Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Case of the Missing Newspapers

One of the problems (which are legion) in the first draft is that my main character just showed up in Graphite and wandered around for a bit. Not the stuff of compelling fiction. So, let's give David Graham something to do and have him be in the middle of it when the story opens.

Solution: He's looking for a newspaper, but all the vending boxes are empty (for the sake of verisimilitude the paper's a regional weekly with a special 'local' insert that varies from town to town; a town of 1,000+ isn't going to have a daily paper). His routine: grab a paper, check into his fleabag motel, flip through the paper and then get down to business. So, Inkling #1 that something's wrong in Graphite will be the absence of the local papers.

But why have the local papers gone missing? That's been a stumper.

I've finally settled on State H.S. Football Championship Playoffs. It has a number of positives. First, it'd sell papers (so clippings can be sent to family and friends, framed in the living room, etc.). Second, it gives me a reason to have a fair chunk of people absent from town when things begin going pear-shaped. I don't have to write the star quarterback in as Rambo; I don't have to write cheerleaders at all. It also gives me a place to put Barbara Adams' daughter, Brandy (Babs isn't going to fall for Pastor Jim if her daughter's in jeopardy, so the girl'll be away cheering her pom-pons off and I don't have to worry about her).

So, the Graphite Pencilnecks (yeah, they need a better name), have advanced to the State-1A play-offs (this is the same division as my local school's team, the Triangle Lake Lakers (see, I don't have to make the name that much better)). Maybe they'll come and play the Lakers in the first round, or maybe it'll be the Arlington Honkers, the Adrian Antelopes, the Elkton Elks or the Huntington Locomotives (the Nixyaawii Community School Eagles are not eligible for state according to the info I found online, or else it'd be them for sure).

I've decided they'll have just beaten the Wallowa Cougars, who fared quite well in the 2004 playoffs. They should be quite proud of themselves. Pity they won't have much of a homecoming.


Blogger Valerie Comer said...

I eagerly await finding out what could POSSIBLY be a better name than the Graphite Pencilnecks. Come on, Chris, I'm waaaaaaaiting...

8:27 AM  

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