21 Dec 2017

dba LTV Paranormalists Sneak Peek Commentary

Last year's NaNoWriMo began with an odd thought - could a story be told by jumping back and forth in the timeline?  The answer is . . . not this one.

dba LTV Paranormalists began as an idea with two young women talking, one skeptical of the other.  Both names were there from the start.  Kristi, the more open to accepting the supernatural, was originally meant to be a bit fore flaky.  Things changed between original concept and the actual writing; the business is her idea and she did think things through.  Ayel was the more skeptical and more cynical.  Again, the character changed a bit from the initial concept.  There is a third character to come, but she didn't fit in the first chapter as it was written.

Flashbacks take care to use.  They serve a purpose.  They don't make for easy writing when every scene leads to one.  I do have ideas of stories that span over two time periods, but this wasn't one.  The plan is to get the narrative to be linear.  That means four chapters are getting the heck editted out of them.  Fun, but at least I realized that the technique is difficult to maintain.

I looked up what the requirements for a Private Investigator's license is in Ontario.  According to the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, a license is needed to be paid for investigating "the character or actions of a person," "a person's business or occupation," or "the whereabouts of persons or property."  Kristi's idea doesn't touch these directly, but there is a nice grey area right before she and Ayel are looking at fines for investigating without a license.  Students don't get into trouble for researching, though.  However, since I'm not a lawyer, a judge, nor a regulator and neither are Ayel or Kristi, I played it safe and made sure to have a fourth character on call.

Raccoons became a running gag in this story.  Turned out 2016 was the year of the raccoon locally.  First was the Rideau Raccoon, who showed up on a scaffold near the Rideau Centre.  Several days later, a sinkhole opened up near where the raccoon was seen, swallowing a minivan.  Later in the year, a fight broke out at the MacDonald's at the Rideau Centre.  Normally, this isn't news; fights happen there all the time.  This time, though, a bystander pulled a baby raccoon from his jacket.  The new raccoon was too small to be the Rideau Raccoon, so now there are two raccoons that were around for unusual events.  Okay, one was the unusual event, but the point stands.  Oh, and the minivan got buried under concrete.  England buries kings under parking lots; Ottawa buries minivans under roads.

I did do some research to update some of the ideas behind both Kristi and Ayel.  Ayel is going for her B.Comm degree from Carleton.  While checking what sort of courses she would take and if she'd be in a class that Kristi might also be in, I discovered that Carleton now has an Entrepreneur stream in the degree, perfect for Ayel.  Kristi is in Art History with a minor in Medieval Studies, mainly because she can.

The flashbacks set up how the business started.  The present is the investigation, which is mostly in the rain.  The plot moves slowly, existing mainly to introduce everyone.  But there is a plan.  Kristi and Ayel have been hired to find out what is haunting Mrs. Jenkins.  There is something out there.  It'll take the first arc for Kristi and Ayel to find out what.

The post is essentially a first draft with minimal editing done.  It's raw.  Work needs to be done, but it works as a sneak peek for now.  I'm hoping to fix the first chapters to get the narrative more linear and get the major character parts out up front.  The cast has some interesting conflicts coming up.

Friday, The Devil You Know returns with Chapter 21!
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, thoughts in the Disney/Fox deal.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, holiday adaptation.

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