My session of “wasting my writing time writing about writing” is going to be short so I can go write.
When I sat down to get to the business of writing this thing, I had a mess of notes. The 11th was the day I turned those into an outline and I discovered something else interesting about the work – the setting. I have a couple predominant locations, the prison cell, the hotel room, and Bur’s house. And the outside world. I noticed I had two deaths occur in the streets (not indoors) and I had several nearly violent encounters that became romantic because of isolation. So I’m going to play with this idea than in the open people get hurt and there’s a comfort of being closed indoors.
I don’t know that this is going to be an overt thing, but I think me thinking about it is going to affect how I write the scenes in Bur’s house where Rico is about to go through with the hit. One thing that’s already changed with this idea is that some off-page violence is now happening outside in the prison (Rico is attacked previously in the showers, now in the yard. Bur starts a fight and it’s not located in the same yard). This also changes the setting of the final confrontation from Bur’s house to a desolate highway in New Jersey that I’ve always wanted to write about.
One addition is in the excerpt below, where Rico encounters Bur again for the first time out of prison (again be gentle. I just wrote it and nothing is polished yet). Anyways. I’m about 4 k in and I’ve got to get to 15 k by the 22nd. Wish me luck!
Rico had been out of prison for about half an hour, and he’d spent most of it thinking about how to kill the other people at the bus stop. That woman would walk into oncoming traffic if he threatened her screaming baby. That man would smile politely as Rico snapped his neck because he was so friendly and afraid of being racist. The bodybuilder was probably the biggest challenge. She looked tough as needles. She might have been coming from the prison herself. Off duty police. But for the first time in two years and six months, he had shoe laces. He could probably strangle her if he wanted.
He didn’t want to strangle a stranger. His morbid fantasies distracted him from trying to figure out what he wanted to do next. He needed a bike, a laptop, and new clothes. He ought to call his mother in Guerrero, but he’d need to write her first to make sure her number hadn’t changed. First, get to… Wherever the bus was taking him. He was overwhelmed by the flatness of New Jersey and the brightness of the sun. He just wanted to sit on a bus in the back row with his knees on the seat in front of him, and the iPod Bur had left behind blaring in his ears. So Rico put his hands over his eyes and leaned over his knees.
There was no warning when someone touched his shoulder, and Rico reacted before he remembered where he was. He was on his feet, and his hand stung from punching a block of muscle.
But the muscle caved, and a big man folded over. At first, Rico was sure he’d just gut-punched a member of the secret service. The suit was tailored and prim, his shoes shone on the cracked gravel of the sidewalk, and his hair was a coiffed sheen of black.
Then a Brooklyn accent that was as familiar as it was dirty said, “Jesus Fuckin’ Christ, Rico! You trying to kill some body?”
Shame and an unsettled pleasure reddened Rico’s face. “Bur?”