June 28th

It's time for the quarterly resurrection of On the Edge. (cue zombies chanting: braaaaaains) I suppose that, as addictions go, it's better than most.

Murder happens too soon. Despite the fact that we're totally used to homicide in entertainment, it is still a big deal in this context. Such a decision should be a significant event, a culmination of choices made, not a pat little ender for act I.

Michael is what Patricia could become.

Ambiguity rocks my socks, but for that, I need actual shades of gray. Michael needs to be more than yet another charismatic bad guy. He needs to be likable -as does poor Patricia, but that issue has already been identified. *sigh*

M&P may still initially meet in the bar, have their talk about power and choice. Concludes with Trisha breaking her long standing habit and choosing not to pick up Michael/be picked up and playing her usual silly games.

Discussion/interaction to continue in Patricia's offices. Why? Feels right. Probably 'cos it's a place where Trisha feels strong, but it's another huge bloody manifestation of her not taking control of her life (she bought the already-established practice from a colleague that was moving on - no doubt she acted on the recommendation of a mentor)

How to hint at Michael's motivations? For that matter, what are they? He's a bit Iago-esque at the moment.

"Bad" guys get theirs, "good" guys go off into sunset. Boring! Teetering on precipice of awfulness is interesting, in a way, but also overdone. Particularly last-minute redemption of protagonists. There's a place for death to occur - no, I'm not getting Messianic! Die but remain (relatively) "good" or plunge into ongoing existence of wickedness. But, y'know, it's gotta be at least somewhat repulsive wickedness. Mere cool-and-groovy wickedness ain't going to to cut it, no matter how much I love it so.

What if Michael's a cop? Hm. Hmmm..... I like that. I'm going to have to kick that around for a while. Means he has to move an awful lot more carefully when it comes to his own predilections, but he's also got a de-facto advantage in avoiding responsibility for them - people cheerfully believe that all movie-PDs are inherently messed up, and cops are not to be trusted.

(lovely mental image of Trish resolving to get a restraining order against her "stalker", striding into police dept and seeing Michael there, cue breakdown, but I digress)

(no, my uniform fetish has nothing to do with this, I swear!)

Of course, there's MBRC (Must Be Renamed Cop) who is still a factor. Putting Michael into his close proximity could be a source of potential mayhem. Particularly if I keep with Michael's little habit of, er, killing people (starting to seriously doubt the validity of that, too but... what the hell. It's not like I'm ever going to reach any goddamn conclusions with this thing)

(quick sidenote: there's an irony in that Patricia is a person who has hardly ever made choices for herself, but she's utterly alone - at least, that's how she's shaping up so far. Just realized I haven't written an honest-to-god friend for her, or even a close acquaintance. Michael's kicking his way past those walls, but he seems to be the first)

Without Patricia's little breakdown/homicide (or, rather, without it happening in the first thirty minutes) and Michael's knowledge of same, what's his hold on her? Aside from sheer morbid fascination, that is? Because that's not enough. Could resurrect Trish's drug problem but I have a hard time buying into that, so, probably not a good idea. However, it is plausible for Michael to possibly have a lead on - particularly if he's a cop (and let's just go whole hog on that one and say he's a homicide detective because, damn, if we're going to have fun, let's have lots of fun). Cops hear all sorts of things, and can learn more, particularly when they go digging. Still lacking his motive, though. Blech. Will noodle on that, some more.

Control, choices, and consequences of same. Gotta keep that all in my head, moving forward.

Another amusing, and somewhat related, sidenote. I was telling myself that what little story I've got, the pacing is all wrong. It gets way too bad, but then sort of plateaus and hums through the second act. Not good.
          I remembered a scene from The Rock which nicely exemplified the progression of tension in a classically formulated scene. Stanley's fuckwit partner unleashes gas during an investigation of a suspicious package. Bad. But there's water (or something) in the "gas chamber" that can clean it off their suits. Good. But the pump's broken. Worse. But Stanley is keeping it together. Better. The gas is eating through the protagonist's protective clothing. Bad. There's a bomb in the package, and it's enough to blow up the gas chamber and kill pretty much everyone in sight. Much worse. But Stanley maintains his composure (mostly) and his hitherto unsung steely nerves save the day, and the bomb is defused. Much better. Classic progression. Formulaic, but when it's done well, it's a formula that works - which is why it still exists, after all....Furthermore, it shakes Stanley up enough to prompt him into declaring that the idea of having a child in a world like this is an act of cruelty, shortly before his girlfriend announces she's pregnant, but I digress. Anyways, I thought of that scene as a quick-and-dirty example, mentally held it up to the half-formed morass that is On The Edge and had to concede that, er, as an entity of tension, it ain't got none. Why? Because things got too bad, too fast - murder of Huxhold - and then don't go anywhere after that. D'oh!

So, a day in which something is learned is not a total waste.