05 October 2005

Chapter Outline

It’s time to start outlining on a chapter by chapter basis or I won’t get past a very long first chapter. So here is a start at what I expect the main action ingredients to be.

Chapter 1: Aaron is my protagonist. He is a genealogical researcher collecting stories for an oral history at the local nursing home in a small community. Here he comes across Mad Aunt Hattie who tells him the story of her disappearing boyfriend. He investigates and finds the location where the disappearance is supposed to have occurred. Just as he approaches, he is blinded by a flash of light and drives off the road.

Chapter 2: After a brief disorientation, Aaron gets out of his wrecked car and hears voices nearby. When he approaches he finds a “mystically illuminated” scene that reminds him vaguely of some Biblical story. He recognizes one of the people as a prominent citizen with an eye to a political campaign. Just at the point that he is about to interrupt and make his presence known, another voice joins the others that is disembodied. He hears the voice, but can’t understand it, even though it seems to be speaking English. Understanding what is said is just beyond his reach. Then all but the known party begin to disappear. Just at the point that they are about gone, one turns and points at Aaron. There is another bright flash and he passes out.

Chapter 3: Aaron wakes up in his car. The politician is rapping on the window to see if he is all right. He opens the door and stumbles out. The politician picks him up and takes him to his own car and drives him to the local hospital. When Aaron gets out, he finds the politician (need a name if I’m going to keep referring to him or her) waiting for him. Says the car was towed to the local service station. Where can he take Aaron? Aaron starts to mention last night, but Pol hushes him saying that anyone would have done the same (good Samaritan routine) so that he never gets to ask about what he saw. Instead we spend the chapter with the two getting to know each other and what they do and it ends with Pol offering Aaron a job on his/her staff for the coming election.

Chapter 4: Aaron spends a chapter deciding whether or not to join Pol’s staff. During that time he discovers some of what had happened the night of the accident disappearing from his memory. So being a writer he writes it down. He revisits the site and makes some kind of motivating discovery. Place where the car was parked? Footprints? He decides that something bigger than an election is going on here and decides to take the job so that he can be close to Pol, who has also charmed him with his cause in the election.

Chapter 5: We change POV to catch Pol with a visitor to whom he is explaining that he was discovered and that it might pose some risk of exposure. They discuss the situation with the visitor bemoaning the loss of the old days when they’d just have got rid of the interloper. Pol says they haven’t done that in years and the council’s directive that they influence only and not interfere had to be followed. Pol suggests that the visitor’s next contact will be before his, so please keep the council informed. As the visitor gets up to leave, they hear footsteps in the outer office. When they open the door, Aaron is there, intending to take up Pol’s offer on the position. It is unclear whether he has heard anything of their conversation. Pol tells the visitor goodbye and invites Aaron into the inner office.

Chapter 6: Aaron meets more of Pol's staff and begins the work of writing campaign materials for him. Pol takes Aaron out to a private site where xxx? something is happening and tells him that this is what he is staking his campaign on. When Pol gets his first speech from Aaron he sends it back because it doesn't contain info on the pet project. Conflict between what Aaron sees as necessary to win and what Pol sees as his objective. Winning the election isn't as important as enlightening people on the issue.

Chapter 7: Interlude. Aaron is sent away, or ahead of Pol to a location to do set-up and research before Pol gets there. In the course of doing research or in a bar or somewhere, Aaron is approached by a stranger who begins to challenge what Pol is all about. He drops hints of where Aaron could find the whole story if he looked. Aaron follows a lead and sits with the answer in his hands trying to decide what to do with the info.

Chapter 8: This sets up a big confrontation between Aaron and Pol. Aaron starts challenging him on little things in his agenda that he thinks have a larger hidden agenda. He suggests alternates that Pol consistently rejects. Ultimately, Aaron threatens to leave and expose Pol for the Alien that he is.

Chapter 9: Pol tries to get Aaron back in the fold. Aaron instists that he knows Pol's true nature and has known from the beginning. Pol suggests that he only knows part of the story, so Aaron challenges him to tell him the rest of the story. Aaron insists that he will expose him unless he can understand it all. Pol finally agrees to take him with him to his next contact.

Chapter 10: Pol takes Aaron to a lonely place and conceals him. Then waits to be joined warning Aaron to stay hidden. When the other presence joins Pol, Aaron listens, then rises to take a picture on his cell phone. The presence discovers him and is angry. Finally snatches up both Aaron and Pol and takes them back to "base" with him. Aaron blacks out in the transition.

Chapter 11: Aaron awakens hearing voices discussing what to do with him. Suggests that a lot of people disappear and he will just be one of them. Pol argues that its not necessary. No one would believe him. Aaron manages an escape which leads to different chambers in the base where he sees worlds in various stages of development. Finally Pol catches up with him and explains the greenhouse concept and how they consider themselves gardners, giving personality to the balls of energy. Too much revelation and not enough action, but we'll think of something.

Chapter 12: Pol helps Aaron escape back to where they started. Aaron agrees not to blow Pol's cover as Pol has shown him what happened to Mad Aunt Hattie when she tried to reveal their secret. Once the mythology has taken hold, it is impossible to root out. Aaron is just an accidental witness to things that are much bigger than he is. Aaron quietly sticks with Pol and helps him get elected. He eventually retires as Pol does and is present when Pol returns to his base.

Chapter 13: Aaron sits in the nursing home being interviewed for an oral history by a younger genealogist and tells the story of aliens that are growing the earth as if it were in a greenhouse. The interviewer chuckles about the story to himself. But Aaron reaches into a box and pulls out what looks like an ancient communications device. People have cellular implants now so that they can communicate effortlessly whenever they want. Aaron has kept his cell phone from his time with Pol and shows the interviewer the photos he took both of Pol and on the base. He hands the interviewer the phone and tells him to decide what to do with it.

Well, we'll see how that changes when I actually start writing, but that should give me a sufficient outline to hang my story on. As I continue to think it out this month I will revisit and revise the outline. At the end of November we'll see if the finished work resembles the outline at all.