I have an odd battle brewing in my schizo head. A new story that's slammed up -- "Mr. Lucky" -- is trying to muscle POS aside so it can be told, and we're about to have a replay of the Irish civil war...i.e. short, brutish and insanely stupid. But Mr. L deals with the insane stupidity and hypocrisy of Arizona's anti-immigrant laws and their enforcement, mingling in the fact that a lot of trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes happens in that state (much of it catering to Anglos looking for more than just gardeners, maids and dishwashers) and it's another pissed-off story loaded with in-your-face-sexual encounters and abuses to illustrate my points.
Thing is, this time the lead character will have no real name, just his nick-name (which is also the story's title). And unlike my other stories, I get the feeling nothing bad happens to him to make him turn on the world; his actions are just a natural outgrowth of what's going on not only in Phoenix and Tuscon but Juarez, Tijuana and Mexico City with the brutality of the drug wars. It'll be about the lessening of human empathy on a large scale, and I also get the feeling nothing bad will happen to the narrator, even in the way of punishment...which makes me uncomfortable...but is probably more realistic in this day and age.
It's interesting...well, to me it is...that the second of my revenge stories, "Porno Manifesto", is turning out to be the gentlest and most moral. What happens to Alec sort of explains and almost excuses his actions (he wants to find out who nearly killed him in a gay-bashing and, since the cops won't do anything about it, punish them, himself) but at the end he actually steps back from the abyss of hatred on his own terms, not winding up in jail or under threat by the judicial establishment, and he does feel a hint of remorse because he's injured some innocent people. He's the closest I have to a hero in these stories. In both HTRASG and RIHC6, the narrators are about as anti-hero as you can get.
I don't include BC as a revenge story because it's really a tragedy and the sex is so completely overshadowed by the building horror of events surrounding Bobby and Eric and how there's nothing they can do to stop any of it. In a way, that's what I'm aiming to do with Brendan in POS -- build the life of a person in as real and consistent a manner as possible as events slowly envelop them. And in both books, I've known the endings and beginnings before I began writing them, while with the other three...I had no idea where they'd wind up; they just hit the ground running and I was more of a stenographer than a writer on those (tho' v2 of RIHC6 played with my mind, a lot).
The thing is, I'm ready to start at the beginning of POS and fill in what needs filling, now that I know the path it's taking to get to its end. Now it's time to let the flow settle in over me and wash me along...and then comes this smash-up of a story screeching to a halt in my mind and revving its engine so loudly, I can't hear anything else. On top of this, Mr.L's already announced his moral base, and I'm not sure I like how amoral it is. But it fits.
Shit, I don't know what to do. If I don't get going on POS, I won't make first draft by the end of the year.
To which Brendan replies, "Focus!"