I have this book called The Nighttime Novelist by Joseph Bates and in it there is an exercise for building initial ideas for a story. You pick an adjective from column A and a noun from column B and go with it. So I picked “Depressed Hitman”. Why is our hitman depressed? Is it because he’s a hitman? Maybe because he always wanted to be a ballet dancer but was initiated in the mob, and now he wants out so he can pursue his dream of being in The Nutcracker. OK, so we have a hitman that’s always wanted to be a ballet dancer because his uncle Gregor was back in Mother Russia. The image I have in my mind of a Russian hitman is a big burly guy with 2 day old stubble and crew cut. Not the image of a ballet dancer. Should the tone be one of humor as is the case here? Or should it be darker? Maybe our Russian hit man is depressed because he’s a hitman, and he has seen enough blood and families torn apart. He wants to be callous, but he can’t do it anymore. Now what if he wants out so bad that he hatches a plan with someone he’s supposed to hit. Maybe it was someone that stole money from the Russian mob boss in New York. Maybe he’s good at stealing money so they make a plan where the guy will steal more money, and the hitman will provide the “muscle” to get it. It’s an unlikely alliance that could prove to be a decent plot line.
Maybe I’ll try to write a scene tomorrow.