Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: Who Murdered Superman? (It Was Aquaman, Wasn’t It, I FUCKING KNEW IT.)
Current Pitch: Six Wakes meets Justice League Unlimited
Mysterious Bloody Footprints: Check
Mysterious Gunshot Wounds: Check
More Questions Than Answers: Double Check
Song From Current Project Playlist: “Taijin Kyofusho” – The Evpatoria Report
Goal Met: Nope
I’m starting to think I set a slightly too ambitious goal for myself.
Beginnings are a pain in the ass. It’s not that this novel is off to a bad start; it’s just off to a slow one, as I try to figure out what clues need to be given upfront and which POVs I want to begin with. That latter consideration is a big one to me; the whole idea of this novel came from the desire to see better “We’re Stuck In a Death Box Together And We Don’t Know Who We Are And/Or How We’re Connected” stories. Frequent readers of this blog will recognize that sub-genre of film is one my sister and I are hopelessly attracted to, like moths to a particularly disappointing flame. And while I’m not yet a screenwriter (who knows, maybe someday), I thought I could write the story I was dying to see as a novel instead. Only with superheroes, cause, you know. SUPERHERO MURDER MYSTERY, Y’ALL.
One of the things I want this novel to be, more than anything else, is a true ensemble. A lot of amnesia mysteries heavily focus on one protagonist. Other characters might have amnesia too, of course, but the audience is introduced to the world through this MC’s eyes, invited to primarily sympathize with (or primarily distrust) them in particular. Because whatever the Big Twist is in the story, whether our MC is secretly The Good Guy Who’s Only Pretending to be Evil or actually The-Bad-Guy-Who-Is-Now-All-Redemptive-And-Shit, it’s always going to center on them.
That’s . . . not a bad story? But it’s also one I have very little interest in telling. What I want is something closer to Anyone Can Die, except instead of dying, I want Anyone Can Be the Villain or Anyone Can Be The Hero or–what’s more appropriate for this particular novel–Everyone Is A Fully Realized, Morally Ambiguous Bastard Who Sometimes Does Bad Stuff For Understandable Reasons. What I really want, so, so much, is a mystery full of solid suspects, where every character’s identity and relationships matter and where no one’s around just to be a super obvious red herring.
Am I going to be successful in that endeavor? Shit, I don’t know; like I said, I’m not even done with the first chapter yet. (I’m almost there!)
Best get back to writing and figure it out.
Random Line From Chapter One:
Dissociative amnesia, perhaps. Psychological trauma. She IS wearing a dead man’s blood, so it’s not completely out of the question.