Monday, June 6, 2011

Crafting a Story : Catalyst

The catalyst’s random word is:

A catastrophe is an event that results in, or a state of, great misfortune or ruin. What the catalyst should be is the event or state that allowed Irwin’s ghost to come back from wherever it was.

Something, somewhere, went wrong. For the best results, I think it would be a good idea that the event was caused by either Henry (who I’m going to have to give a new surname, since I recently found out that Henry James is a famous person) or Jasmine. Maybe a séance with Irwin’s spirit gone wrong. All things considered, Henry doesn’t seem to be the type of person who would have anything to do with spirit communication (or belief in them for that matter). Therefore, it will have to fall to Jasmine to do that. I didn’t want her to have another secret and Henry with still nothing, but I’d rather stay true to the characters.

Okay, Jasmine is still a relatively unexplored character, so we can juggle traits around quite a bit. Let’s say that she is a very superstitious. So she carries a hare’s foot with her for luck, will freak out if she breaks a mirror, that kind of thing. So, in her guilt over Irwin’s death, Jasmine goes to a medium to speak to his spirit (this is shortly before Henry decides to ask her with him to the cabin/house in the forest). By speaking to his spirit, they awaken Irwin and allow him to see what is going on. He gets angry because he’s dead and maybe breaks apart the medium’s house or maybe even kills her. Because he’s awake, he sees how Henry “steals” his girl, therefore making him mad and enabling him to pull a poltergeist on Henry and Jasmine.

I’m going to assume Irwin has limited control at first, but at later stages gains full traditional poltergeist powers – perhaps with a twist or two. This includes moving objects around and making noises (such as a knocking or scraping), generally with the intention of scaring people. But Irwin is really angry, so he must have some way to really put these people in danger. I also want him to be able to tell Henry who he is and why he wants to hurt him, therefore revealing Jasmine’s secret. Thus, Irwin must communicate. This can either be along the lines of him being able to take on a pseudo-physical form or writing on the walls. But the writing seems kind of un-Irwin. Irwin is furious. He’s dead. Why would he waste time writing on walls? Unless it is in the early stages when he can’t do much. However, then Jasmine’s secret will be out too soon.

Ergo, I think I’ll give Irwin a physical form of some kind. Maybe a bunch of objects held together with his powers that allows him to talk (maybe through the manipulation of an electronic speaker). He tries to create himself again, because he doesn’t want to be dead.

To make him dangerous, I think we’ll give him serious telekinetic power. Throwing of knives, tables, etc. The details can come in later.

That was all the components that are necessary for a story (as far as I can tell at the moment). All that remains now is to bring the pieces together, flesh out the characters and figure out how it’s going to end. Then we’ll have a rough framework. Then we figure out a theme, and then the story can be written.

Next week, I’ll list all the things necessary for the bringing together of parts and then do each of those in subsequent weeks.

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