I still don't know where On the
Edge is going, but a few more problems have made themselves known,
and that's never a bad thing.
The biggest problem - which made itself apparent a while ago - is the lack of sympathy for Patricia. Possible solutions have been making coy hints as to their existence, but nothing has really gelled. I think last night's brain-hiccup might be a step in the right direction, though.
Mrs. Huxhold will not be killed. In fact, I'm inclined to make the operating theater scene a hallucination from start to finish, although that's a little American Psycho. The situation is double-edged. If it's a hallucination, then Trish has much further to fall (and more to lose) at the end of the first act. However, if something that isn't unpleasant and real doesn't occur, it's going to be hard for a viewer to believe in Trish having any capacity of violence when the time comes (erm, if it comes). I'm going to noodle on that one a bit further.
Re-arrange first act a bit. Put bar-scene after surgery/confrontation over uninsured child. The treating-the-uninsured bit builds on that hint of sympathy given on the answering machine (switch to vmail in office/msg from secretary). Need to build up character sympathy before establishing hint of cruelty.
Note for bar scene - must establish that teasing is something Trish does a lot, all the time. "She's always leaving with someone" "Yeah, but they never look happy the next day" Or "But they're always back within an hour, you watch." Something like that. The exchange could even be between Michael and the bardtender.
Patricia is looking for validation that she's gotten a square deal - that what she got is worth what she gave up. She gave up any chance of functional relationship, any sense of self beyond career, and various opportunities for self-indulgence/pleasure for the sake of it. And if she hasn't gotten a fair shake, she wants a chance at it now. But, by now, she's gotten a wee bit warped.
Patricia is a control freak, but an overworked one. The apartment is outwardly tidy, but the cabinets are crammed to overflowing. A pile of unread newspapers accumulates in the recycling box, unanswered correspondence sits on the desk. There are never any personal calls.
Michael offers a chance for release, self-indulgence - even passion and relinquishment of control - heady stuff for the control freak. Therein lies his appeal. Unfortunately, as he's a nutball, this isn't going to end well. He does not offer validation of Patricia's life so far, and - by whatever means - his choices are far more appealing to Trisha than what she currently has. Most probably because it's something she doesn't have right now.
Is Michael's stalking/murder of Random Victim #1 in the first act giving away too much, too soon? If so, how is it going to be closed? With the rearrangement as it stands, that phase is closing with a whimper. Hrm...
How about: Bar scene -> Consultation with another client (possible hallucination, just a hint, during this scene) -> Uninsured child -> angry Huxhold left waiting before checking in for yet another needless procedure -> "attack" on Huxhold"
Gotta get to work. More later.