Saturday, February 18, 2017

I have a working title, because I know the editor will probably have his own title, or something better may occur to me. But rather than call it the WIP, I came up with "Lava Lake."

I finally went for a walk yesterday. My favorite path is still pretty bad, but a mile of another path is clear, so I might just walk that route 4 times. Didn't really get many ideas, unfortunately. I'm still trying to figure out who the protagonist is, and who his friends are, and so on.

I think rather than get in trouble pretending to be an expert, I should have him be a wilderness journalist, not a guide. I don't want him to be either McGyver or Rambo, but a smidgen of both.

I thought of having him be a traditionalist. A single shot hunting rifle kind of guy, doesn't even own a pistol or shotgun, prefers catch-and-release fishing to killing things. Wouldn't be an expert on ordinance. Just an ordinary outdoorsman, like I was raised to be. Prefers to be outdoors, on hikes or camping trips.

I fished and hunted throughout Central Oregon in my youth, but I would never claim to be an expert. So I'll have him have friends who are experts. I'm thinking of a real back-to-nature guy who lives in the woods as his silent but deadly friend.

(Linda says, then HE becomes the hero. Nah, I'll kill him off...or some other reason he doesn't step to the fore; helps out but doesn't take over the story.)

I figure a wilderness journalist gives just enough expertise to be credible. Also allows for future stories.  As far as him getting out of trouble, I'd like that to be something that a guy like me would come up with a solution, rather than research about wilderness tricks and traps and ambushes or such. (Well, maybe a little.)

If I'm going to write a thriller, I'd rather not get bogged down by research, so I need to design the premise as something I can easily do. Besides, having a Rambo or McGyver has been done by everyone. (Super cops, detectives, spies...)I'd rather have a "everyman" hero, even if that isn't the preferred mode of protagonist.

I want to design this whole thing as something that works and is something I want to do.  This is for the long haul, a kind of different level of doing things. I may not get there, but I have to try. I usually come up with a premise for a book that I think is strong enough and just start writing.

I'm putting more pre-thought into this than normal, to hopefully save me future problems. Giving myself a couple of weeks to just think of ideas.


Dave Cline said...

"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." -- Frederick Nietzsche


Solvitur ambulando — “it is solved by walking.” This phrase refers to the 4th-century-B.C. Greek philosopher Diogenes’s response to the question of whether motion is real — he got up and walked.


Re: your thriller

I'd had an idea regarding a timeline character set and your location would fit in well with it. It would go something like this:

Easter Oregon's Paisley 5 Mile Cave contains evidence of human habitation going back probably more than 15k years. The telling of a character's story of that age would be the story within the story.

Your journalist would be investigating this, but in addition, disturbing evidence of prehistoric crime shows up in the arch-digs.

At the same time your journalist is doing his own confrontation, investigation ...

The two stories somehow intertwine, locale and situation, and both reach climax at nearly the same time; the neolithic story ends in murder, the contemporary story ends in...

Duncan McGeary said...

That's pretty cool, Dave. I might steal it if you aren't going to write it. I have "Lava Lake" pretty much set, but this could be another book. Either the first or the second.

Yeah, I like it.

There's also the Fort Rock sandals. Cool stuff.

Your idea might be better than mine.

Duncan McGeary said...

Dave. I pretty much presented your idea word for word to my editor as "Thriller Idea #2."

Then sent him Thriller Idea #3.

Thriller Idea #3.

"Same protagonist, the outdoor journalist. I don't want him to be McGyver or Rambo, but a smidgen of both. And also set in Central Oregon. I think any thriller I write will have these two elements.

There is a drone testing sight outside Bend. A hunter friend of the hero accidentally shoots down an experimental "stealth" drone that can't be seen or heard. A rouge colonel is building drones he's not supposed be building, so he tries to kill those who find out. Once again, the hero is forced to head into the woods, where he is hunted by different kinds of drones this time.

Sort of Patrick Lee semi-SF type thriller.

All these ideas could be written eventually. I just need to figure out which one to do first."

I think I'm going to send him 5 ideas in all, see if he likes any of them.

Duncan McGeary said...

A "rouge" colonel. Heh.

Dave Cline said...

Cool. I hope something works out for you.

The dreamed up the idea years ago actually, and wanted to present it to Discovery Channel (never did). The concept is the same, show the ancient story in parallel to the paleontologists uncovering of the evidence:

The cave lion creeps along the escarpment, the human child remains unaware. The snarl of the cat alerts the youth who dodges back into a cave. The lion follows, scratching gouges in the dirt to try and reach the boy tucked back in a pocket. A cave-in crushes the beast, killing it, and the boy escapes over the pile of rubble. The camera pans down to the buried cat, its outline exactly that as the ages melt away showing the bones just as they were as they were discovered.

A mix of fiction and science. Other episodes would follow the same treatment -- theoretical story shown in parallel with the archaeologists or paleontologists uncovering the actual evidence.

But, it was only one of dozens of ideas I've written in notebooks over the years.

Anonymous said...

Your deep woods "helper" does NOT become the hero. He's Chingachgook to Hawkeye, Hawk to Spenser.

Jim Cornelius

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I like the idea of making him a "basics" kinda guy who doesn't care about the specs on a gun. Good call.

Jim Cornelius