Equally important is the location. Dark and brooding characters need dark and brooding locations. It’s undeniable that there’s evil everywhere, we just have to look for it.
Of course, that’s not what I do, but …
I have been in a few tight corners, with some possibly dark and brooding characters where my heart rate has increased exponentially, and was saved by quick thinking, and a desire not to hang around and see what happens (for the purposes of a writable experience – no,, I’m not that stupid).
As the story stands, we move from a small staff room or restroom, and then we move out to the car park of … what? It’s not exactly clear where it is, only that Graham is leaving work to go home.
Whether it’s clear or not, Graham is a security guard, part of a team that works on an industrial estate where there’s a number of factories and office blocks.
Some of those buildings are empty, for a variety of reasons, so a back story for this might be created so that I can convey a clearer picture of not only the bricks and mortar but what it’s like there.
Ergo the first descriptive line, stepping outside into the epicenter of the south pole. There is snow everywhere, which meant it was falling while he was inside at work, but now, the moment he leaves, it’s stopped. Cold, then, and clear.
So it begins…
Now, as a secondary theme, it might not be obvious the owners are lax in the hiring of security staff to watch over their assets, staff that are relatively dubious in character, which might, in turn, mean that the notion of using cut-price security might mean something else is going on.
Are the empty factories empty? Or have they been repurposed, and the guards are not sure what they’re guarding? Do they want to know? A job is a job, and in this situation, either from a hint from the employer, or the words of an old hand, and it doesn’t pay to poke a nose in where it’s not wanted.
So, as you can see, when starting the story I didn’t give proper thought to the background story, the fact that I could weave another or several storylines intertwined with what will be the master plotline.
What is the master plotline?
I have an idea or two, but let’s not get to ahead of ourselves.
Let’s stitch together a scenario or two for the back story and see where it takes us. Remember that this was more or less part of the storyline originally in my mind but may not have been articulated in what I wrote at the time.
Basically, then, we’re dealing with a large industrial site on the outskirts of a city in decline. Everyone can relate to the problematic times we’re in now, but this was written at the height of the last global financial meltdown about fifteen years ago, which caused a deep recession.
Within that framework, a lot of businesses and people went to the wall. Graham, and others, lost a decent paying job, as well as his house, having finally got on the property ladder, only to find he couldn’t pay for it.
At the time he was not alone in that respect. And lenders were not immune either, so there’s the possibility of one or two industrial park owners not exactly being legit in some of their business dealings, not after taking heavy hits financially.
In that scenario, there’s always the possibility of insurance fraud as a means of cutting losses, hence the need for security that might be asked to look the other way.
Another possibility could be that empty buildings and enterprising men, or women, fit the category of ‘the devil finds work for idle hands’.
Or someone who recognizes an opportunity to make some money. That particular scenario opens the door to a plethora of ideas.
© Charles Heath 2021