The Making of This Week’s Short Story, “Tuesday’s Gone”

I’m all about pulling back the veil when it’s harmless, and since part of me being an entertainer is decimating some of the mystery behind entertaining, I thought it’d be fun to share how I write stories.  As always, I’m not claiming that my way is the best way.  You could look at everything and tell me to fuck off, and it’s very much within your power to do so.  What I’ll be posting are my notes and their evolution until the point I decided that I had enough.  It won’t be as clean as I’d like because, not taking my own advice, I didn’t date each note.  That’s important because a lot of notes get notes piled on top of them as I continue incepting.  I’ll try to accommodate.  I can’t say that next week’s short story will be better annotated because my idea for it is weeks-old, and dateless.  But notes thereafter will be how I’d want them to.  Anywho…

Three stories woven together of Batman, Joker, and someone else preparing for their day, then converging.

“And she puts away her gun.”  Cassandra Cain and Alfred watch Bruce.  [This was interesting because I forgot to put it in the story.  My idea was that after Bruce chooses not to kill himself, I’d show that Cassandra was on the same wavelength.]

“Someone else” is a lesbian cheating on her wife.

Recurring theme: “Not tonight.”  Batman says it about suicide, Joker says it about a costume [which changed to whatever that thing was Harley does], sappho says it about leaving her wife.

Joker was hired as a hitman to kill the sappho by her wife because he found her early that week and decided to do something nice for a change.

Joker cries uncontrollably every morning because he gets so much joy out of life that he feels the need to balance the positivity forcefully with sadness.

Sections take place at different part of the day until convergence; Joker’s is in the morn and Batman’s is at night; sappho is throughout day.  [This changed to Joker and the sappho’s days happening side-by-side.]

Sappho: Tabitha Arnold.  [I changed her last name while writing for… well, private reasons, but not my private reasons.  I have a friend who had connections with an Arnold and didn’t want them to think I was trying to relate the two.]

Alternate paragraphs; 3-4 per person, ending with 2.  [I decided to end with one paragraph because I wanted everything to converge at once.  I felt that the sense of “Oh shit!” is taken away a little if I broke it up.]

Tabitha’s wife: Lauren.

Tabitha’s mistress: Wendy Dillon.  [I wish I got to reveal her last name, but couldn’t make it fit.  I thought about nicknaming her apartment “Casa del Dillon”, but I felt that might’ve seemed like the building’s name.]

Batman’s sections: suicidal thought (NT [“Not tonight.”]) -> he and Cassandra spar while Alfred prepares dinner -> the two help prepare their suits/weap each other dress while Alfred makes routes for the night and gets gear they might need.

Batman and Batgirl have different routes.

Batman alternates between saying “Cassandra” and “Batgirl”, whereas Cassandra always says “Batman”.  [This got kinda lost when I unconsciously decided to go mostly with narration, but it lives on in that the narrator says those names instead of the characters.]

Joker’s sections: cries in Harley’s lap -> watches “Moulin Rouge!” (NT), then gets “distracted” by Harley [What was originally supposed to happen was that they were watching the film, then she asks if he wanted to fool around, and we were supposed to think that meant sex but really they were gonna shoot what became “The Sack”.  It changed when watching “Moulin Rouge!” became her idea.  Why “Moulin Rouge!”?  I was thinking about what Joker’s murder weapon should be and didn’t want it to be typical.  I also wanted it to relate to something that happened earlier in the story.  “Moulin Rouge!” has can-can dancers and he kills Tabitha with soup cans.] -> shoots something bloody and lumpy in a burlap sack in the shooting range with Harley and a machine gun before being reminded by her of his appointment later that night.

Tabitha’s sections: morning breakfast with Lauren, then leaving for work at school (on a holiday) -> she wastes time at a store until getting a phone call from Wendy -> they’re finishing up (NT) their night.

Joker’s at the harbor (Port Adams).  [All the locations are real Gotham locations.]

The Arnolds live in Grant Park.

Wendy lives near City Hall.

Batman to patrol Miller Harbor [Switched to Ranelagh Ferry.]; Alfred tells him to circle around City Hall to make sure things are ok for Dinah and Jay [This note was written mid-story as a reminder to myself to strengthen the thread of Black Canary and Flash that I came up with as I was writing.].

Batgirl to patrol Ranelagh Ferry [Switched to Miller Harbor].  [I wanted the story to end with Batman, even though the meat of the story ended up being Cassandra-centric as I wrote.  Ranelagh Ferry is closer to City Hall than Miller Harbor, and that’s why I swapped them.]

Alfred cooks Cassandra’s steak medium-rare (she used to eat it rare due to her training).

Joker beats Tabitha to death with soup cans.

“The Matrix made me do it!  Ask Harley!  We have it on tape Blu-ray!”  [I came up with this when I wrote that Joker decided to be nice because of Rama’s convo with Neo in “Matrix Revolutions”.  About film references, I think there are far too many of them in entertainment these days.  I think people try too fucking hard to force a wink and a nudge into something instead of letting it happen organically.  I happened upon the idea of Joker watching films because a) I needed to find a reason for him to be nice, and b) he needed a murder weapon.  The idea of Joker being a film addict was too good a reason to pass up.  Plus, I liked the idea of him getting ideas of his past from cinema.  As for why I chose Blu-ray over cassettes, I didn’t want him to be a hipster.  I thought it’d be funny that Joker would go out of his way to have found a film on tape… for about a minute.  Then I thought it’d be even funnier to think that he has an HD set-up in an abandoned warehouse in a harbor.  The story of that whole thing writes itself, in my head.  No, I wouldn’t write it.  I like playing with my own toys and don’t wanna rationalize fanfics.]

Oh, the title.  I was listening to Metallica as I wrote the last paragraph and “Tuesday’s Gone” (from “Garage Inc.”) came on.  I thought it was fitting, taking place on a Monday and all.


2 Responses to “The Making of This Week’s Short Story, “Tuesday’s Gone””

  1. Been watching the Dark Night over and over huh?

    • Dark Knight RISES… and maybe. I’m taking a break to watch a collection of videos of the guy who made “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. He’s a trippy Frenchman, that one.

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