The saga continues, I’m afraid. Another week has passed and I find it necessary to discuss the plot of my work in progress with my protagonist, Sara. She was with a customer when I arrived, but I told Carla why I was there and she seated me at a table in the back corner, poured me a cup of coffee and promised to tell Sara to come talk to me. I amused myself by looking at some old pictures of Ellen’s grandparents that were hanging on the wall back there. It was interesting to see how different the place looked when they first opened it.
“What’s up?” Sara asked, arriving at the table as my coffee cup reached the halfway point. Let’s call it half empty—I’m in that kind of mood.
“Sit down,” I said. “We need to talk about the story.”
“Again? What are you planning to do to me now?” She sat across the table from me and rested her crossed arms on it.
“This thing about you guys losing the contract just doesn’t seem to be working as well as I think it should. I could having story where you’re concerned that some of your people will lose their jobs, but I don’t think it’s significant enough to drive the action. When you think about it, we’re only talking about jobs for two or three—five at the most—people.”
“But they’re friends of mine. You don’t think I would try to save their jobs?”
“I’m sure you would, but if you fail it isn’t that great of cost. I’m thinking that I want to focus more on the relationships in Kelly’s family.”
“How so?” Sara asked. “I thought you said that I was the protagonist.”
“I think you can still be the protagonist, but what I need you to do is help her straighten out the mess. That is what best friends are good for, isn’t it?”
“Just what kind of mess are we talking about?” Sara asked. “I realize that you’ll make sure I forget before you write the book, but I’d still like to know.”
“I still don’t have all the details,” I said, “but I’ll tell you what I’ve got. You already know about Kelly’s relationship with her mother. Kelly cares for her mother, but her mother is abusive to her. Her mother hates the movie industry because an actor took Kelly’s father away from her, but Kelly wants to be an actor. What you don’t know is that Kelly created a secret identity, Ada, so her mother wouldn’t find out that she is acting. Kelly wants to find her father and blames her step-mother from keeping him from her. But Kelly’s father doesn’t want anything to do with his daughter. He never wanted children and would just as soon forget that he ever had any. But that is a point of disagreement between him and Kelly’s step-mother. She is unable to have children and ever since she found out that her husband had a daughter, she has thought of Kelly as her own. Then there is David. Kelly is interested in him, but he is showing interest in Ada. Kelly isn’t sure how to deal with that. On top of that, Jill is David’s grandfather is the head of the studio and owns most of the stock, but Kelly’s father is his business partner. They don’t agree, however, because Kelly’s father believes David’s grandfather obtained control through unprincipled means.”
“Okay, I get it. Everyone is fighting with someone,” Sara said, “But what’s the story? All you have is a cast of characters. You can’t just throw them in a room and have them fight it out, no matter how interesting they might be.”
“No, not all at one time anyway. But I’m thinking that we’ll go along the same lines as before. Someone is trying to scare Kelly away from doing the movie and she wants your help in finding out who it is.”
“And why would I be able to find out anything?”
“Because you’re the caterer. You can be at every shooting location and you can talk to anyone.”
“I’ll buy that,” she said.
We’ll have to see if I do to. It means changing the story once again. Amber and Beth are likely to go away, so I’ll lose even more words this time. But there are a few characters here that might work well locked in a small room together.