After doing the work of establishing a premise line based on Jeff Lyons’ work, I realized the next step was to put together a story outline. The framework I most resonate with is the five key turning points structure constructed by Michael Hague of StoryMastery.com. Here is my take on the five-turning points-/six-stage structure as applied to Sex Magick.
Prologue. Asmo, the demon familiar of Raphael, a sex magician and escort, assumes Raphael’s form so that he can seduce and kill Phillip, a sex buddy for whom Raphael is developing loving feelings. (This is actually part of the Setup stage, establishing before Raphael knows it that he is placing his sex buddies in danger just by starting to like them a little too much.)
Stage I: Setup. Raphael is the owner of The Grimoire, an esoteric bookstore and Wiccan supply shop. It is the Valentine’s Day season, and he expects to make a lot of money selling love spells and amulets to people searching for love.
Turning Point #1: The Opportunity (10%). Tobias wanders into The Grimoire, looking for a spell that will bring love into his life. Raphael, who finds himself quite taken with Tobias, is happy to oblige. He shows him how to conduct a spell and gives him a rose quartz heart that will increase his feelings of self love. He invites Tobias back to tell him how things work out.
Stage II: The New Situation. Against Asmo’s objections, Raphael toys with the idea of dating like a normal person, specifically Tobias. Raphael’s favorite escorting client, Alistair, encourages Raphael to go out on a real date on Valentine’s Day instead of doing a session with him. When Raphael, nevertheless, schedules himself for a session with Alistair on that date, Alistair cancels on him, freeing him to go on a date with Tobias.
Turning Point #2: The Change of Plans (25%). Raphael goes out on a date with Tobias on Valentine’s Day and has a wonderful time.
Stage III: Progress. Raphael falls deeper in lust with Tobias in the face of increasing threats and cajoling from Asmo.
Turning Point #3: The Point of No Return (50%). Raphael Raphael and Tobias have an amazing session where Raphael coaches Tobias through a bout of Tantric sex. Their energies merge and Raphael realizes that he has found someone he could actually love long-term.
Stage IV: Complications & Higher Stakes. Raphael reflects on Tobias’ acceptance of and trust in him and realizes that they might be a great match for each other. Raphael’s feelings start tipping from affection towards love.
Turning Point #4: The Major Setback (75%). Asmo reveals that he has killed Phillip and threatens to kill Tobias also unless Raphael breaks off this relationship immediately.
Stage V: The Final Push. Raphael agonizes over his choice, perhaps even asking Alistair for advice. He finally goes to Tobias to break up, but cannot.
Turning Point #5: The Climax (90-99%). As Raphael and Tobias begin to make love, Asmo attacks Tobias but Raphael intervenes and offers himself, instead. Raphael reminds Tobias to cover himself in white light and offers his body to Asmo who greedily accepts Raphael’s offering. Tobias is not prepared to let the man he loves be destroyed and refuses to let go of Raphael, bathing them both in protective, white light. The power of Tobias and Raphael combined repulse Asmo and he flees.
Stage VI: The Aftermath. Raphael apologizes to Tobias and is prepared to walk away when Tobias stops him and says that he thinks they make a great team. Raphael tells Tobias that he has only seen one of his demons. Tobias says that after defeating the first demon, he’s willing to face the others. If Raphael will give him a chance. “You’re not the only one with demons, you know.” Raphael asks if Tobias will give him a chance. Tobias says that he wants to give “us” a chance. “Are you up for it?” Tobias asks. I guess “I’m willing to give it a try,” Raphael says.
Epilogue. Asmo visits and strikes a deal with Brad, Tobias’ roommate.
So there it is. One of the things I had to remember is that this story is novella length and so the percentage markers are going to come much closer together than in a full length novel. Part of the reason I wanted to work in this form is that I wanted to see what it would be like for each scene to be a major beat in the story. While the story is not quite that compact, it will come close.
Does this work? Is this a viable story? Let me know in the comments or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I appreciate your interest and your ideas.