WIM Week 3
Part 3: Insider Information
Brainstorming with other writers is another way I sometimes generate solutions for problems that crop up in writing. I’m a firm believer that there’s no way on earth I can know everything about everything I write. Despite self-educating, reading lots of non-fiction, and studying my characters to understand the intricacies of their professions, in reality, I only have so much time to do these things.
Enter insider opinions. I’m lucky enough to have a family member well-versed in the magical art of accounting. She also writes fantasy. So, when I got a critique calling some of my plot points into question, I turned to my insider for some practical and magical answers to those questions.
Item 1: Kenny’s firing. He finds out in an email that he accesses on his phone. He comes in, knowing that he’s fired, and this is his last day. HR screwed up and that’s how he got the email in the first place. Moreover, he’s the cause of his own firing. He suggested a reduction in force to keep the company looking equal or only a little better than the competition. He just didn’t expect them to “kill the messenger”.
Item 2: Kenny’s ability to get back into the building. He swipes someone else’s keycard. No picture ID on these, and he gets in without a problem. How he swipes the card—he had his own magical ability as an employee, elegantly stated in one sentence. People believe everything he says. If he takes a card and tells the guy he gave it back, he’ll be believed, at least until that guy tries to come into work after hours. If he tells security he’s carrying a box for his things, he’ll be believed automatically. Same if he walks out and says the woman came in with him. No questions. It’s his special gift, and one that perhaps his company should have appreciated a little more.
Item 3: How does the woman help Kenny get the information he needs? She’s an employee with her own skills, including the one of putting herself into things she makes. Among the motivational posters, perhaps she is a watercolor under glass, having out herself into her art in order to spy on the company. Maybe she can also put herself into other things she made, like some of the systems there in the accounting department. It also solves the problem of whether or not she was an employee. She was. Perhaps she was fired, like Kenny, but put herself into a painting to spy on her former employers, and gather information for use in a trial when she had enough information and an employee with the gift of convincing people of the truth.
While I may not use all of these potential solutions, they could fix something that has bothered me about the lady on the wall. The suggestions also add an edge to Kenny’s character that I like, and give him a closer connection to the reason he is fired. Additionally, it explains why no one at all ever finds out who Batlady is.
Combining some of this brainstorm with some of the more surrealistic options I brainstormed yesterday may very well push this story into new, and interesting territory.
I’m thinking this person is getting an extra-special gift this holiday season!