Monday, January 23, 2012

The Dare

I mentioned on Friday that a friend had commissioned a story about a pantsless vampire. Today I wanted to share the blurb he gave me and some of our initial brainstorming about it. I'm a little over a third of the way done with story. It'll be short and fun.

Side note: in case you were curious (as I was), pantsless seems to be the popular term over pantless. Neither will earn you points in Scrabble, Words with Friends, or the Chrome spellchecker. Use at your own peril.

The very first incarnation of the blurb is as follows:
The Vampire LeGar terrorizes the city of Houston for months on end. Amateur sleuths Sally and Mark think they've uncovered his one weakness. Is the information credible? Are they intrepid enough to catch a vampire? Can they get him to sit still long enough to put on pants?
 Mind you, he threw this blurb out at me on the spot, off the cuff/wall/pants. Still, we decided that part of the challenge is to try to make the story fit the blurb as closely as possible. In that regard, I feel like I'm reverse engineering a story, and it's kind of a neat way to go about it.

Even so, there were a few changes I suggested that he accepted. First of all, I decided to move the setting further north. I'm not sure I need to nail it down yet, but I have somewhere like the greater Chicagoland area in mind. Not only do I know the area, but they get lots of snow and wind. My friend's dare was to fabricate a believable story based on an absurd premise. I felt it would serve us to make the pantslessness (also not accepted in Scrabble) more profound by sticking our poor vampire in a cold, snowy, winter climate. Sorry Houston, but we have a problem there.

Otherwise, the rough plot I worked out incorporates everything else. I may be stretching "terrorize" a bit. There are only a few deaths. I didn't have the time to build up a long history of mysterious disturbances (this is a short story after all). Also, in conversing with him about the proposed plot, we came up with a twist. It plays on the blurb a bit, but does not invalidate it.

It's been a fun process and now I just need to knock it out. I'm anticipating only around 10k words, so it shouldn't take too long. The chaotic nature of life at the moment has been mucking with my writing time, but I've squeeze in here and there. If I don't wrap it up this week, then I'm shooting for the next. I think I like this whole short story thing...


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