Aaron, don’t even think about it. Unless you did finish your story early like you hoped or you’ve got a solid foundation.
So shortly after posting my last entry about various ways I could take this story, I did something odd. I thought about the one topic that hadn’t jumped out at me (the village adopting a controversial holiday) and a thought popped into my head. It was this weird sort of Nightmare Before Christmas meets The Scarlet Letter meets Ninja Warrior kind of thing. Y’know, that type of story.
I’ve been thinking alot about religion lately – it’s hard not to do in today’s American political climate (in fact, it’s sad that those are even tied together). I’ve wanted to write a long essay about religion on my other blog, but haven’t gotten around to it. So I thought maybe I’d write a story about a fanatically religious town that treats women who are no longer virgins as dirt. But the sorta revere virgins. So they establish this holiday that allows women to become virgins again (in the eyes of the community, at least, if not medically) by ascending a rickety structure that is 7 stories high, with each step being narrower and wider than the last. It is set up like a spiral, so at the top is a nub of a step they must step on. Each step, they must answer a question, and each landing (where the staircase turns 90 degrees), they must perform some task. I haven’t figured them out yet, but I wanted to make it grueling.
As for the controversy, I think I have to have someone from the outside (media? someone who has lost a wife/girlfriend/sister to this practice in the past?) come and try to put a stop to it. So the holiday must be in its 3rd year or so.
Now here’s the problem with this story (isn’t there always one?) – is it serious or a comedy? The premise is pretty absurd, but then again most religion is absurd. It’s a pretty serious topic, people have died doing the holiday, and that makes it serious. But I REALLY want to use the name “Cornelius Head”, and it just doesn’t work in a serious story.
I think once I figure that out, I’ll get to writing. Well, that and once everyone in our family is healthy. That’s still a ways off. Then we go away for an anniversary trip. Then I go east. I think I’ll be writing the bulk of thing on the airplane to NY. We’ll see.