Monday, August 24, 2015

Plotting Penelope

In between shuttling cross country runners and field hockey practice, getting children to sit and do their summer work they've ignored for two months, and maintaining (sort of) the house, I've abandoned Penelope to wait until her writer Odysseus returns (when school starts).

But it doesn't mean I've been idle.  Writing a book means more than character development, it requires plotting out the rollercoaster the reader will enjoy.  It must have dips and turns, twists and unexpected plunges.  It cannot be a straight line or it will bore the reader.

The sheet of paper looks like this:

The first bad day.  (Why Penelope opted to go with Odysseus after her father lost the race).

The worst day. (When Agamemnon and company came to visit).

Being in charge.  Defense, food, maintaining infrastructure, being mom, being alone among the ruling class, alone among the single mothers, an alien in charge of everything, and isolated from everyone.

Being held accountable.   When big plans fail.   When little things are lost.  When there is nothing about tomorrow, save the dull hope, they might come home.

Everyone falls.    Rumors abound of Odysseus being not only alive but enjoying himself on some island somewhere with a woman rumored to be a goddess.   His mom commits suicide.  Her son is a peevish adolescent.  It's ME time.

Everyone fails.   Odysseus returns, and the deaths of 104 suitors and the twelve servant women who served them, and the resentment and fear of the remaining citizens, makes Penelope someone now everyone fears, and Odysseus someone, no one trusts.

The long decay.  Twenty years of rotting, trying to pretend that day didn't happen and neither did the twenty years apart, and of everything around them revealing, all of it did.

A reminder of everything.   People from the past come, telling the story that's become part of everyone else's lives, a dream version with fantastic outcomes.  

Everything burns.   Fight where Penelope and Odysseus finally speak face to face about everything and the cost of all of it.


1 comment:

Anna Dobritt said...

Really look forward to reading it :D

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