.

Desired emotion (from the reader)
Abhorrence for violence and brutality to women.

Reward for some kinds of evil can only be death.

Main character’s emotional drive
Matt Stryker is a professional who does whatever is necessary to bring criminals with a bounty on their heads to justice, dead or alive.

Main character’s purpose
To do the job he’s been hired for, or must pursue due to circumstances, because it’s the right thing to do.

Possible causes of conflict
- weather
- geography
- opponents’ skills and/or cunning
the need to help others
old enemies
the job
the situation

Initial clash
- Stage station at Miller’s Well burned
- Stagecoach burned, horses, driver, shotgun rider, passengers killed
- Molly Miller missing
(Stryker must decide whether to pursue the perpetrators in hopes of rescuing Molly or to continue on his hunt for jailbreaker Loren Blake.)

Dramatic high point
Standoff/shootout with three Dent sons (Stryker has killed the father)

Additional conflicts
- Getting Molly Miller back to her husband
- Quarrel with Sheriff Bucknell in Tombstone, March 1883
- Face off with Dirty Bill Cronen, a man always looking for a test
- Figuring out the reasons for the Dents’ continual abuse of certain women

What the antagonists want
- Money
- Sex
- The ability to “pull it off”
- Major objective: abuse and disfigure every Yankee woman possible, leaving them breathing and alive in a living hell (revenge for what happened to their own women when Sherman marched to Georgia during the Civil War).

Final conflict
Stryker caught by Dents. Disarmed. Must watch as the Dents have their way with another woman. Must find a way to get loose. Must use unusual weapons to kill Dents one at a time. (Perhaps he kills the woman to put her out of her misery, I don’t know yet. Or he allows her to kill herself.)