Clown Phone

Here’s how I sometimes get story ideas. Take this post and this one: each by itself makes for an interesting enough story, but together, it’s even stronger.

We start with the friend of the woman who punched the robber who took her phone. Our narrator is out with her pals, and she’s hoping to meet a decent guy. But in her world, that of chick-lit and thugs, there really are no decent men. Her friend, the puncher, is an ex-Marine and a lesbian. A second friend is kind of techy.

So the cops show up, take reports, walk away. Not important enough to make a fuss about, in an underpoliced city like Atlanta. This pisses them all off. The Marine wants revenge. She has a gun; so does the other friend. The friend figures out the phone track option, they activate it, they go to Southwest Atlanta, bust in, guns drawn. One of the thugs stands up with a gun, Friend 2 shoots him dead. Our narrator realizes that maybe her ex-Marine friend is what she’s really looking for.

NOW the cops are interested. Diana and Mustapha are called in to sort it out: they have to arrest Friend 2, but is she really going to get prosecuted? They turn the others over to lesser cops and walk away.

But then, they’re called back. The remaining thug knows he’s busted, and wants to deal. He’s pretty sure he knows the clown robber, based on the guy’s mannerisms. For a walk on the robbery charge, he’ll tell.

So what makes the story work is that the clown guy’s motivations need to parallel those of the narrator of the first part of the story. Why is he dressing up as a clown and shooting up convenience stores? D/M don’t give a shit, but the reader will. It’s got to be something along the lines of he can’t find a good woman–or good women aren’t interested in him because despite what he feels is his sterling character, he has a crap job and nobody wants to date a broke guy.

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