One of the things I’ve enjoyed most on this project is the extended appearances of several of the characters, meaning, some of them continue to populate the pages of other stories. Unlike a novel where the cast of characters is relatively static (though potentially quite large, depending on the story), the format for Inn Situ allows a character to stride to center stage, command the spotlight for a few moments and then EXEUNT STAGE LEFT, leaving their empty mug on the bar, never to be heard from again. Not that any of ours appear content to do that…
With the exception of Simmons, and Joe Bechter the bar’s owner, most of the characters I’ve introduced, though they might be regular patrons, are fuzzy around the edges. Their stories are snapshots—still points in a character’s life—and their history, their dreams, the balance of their fears and insecurities are generally not addressed. Some of this was intentional, based on the original premise of the Sedona Chronicles—varying perspectives at disparate times from distinct individuals. Also, to be completely honest, the fuzziness was there to allow for additional stories, possibly from additional authors to interlock with prior stories and not blow up the whole compendium.
However, as our collection grew, some of our characters began to demand more attention, bigger speaking parts and they began to refuse to be confined to the snapshot images we presented, and then they began to act more like people than characters. They began to interact with others. Some appear to have formed friendships beyond our, the authors’, omniscience.
We began to see the real possibilities for this presentation shortly after my story of Eddie Crenshaw: You, Me and James Dean. Eddie’s story introduced Brenda, his girlfriend. Scott then presented his two-part story, The Road Has Spoken which set Brenda on center stage.
The second piece of The Road inspired my story "Opportunity Knocks"—a look at Brenda and her ex, Bruce, from an outside observer’s viewpoint, sitting at the other end of the bar while Brenda and Bruce… umm… got reacquainted. The two stories meshed and intertwined at their endpoints but had no real resolution. Then, seemingly out of the blue, a third story materialized that tied up several loose ends of the previous two.
Thus far, several of the stories for Volume II appear to be the result of some of the regulars insisting on more face time to fill in some of those fuzzy details about themselves and give us a bit more of their history. Must be karaoke night for story characters. I only hope the stories are better than the singing on those unfortunate occasions I happened to get caught somewhere with a fresh beer or a full glass of good scotch when the I want to be famous, but I can’t sing a lick party started.
[SIDEBAR:]We may be making some photos of Sedona and the surrounding area available here on the blog for your viewing pleasure. (Full credit to the photographers, of course.)[/SIDEBAR]