The image was still with me when I woke up, so I thought, "Hey, kangaroos can be metaphorical little people, so why not use that for my Ed Hulver story?" Unfortunately, I had no idea what the kangaroo was doing there, how Ed Hulver figured in, or what the hell was going on. Being me, I put off the story for weeks, and on the last day, decided I wasn't going to submit anything to the WFC.
Then there was the Toasted Cheese Sunday writing chat, hosted by ana and Kellnerin. The first prompt always involves using 5 words, and the 5 words, including "clock" and "agent" gave me the introduction. So there's this guy, sitting in a room, waiting for agents and looking at a clock. Hey! This guy could be Ed Hulver! The other two prompts were suitably vague - use 4 or more adjectives to describe something, and describe the emotion on someone's face.
Ed, now Edward (playing off the stereotype that gay men don't use shortened versions of their names), is finally emerging from his self-imposed hibernation, hoping for the best, when he finds the kangaroo and ends up in a situation he doesn't understand. As I was writing the last third of the story, I went back (breaking the rules of the writing chat, but hey), and tried to add stuff about time throughout, but persimmon had a good point - what's the deal with the clock reading 2:03? The truth is that I have no idea. I was trying to show his simultaneous nervousness and boredom, and his obsession with the clock seemed a good way to do that. In my mind, the interview room was otherwise empty, though I don't think I explicitly said that. It could be that time is stretching out in his head, but it really is only a couple of minutes after the bar closed at 2:00. Maybe he's dead or unconscious (though I don't like these options - I hate stories that manipulate the reader like that).
I did want the whole story to be from Edward's POV, moving in and out of his thoughts and perceptions. I didn't want to do a first-person story, though, since those generally feel a bit forced to me (with some notable exceptions). I don't know if moving back and forth between 3rd and 1st person without using punctuation to indicate "Edward thought" actually works, though.
I stole the idea of the scent of blood from a bit of fanfic I read recently, and I was riffing on Neil Gaiman's best hangover description ever (in Anansi Boys) when I wrote the phrase "kangaroo ass." It really was too good of a phrase to pass up.
I had, and still have, no idea what the kangaroo is, who the agents are and why they care, or what's going to happen to Edward. As is usually the case, I have a much clearer image of Edward's backstory, what his relationship with Greg was like, what he does in his free time, and why he didn't go find a more happening bar to hang out in that fateful night. All of that stuff is fine in my head, but I don't think it belongs in this particular story, even though it's hard for me not to write it since it would be easy. This is where I always get stuck with fiction.
I do kind of want to finish the story. Questions, comments, critiques, suggestions are most welcome. Help!
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