The Very Good Reason Redux (#SFWApro)

So as I mentioned last month, one of my challenges in replotting Southern Discomforts has been figuring out Maria’s Very Good Reason for getting involved. Something that would give her more intensity than traveling to Pharisee with a friend (and a boatload of baggage, but the baggage clearly wasn’t enough for a protagonist). I think I’ve managed it.

quote-have-a-very-good-reason-for-everything-you-do-laurence-olivier-138960(Image courtesy of izquotes)

My original concept was that she’d been a Vietnam War nurse turned anti-war activist; after Kent State (the Ohio National Guard gunned down some protesters challenging them) in 1970 she and some of her friends decided violence was the only solution. They began a series of bombings, targeting buildings but not people, but got absolutely nowhere. There were hundreds of terrorist attacks around that time, so people barely noticed. The group’s solution? Kill the son of a prominent US senator. Maria couldn’t go along with that, so when she couldn’t talk them out of it, she called the cops on them. She served little or no time (her father had a lot of control over the Department of Justice’s purse strings and strongly suggested the woman who saved his son not go to prison). The licensing board yanked her license and she’s been drifting between shit jobs ever since, with no purpose or direction. Then Carl, a friend-with-benefits, asks to accompany him to Pharisee, Georgia …

My revised reason starts with Maria turning and running after reporting her friends to the cops. She’s been on the run for roughly two years, traveling across the country, doing odd jobs for pay, occasionally shoplifting to make ends meet. But one day she got sloppy and the cops almost caught up to her. She made it to the nearest Greyhound bus station (hoping the cops hadn’t spotted her) and bought a ride on the first bus leaving. That brought her onto the bus to Pharisee, sitting next to Carl. Maria’s desperate not to be noticed, but when she sees someone hurt, she can’t help but be a nurse…

And when she arrives in Pharisee, people are getting hurt right in front of her. Despite the risks to her personal freedom, she can’t see someone killd and not want to prevent more deaths. That’s the way she’s wired.

I think it works—at least it has through the first four chapters. We’ll see how it goes as I move further into the book.




Filed under Southern Discomfort, Writing

2 responses to “The Very Good Reason Redux (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Works in progress: this week, this past month (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Exit the cone! Plush Dog and I both have a better week (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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