Friday, February 13, 2009

Notes for a Novel

"I want to write a novel. I'd take fiction any day over boring facts and figures," I said to my sweet neighbor, Ellen Carlin, (whose father is renown pianist Ralph Berkowitz, THE Ralph Berkowitz, as in accompanist for Gregor Piatigorsky) yesterday, over lunch at our house.

Ellen sat across the dining table from me, sipping Verona blend, and nibbling on a cookie. "I miss hearing you perform," she said. "I so enjoyed your concerts over the years. Where can I hear you play—"

My mind sputtered like the coffee maker; I mentally created sketches for my tale, a potboiler. By the time we finished the biscuits and coffee, and said our good-byes, I went to my desk to jot a few things down. Remember, dear readers, this is my first attempt, a work-in-progress.

Notes for Novel

Man with a stick observes high-heeled, voluptuous woman in orchestra, and whispers revealing remarks to first desk players. Why not? Music stirs passion, and anyway, this has always been his character.

Stickman perceives himself above the law, and has loyal workers ushered out by a meek person of authority. Flesh out this character. Make him three-dimensional, not flat, bloodless, and cardboard, though that's how he appears in real life.

Introduce a very zaftig woman into the scheme. Rhetorical question for readers: Has she consumed too many gummy bears from the vending machine? Teething crackers with jam? Sedentary job, perhaps. Sad.

Introduce vulture-like members of the media. Add comments from Op/Ed to heighten conflict and spin intrigue.

Grandma's death. Graveyard scene. Bring in siblings. Family quarrels over estate. Don't forget to use foreshadowing technique; more deaths occur.

Cat learns piano. Dramatize. Hyperbole. Cat's 12-tone composition is deemed World Class.

An ensemble is forced to file for bankruptcy, though not in debt. End chapter and hook reader by presenting inconclusive evidence. Potential page turner. Whodunnit?

Rumors of suicide.

Learned stranger calls, and calls, and calls. Redemption?

Thumper is swallowed by quick-sand, and critic cronies accompany him. Note alliteration usage.

Sudden economic collapse—a fallen house of cards. Sardonic laughter is heard in background.

Could it be Mephisto?

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