Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wanted: oddball family members …

… to attend a family reunion

November is approaching, and I’m working on plans for this year’s National Novel Writing Month project. I’ve been successful the past two years with Murder at the Community College and Murder at the Yacht Club, with a reliable formula: I create a character who is really unlikable and lowdown and probably deserves to depart this earth; I have a dozen or more characters who have conflicts with this person and who have very good reasons for wanting him dead; I kill him off in an interesting way; I then spend 50,000 or more words going through all of the suspects, sorting out red herrings, and having my main characters go through various exciting plot twists.

This year, I’m going with a topic Mom suggested shortly after returning from such an event in Arkansas, Murder at the Family Reunion. My main character was an only child whose parents are both dead, but her boyfriend comes from a big, boisterous Irish family, whom she is meeting for the first time at the reunion. There are a few Italians and others who have married in, but there’s certainly going to be a lot of blarney flying around.

Here’s where I’m asking for help from my readers: If you have a story of an eccentric relative or a bizarre event at a family reunion, tell me. I promise I will change details to protect the identity of the guilty. The family involved doesn’t need to be Irish, or any particular other ethnic group … just, umm … interesting. I’m especially interested in characters who are slightly off-kilter.

Anybody who provides a story that I can use will get a copy of my manuscript, as of December 1, 2007, as a reward for the help.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Mom said...

The only family oddball I can think of is Cousin Mary Lou, and she was eccentric, but very likable. Best known for sending very odd gifts for no apparent reason, and popping up unexpectedly for a visit. With no return plans! (A little Mary Lou went a long way.) But I would hate to see someone like her being bumped off.

Thu Oct 18, 10:02:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Oh, I certainly wouldn't want to bump off Mary Lou, but I definitely see how she can have a part in the plot ... she stumbles upon an important clue and/or triggers the main characters to some new insight into the case.

Thu Oct 18, 11:14:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm the odd one in my family. I always go against the norm and I'm happy to share my opinion's, which are usually different from others'. This has opened and closed many doors for me, and helped me live a very adventurous lifestyle. I could share some specific stories at the lake... - Dino

Sat Nov 03, 12:28:00 PM MDT  

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