i’ve been doing some thinking. i’ve been ruminating on the characters for a couple of weeks now, because without knowing the characters, i can’t finish weaving the plot.
so, here’s what i came up with last night and this morning.
cindy and her husband haven’t had sex since he and judy were caught having sex at the wedding dinner. he hasn’t had sex since then either, and cindy never lets him forget why. he visits the strip club out of genuine need, and feels bad about it. cindy’s husband’s relationship with judy is cool but wistful, because they really should have been the ones to get married. they’ve spent 20 years living it down at the cost of their continuing attraction. it was because judy had too much to drink, of course, and she managed to get pregnant at the same time, but got an abortion. she hates cindy for blaming him for their never having children.
the strip club is going to end up being an important link. rick goes to the club because he’s trying to do a deal with the owner or a manager, something to help him finance whatever trouble he’s in. he met laurie there and that’s when it all starts between them. at first he’s not aware that she’s gordon’s girlfriend. gordon goes to the club now and then and watches laurie dance and drinks. all the girls know him, sometimes he helps the bouncers out when there’s a problem. cindy’s husband goes because he’s lonely, and falls in love with one of the girls even tho it’s hopeless.
there are a lot of side stories here, all with their own story arcs which i’ll get to writing down as the plot thickens. there’s a good example of complex side stories on the wiki page about “meet the feebles,” a cult classic.
gordon is being used by the feds as an informant inside the strip club (because they caught him with kiddie porn), and while he’s there he takes part in the criminal activity, selling drugs, for example.
cindy is a prescription addict, and narrowly avoids a constant stream of side effects and overdoses. judy has been writing a lot about poison, including obscure poisons, like nicotine, and by the time cindy dies she’s got an overdose of nicotine pending because she’s been trying to quite smoking and is double and fourple patching. judy gets pinned for it because her dog ends up poisoned (xylitol) and the feds are on the lookout for the MO.
as for fratricide, so far i have gordon deciding to kill his brother rick for sleeping with laurie, and maybe cindy deciding to punish her sister judy for ruining her marriage, and rick wanting to kill his sister cindy for sleeping with his wife. but i still have judy’s husband (name), cindy’s husband (name), rick’s wife (name), and gordon’s girlfriend (laurie) to figure out. do they all try to kill someone too? because at this point i have all the siblings deciding to kill each other, which i think is appropriate. but who can the spice kill? what’s the term for inlaw-icide?
and what about that marginal character, the employee of cindy’s husband who both of them send out to kill mom on different occasions? and what about the federal agents? and what about allen? do we even need the employee hired gun? we just know that he meets up with people in the strip club, whatever his fate.
it’s going to be so impossible for anybody in my family to charge me with exploiting family secrets. these characters are so not my siblings. my brothers and sisters are nowhere near wicked enough. i had to use a whole amalgam of my freinds and enemies to construct these characters. but boy is that fun. for instance, i get to roll up and caricature every one of my 20-minute boyfriends in one person.
maybe i don’t need cindy’s husband’s employee. allen is rick’s tenant, and there are the two agents. why two? for comic relief, i guess. but then how does cindy go about trying to kill mom at first, and how does her husband try to kill her when he decides she didn’t do it right? mister mustard in the bathroom with the mace.
can all the spice try to kill their sweetheart and life partner? i can see why rick’s wife would, because she’s abused. i’m not so sure about laurie killing gordon, or why judy’s husband would want to kill her. maybe he can’t stand the noises she makes at night that keep him awake. some little tic that sets him off. a way to make her finally clean the house. i don’t know yet. all allen does is protect mom, his golden goose. he’s not killing anyone, but he’s not above hanging at the strip club or letting gordon do him out of pity.
and we musn’t forget that great plot device – divine intervention, which is how mom is saved from these various attacks, and which becomes more and more obvious as time goes on.