Friday, April 5, 2013


Finished Chapter 13.   Significant plot creep--or so it seems.   This is when the plot that you should have covered by, say, chapter ten, is still not covered, even though you are now on chapter thirteen, or whatever, but since I am not following an outline I can't worry about this. Still don't know if it's chapter 13 of 20 or of 40.  I have an aesthetic that says that concision is important: Conrad, Hemingway, Forster; latterly Coetzee, Ondaatje.  And I have another that says that plenitude is important--Dickens, Proust, Joyce; latterly Pynchon, DFW.  Pressed, I would say I favor the former, but I always feel pulled toward the latter.  It may be that writing a series of fifteen novels with the same cast of characters does something to one's sense of scale.  Economy goes out the window because you have three, four thousand pages to work with.   Technically, I suppose a thriller series is its own art form, really the degraded little brother of the roman fleuve of Balzac, or even Proust.  It's interesting that some series build up a memory, in that the characters are changed by what happens to them in previous volumes. They recall incidents from them for the reader, and develop in response.  Other series  have protagonists who perform in each book as if the other books did not exist.  My series was the first kind, because while it is boring to write a series, it is not as boring as writing the same book over and over again, which I find hard to imagine.  What makes the big bucks though.

Nevertheless, thinking about going back to Paz country for the next one, but maybe not.  Ideas keep coming, probably more than I will ever be able to write.   This is a dump from one notebook...

Looking Good
Story about PR agent (heroine) retained by Mexican drug lord. He wants to improve his image.
Subplot?  Heroine works for gay shrink who's testifying for kid who caused gay kid's suicide. Unpopular position. Bad PR.  Chance to l
ook at gay/straight-female relationships. She screws up, has to leave town, and the offer from the drug lord is an out.
Her relation to narco lord; attraction, danger.  She gets sucked into the drug world, helping to plan crimes so as to maximize positive public relations; stages formal trials, with rights and lawyers, videos it.  Embarrass government.  Start charitable foundations.
DEA or some malign factor tries to kill her; other drug kingpins want her out too.  Her narco protects her: romance He says she can never leave.
How she gets out is the denouement.
integrate with characters from THE RETURN?

Over the Line

N Korean detective.
Former American POW hires  Korean to kill guards who tortured him in 1950.   Detective working in atmosphere of corruption and extreme oppression.

Funny Kid
Boy, single mom, autistic brother, who drives him crazy, sucks all the energy out of family.  Has girlfriend, hides family situation from her But she finds his house, makes friends with brother, He's enraged, becomes cold, goes thru identity crisis. His obligation to family versus his desire for normal life. How to make into Thriller plot. McGuffin?  Brother knows something, has savant ability, can decipher secret, the usual killers dispatched from malign Entity etc. GF forms relationship with brother. Mystical aspects. Something about autism here, the mystery.   Possible connection with Paz cast or GS characters.

Reality Kills
Philosophy PhD drifts between security jobs different cities. Ontological thrillers. Powers of analysis Sherlockian, naturally, but also understands limits of perception, challenges to moral philosophy in CJ world. Sex life--Is celibate for long periods, interspersed with erotic relationships. Is detached, literally philosophical about everything.  Good series character.

Vacations in Redland
Novel about broken US in near future   Secession war won by right wing south. It forms a Rightist banana republic, corrupt, poor, cheap, exotic, makes its money off tourism.   Rump US like W. Europe,  bureaucratic, safe, rich, dull. Visitor from US to CSA ; her POV.

The Hard Charger
Woman, hard charger marries gentle, sensitive man, gets bored, divorces him.  Ex-husband   meets another hard charger woman, they marry, have child.  The first wife goes crazy, kidnaps kid.   Story--new wife is cop, 1st wife/ 2nd wife, kid-- triplex pov. How they track her down, computer stuff, 1st wife gets her bf to kill husband, foiled by cop.
Use characters from previous books?  Another Paz?

Mr Nosferatu and the Angel
Paz story but with Paz in bg  ;  feature Paz's kid Amelia &  Jane Doe's kid, Luz: who rejects Jane Doe, wants to find real parentage, runs away to Miami @ 17.   Paz still cooking, mother old, restaurant thriving. Paz slightly bored.   Amelia (12) becomes friends with man who claims to be the angel Ithuriel.  Luz in search for her parents enters low life of Miami, falls under sway of a man calling himself, Mr Nosferatu, known to be vampire. Figurative or real?   Murders, bodies drained of blood.  Cops come to Paz etc etc.  Angel vs vampire, Luz as prize.  Amelia engaged, Paz to rescue, etc. Vagueness in there about how "real" all this is, pushing ontological issues  Are we talking plain vanilla serial killer and madman or are we dealing with the Unseen world?  World as arena of moral warfare, theater of love.

Swing shift
Pos. Opening?:  I like the swing shift.   The four to midnight workday is just right for a young person of a certain kidney.  You get off the job at midnight,  the squares are just wrapping it up when you hit the street, and the night belongs to the Night People.   Cops, nurses, EMTs & firefighters; air traffic guys;computer jockeys, bartenders,waitresses & waiters, strippers, gamblers, criminals and whores.  These are the people you spend your spare time with when you are a night person.
  The stories.  Set of linked short pieces or novel?.  Thriller?  Raymond Carter pastiche.

The Only Good Indians

Inspired by piece on Karl May in NYr.
Novel about German May fanatics & Indians ?   Ca. 1910.  Couple of German guys seeking authentic Indian experience in Old West.  So besotted by May that they can't see what's going on around them   Don Quixote?  

Mennonite idea applied to Indians?  Why are there no traditional Indians who are analogs of Amish, or Hasidim, rejecting white culture and living like ancestors.  A subplot.

1 comment:

sarahshak said...

Oh gosh. I can see why you think there is "something" in your brain. Great ideas--would read them all, but please don't pick on the South--we've had enough.