24 May 2006

Three strands to braid together

Now that I've dumped a synopsis, I can start really analyzing what I want to say in this book. As I see it, there are three strands that evolve here. (If I think of more than that, you'll see it in the numbers.)

  1. The driving mystery. Dag gets a client. Client is missing a husband. Dag chases down leads. Finds husband dead. Client then tells him about the missing money. That's what its really all about. In process of chasing down the money, Dag and Client fall in love. Dag finds the money, but instead of returning it to client, sets up a fund to provide heart transplants for children. (Something client indicated she would do.)

  2. Life and death. Dag discovers he needs a heart transplant. Doctors give him little time. He chooses to give his money and potential heart to a child who needs it. The choice is a death sentence. He knows it, but chooses anyway.

  3. Life review. As Dag chases down his mystery and confronts his own impending demise, he is drawn further and further back in his memories to expose what kind of person he really is. Did he change somewhere, or was he always the kind of guy who would choose to save a child's life at the cost of his own? Each episode of his memories exposes another layer of his character.

Now I have another thing that I should be considering. In Accidental Witness I developed a character that was incidental to the main storyline, but that constantly provided clues to it. She was a character in the form of Mad Aunt Hattie. She could say anything, and often did. I remember Dr. Pretentious saying "Every story should have a Mad Aunt Hattie." I'm thinking that maybe she is right, at least to a certain degree. So I'm toying with the types of characters that could take the form of Mad Aunt Hattie for "Security & Exchange." An obvious possibility is a secretary that Dag employs in his business to make the appointments and run the office when he is investigating. I like this because it is a cliche of the detective mystery genre. I could do a lot with a secretary who was "mad". Then there is the possibility of a mentor, a police detective, a lawyer, a judge, a father or mother, or even an invalid sibling that he takes care of. The latter two or three would give me a way to expose that soft marshmallowy filling, but it could also become easily maudlin and call into question the altruism of his act. If he dies, who would take care of the aging or invalid?

Maybe Dag should also have a dog. That would certainly complicate matters if he has to be constantly leaving the dog behind while he travels on his detective work. Maybe his landlady is Mad Aunt Hattie and she takes care of his dog. Maybe she also speaks for the dog. "Dagget, Maisie says you aren't eating right." (Maisie just for Diana.) Hmmmm. There's a thought.

Well, just some thoughts to ponder at the moment. No real decisions. I'm just exploring the possibilities.