In Part 1 of this series, I identified the moral blind spot and immoral effect connected to the character of Raphael, the protagonist of Sex Magick. I also came up with some interesting backstory explaining how Raphael acquired his moral blind spot. I’m going to skip talking about the dynamic moral tension and go right to the seven components of the Invisible Structure.
- Character. The protagonist is Raphael, the owner of an esoteric bookstore who also works as an escort/energy healer.
- Constriction. Raphael is compelled by his moral component to seduce a young, innocent man for a bit of fun.
- Desire. Raphael desires to have a fling.
- Relationship. Geoff, the focal character, seems an easy target for seduction.
- Resistance. Belz the demon, Raphael’s familiar, doesn’t want Raphael to get distracted from his work.
- Adventure. Belz endangers Geoff’s life, causing Raphael to expose himself and risk his own death.
- Change. Raphael must allow Geoff to really see him in order to defeat Belz and save Geoff’s life.
This is just note-taking. Next, comes the construction of the four clauses of the premise line.
- Clause #1: The Protagonist Clause. Character+Constriction. The request of Geoff, a handsome, young man with an air of innocence about him, for a love spell prompts the aloof and opportunistic Raphael to flirt with him,
- Clause #2: The Team Goal Clause. Desire+Relationship. …which results in Raphael’s seducing Geoff to have a short-term fling…
- Clause #3: Opposition Clause. Resistance+Adventure. …which is opposed by Belz, the demon who wants Raphael’s energies for himself…
- Clause #4: Dénouement Clause. Adventure+Change. …leading to Raphael’s realization that he has endangered Geoff and his decision to sacrifice himself to save the young man.
Yeah. Easy for Jeff Lyons to put together!
Actually, Lyons suggests that the process of drafting a premise line can take up to a couple of months. I’m rushing the process for four reasons:
- This story has been percolating in my consciousness for years so I have some familiarity with the story and its potentials.
- I’ve been working on this story for a couple of months almost and have a sense of the components of the premise line already.
- I want to use this story as my project for Camp NaNoWriMo (the collective, online effort to write a novel(la) in 30 days) which starts in three days.
- Crafting a premise line is an iterative process which is influenced by the writing of the story and discovery of new depths–so the premise line is only going to change anyway.
That said, here is the premise line that I’ve come up with for Sex Magick:
The request of Geoff, a handsome, young man with an air of innocence about him, for a love spell prompts the aloof and opportunistic Raphael to flirt with him, which results in Raphael’s seducing Geoff to have a short-term fling which is opposed by Belz, the demon who wants Raphael’s energies for himself leading to Raphael’s realization that he has endangered Geoff and his subsequent decision to sacrifice himself to save the young man.
There it is, in a nutshell. It’s raw, it’s clunky, but, as Lyons suggests, no one really needs to see this but me. The reason I’m sharing it is that I want you to be able to follow along my process and maybe help me out with suggestions and comments.
So what do you think? Does any of this make sense? It’s late so I’m going to sign off.
Thank you for your presence and attention.