"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." Anton Chekhov


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Three Plots to Nowhere

Still stymied with imagination deficit, though I've had a glimmer or two lately.  Too bad I can only do a few paragraphs before my thoughts dry up again.

Behold!  Three plot ideas.  And that's about the extent of it...

Snow Blind

The snow swirled in dizzying eddies, tossed by a wind that grew stronger as the RV lumbered across the plains of eastern Montana.  As the light began to fade toward evening, visibility became more obscured, the headlights drawing the flakes with hypnotic allure.

Joanne Henderson peered at the Rand McNally road atlas in her lap, the map light over her head shining a meager beam as she tried to find them a place to hunker down until the storm abated.

“Got anything?  Rest area, side road?”  The slight concern in Jack’s voice caused Jo to raise her head and look over at him.  Both hands tightly gripped the wheel as the RV briefly lost traction on the road and slid toward the ditch.

(Retired couple caught in a blizzard. They rescue a woman with little girl, a bounty hunter/soldier type guy, and an innocuous little salesman. One of them is an assassin after the woman and child. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what the woman was running from or who wanted her dead. Besides me.)

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Mystery in Blue

In a small exhibition room at the Tate in London, a tall, distinguished man stood in front of a painting.  Hands clutched tightly behind his back as if he struggled to contain himself, he appeared completely absorbed in the image of the woman who held him captive.  Half-reclining on a velvet chaise with her lower body swathed in diaphanous blue silk, the woman presented her exquisitely naked back while sapphire eyes looked over a flawless shoulder; her full lips curled in lush temptation as a tendril of auburn hair caressed her cheek.

Maxwell Coleridge had been in love with this woman for over thirty years.  He had tried—in every way possible—to find her.  Most believed she was just a figment of the dead artist’s imagination, not a real woman at all, but Max knew different.  He could see the life in her eyes, across her mouth, down the breathless curve of her spine.

(Guy has been chasing her around the world--wherever the portrait is exhibited--hoping to find her or someone who knew her. A woman heavily veiled in widow's weeds strikes up a conversation with him. They discuss the woman, the tragic death of the artist, the portrait. I know the ending. I just can't figure out how to get there.)

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“What is this?”  Growling, irritated, the duke’s voice was as dark and unforgiving as the midnight shadows in the garden.  The gleaming toe of his boot nudged the lump at his feet.  “Why have I been called from the festivities?”  He could hear the musicians preparing for the last dance; he’d chosen his partner and had anticipated a long and pleasurable evening after the ball.  Now, however, she would be claimed by someone else while he stood in the garden prodding dirty rags.  He turned to glare at his lieutenant.  “Surely you can handle a pile of debris, Crayl?”

“Sire, you know I would not have interrupted unless urgency required it.” The guard swallowed, loud enough to hear over the strains of the waltz.  “She…she just fell from the sky!”  Crayl raised his head and whispered, “And she’s clothed in both the blue and the gold.”

Two things dropped Duke Harcourt to one knee for a closer look.  She?  This tangle of cloth encased a female?  Garbed in blue and gold?  No one but the highest ranks of the elite were allowed to wear both colors and even that was rare. As he fumbled in the tattered, voluminous cloak, searching for the body within, he didn’t spare a thought for the absurd notion the female had fallen from the heavens.

(This almost-plot came to me the other day whilst walking the dogs. Then I fried my worthless brain with a hundred different scenarios on how to proceed after these three measly paragraphs. Apparently I'm only good for sparks...I can't make fire.  Buggers.)


  1. Maybe the woman was running from Jude...I mean Dominic...in a madcap pre-Library romp. It's a theory.

    I want to hear more about the one with the portrait.

    1. Wow, I really needed that laugh...too funny...you bastard. ;D

      And of the three, the portrait is the one that's been circling in my mind to finish...