642 Tiny Things to Write About: Strange Dates Have Found Us

Your character has an unusual first date: With whom? Make it Strange

Why? Make it Strange

But first a word from the Doors

Since my early teens, I’ve had a habit of writing movie scripts and short stories in my head when I cannot sleep at night .   I’ve developed characters and basic plot premises, motivations etc.  What I’ve never been successful in doing is extracting them from my imagination and creative internal voice on to paper in any manner that doesn’t sound trite, stereotypical or as though I am re-hashing someone’s previous ideas.  Imitation may be flattery, but it will get you sued for copyright infringement.

One of the characters that keeps on bouncing around in my head is a male Revenant who died in the early middle ages in Europe, but came back to life, looking very much the same as he did on the day he passed away.   He’s become suspended in time, a forever twenty five year old,  never-changing but still requiring every thing a human needs to continue to exist–food, sleep etc.  The 1980s find him living in Greenwich Village, running a rare bookstore and exploring the alternative culture that exists in that time frame.   I keep on struggling to make him exist, because frankly Anne Rice has done this theme so well on two fronts, with the Mummy and her Vampire series, having something original to write seems almost impossible.

For this exercise, the protagonist in this story is a woman in her twenties that works in a small second-hand clothing shop nearby our Revenant’s store.   She’s a bit suspended in time as well–she has a college degree  in History but isn’t quite sure what she’s doing now.  She’s biding her time working in the store, which has gone from a short-term summer job to something much longer than she intended.   She meets our Revenant during their daily interactions in the neighborhood and his occasional foray into her clothing store. He likes visiting there, because he is comfortable in things in the past, things that allow him to continue to mark the long lifetime he’s already experienced.

First date.  Hmm.  Their first date is a trip to the opening of an exhibit on Renaissance painters at the Met.   They tour the paintings and our protagonist is surprised at the breath of knowledge her date has about the art work, and the artists themselves.  He seems to know details that are beyond common and scholarly knowledge, as though he knew some of these people first hand.   He gets into an argument with another patron over a Giotto painting that becomes quite heated, and they are asked to leave.   They depart to a coffee shop nearby and continue to talk about art and history.  She notices that his opinions and world view seem unrooted to any time or specific culture, but at times are also quaint or outdated.  She is attracted to him, but something seems odd or yes, strange about him that makes her wary.

And so ends the first date with a Revenant.


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