This blog is a collection of a young woman's random thoughts, many tangents, and occasional
short stories and novel excerpts. Stay tuned for plenty of bull and brief moments of brilliance.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"All We've Got" -Story Idea

Looking at my schedule for this semester and am pretty happy with it: Topics in Film and Literature, Creative Writing, Basic Acting, Intro to Earth Science, and World of Cicero (i.e. Latin III). The film class will be great because it focuses on analyzing films I've been meaning to see, like American Beauty, and because I love any excuse to watch some movies. Basic Acting will be a good test to see if I really do have a passion for theater or if that flame is gone. Intro to Earth Science is...well, its the last science I ever need to take, so thank the Lord Jesus Christ for that. I took Earth Science in high school and absolutely hated it; hopefully college Earth Science will be a tad more interesting. World of Cicero is one I am worried about because I struggled with independent study for Latin I and II the last couple years. What if I'm far behind my classmates? The professor is the wife of a professor I had for a seminar freshman year, so if she is anything like her husband I think I'll be okay.

Creative Writing will be interesting since its almost a slap in the face to take another basic class instead of one of the advanced courses reserved for the Creative Writing Track students. I love writing classes though and am looking forward to trying one besides Fiction Writing. Looking at the course description however, and seeing I'll have to come up with another story idea. That is on top of coming up with one for the Creative Writing Track application if I decide to reapply. October 11th is the deadline, so my dreams better start getting more helpful.

Speaking of dreams, I had one earlier this last semester that I'm thinking would be a good book premise. I would use it as one of my short story ideas, but the development of the characters that I want to create will need more than five or ten pages. This story (which I will write after my current one, Kay Kiyou, and after all the Mystieks books) will be the first one I do that has two equally important main characters and will focus heavily on each person's arch over the course of the novel. Besides Sir in Kay Kiyou, none of my stories are about digging into the psyche of a character (Autumn to a certain extent, but not in the same way). I'm also thinking the story shows my growth from plot-driven to character-driven.

The idea came to me in a dream I had January 29th, 2011; the next morning I ran to my computer to get it all down before I forgot. Most of my story ideas (except Kay Kiyou) come to me in a series of dreams--like Autumn Leaves---or one hugely detailed dream--like the first Mystieks--which is great and horrible at the same time. Great because my subconscious does most of the work, horrible because I have to sit around and wait for my dreams to become useful. Anywho, enough babbling, here is the rough idea, a bit scattered, but here goes nothing:

All We've Got
Story of two siblings, brought together by the rapidly declining health of their father. Brother and sister, Joseph and Josephine, had their mother die shortly after Josephine was born and their father, devastated, turned to alcohol and was thus emotionally absent most of their lives. The brother and sister are grown now--Josephine is 28 and Joseph is 30--both single and struggling with their individual lives. The siblings had an on again/off again relationship growing up and as life threw as much as it could at each, they grow further apart and deeper in their resentment toward each other.

Josephine: Josephine remembers from a young age being sent off to friends' houses many times by her older brother whom she looked up to for much of her young life. At the age of 16, she was raped by a group of her classmates one night when Joseph was late picking her up from school; he has stayed late to practice with his band. Josephine still blames her brother for her rape, for her subsequently dropping out of school at 17, and for turning to prostitution when she was kicked out of the house since Joseph wasn't there to protect her (her father heard she had sex with five men at once [i.e. her rape]). Josephine says she turned to prostitution because it was the only job she could find but in fact she was afraid that after the rape, it was the only thing in which she could ever succeed. Her dreams of becoming a ballet dancer were ruined that night when her foot was brutally broken in the rape, just days before an important dance school audition. After getting HIV from a "client" at the age of 24, she turned to stripping and still does as well as bartending during the day.

Joseph: Joseph knew his father blamed Josephine for their mother's death and that he frequently went to beat her. Afraid of her fate, Joseph made sure she was out of the house when their father went into a violent rage and took the beatings for his sister. As they grew older, Joseph spent much of his time staying home and caring for his sister and father, bypassing many opportunities to advance his career with his band as a guitarist/singer. Once 18, Joseph moved out of the house, resenting Josephine for holding him back. He worked odd jobs until he was 20 when a record label contacted him saying they had heard his music and wanted to sign him, but as a solo artist. Filled with greed, he abandoned his band mates at a chance for fame. After a fight with his sister when she was 21 that revealed her dark past, Joseph was overcome with guilt and resentment toward his sister for still affecting his life so much that he turned to cocaine; he lost his record deal after only three years. Homeless for almost four years, he's just starting to get back on his feet, working at a coffee shop and teaching guitar lessons on the side.

Josephine: She did realize the sacrifices her brother made after seeing her father's temper firsthand following her brother's move-out. After a year on the streets, she took her brother's old demo to one of her clients, a major music tycoon with rage issues of his own.

Joseph: Once Josephine finally told him what happened to her when she was young, he tracked down the men who attacked his baby sister and violently scarred each man; the attack is what eventually triggered his drug abuse. He wanted to leave each with a constant reminder of the harm they caused years ago.

Josephine and Joseph go back and forth, ruining their own lives and blaming the other for their losses while still doing whatever possible to help their sibling. The story ends with their father dying and brother and sister feeling a sense of relief, for they realize the source of their burden stemmed from him. They look to strengthen a bond that, though always there, was shielded by years of anger and guilt. The story aims to show that the bond between brother and sister is powerful and one that can withstand life's tribulations.

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