Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snowflake - next step

Step 2 of the snowflake method says:

Take another hour and expand that sentence to a full paragraph describing the story setup, major disasters, and ending of the novel.

Well, this is where I've got hung up. A paragraph! Roughly speaking, this is what I know about the story:

We begin with a dreamlike sequence in the forest when the boy Tommy Grimes sees a beautiful fairy in the forest. The main story begins with the adult Thomas Grimes returning from overseas to seek a fairy. He enlists the aid of the mysterious Ebenezer Bliss, proprietor of a "gentleman's" club, Abaddon. They consult the last Sibyl in her dilapidated caravan.

In the caravan, in drugged chunks, we learn:

Thomas lost his mother early and his father started to loathe him. The circumstances of his mother leaving and then dying are mysterious. Thomas discovers a book in his father's library with strange properties ("The Grimoire of Ebenezer Bliss"). We read two stories, both to some extent erotic and allegorical. Other mysteries: Tommy's disfigured face (like it has been put together wrong). Sir Jasper Despere - why is he interested in Tommy? What does Sir Jasper know about the Grimoire? The series of flashbacks end with the seduction/rape of the fairy.

Emerging from the caravan, Thomas and Mr Bliss seek out the great Sherlock Holmes. The great detective is at least as interested in Mr Bliss's origins as he is in Thomas's story of capturing a fairy. They set off for Pysketon to unravel the mystery and find the fairy (the game really is afoot.) The sinister Sir Jasper is delighted to see Thomas again. Sir Jasper relates some stories about his own exploits and those of Thomas's father. He alludes to Kate the servant and to Thomas's mother. The section ends when Sir Jasper introduces an Asian woman who claims to be Thomas's wife and states that she has come thousands of miles to finally kill him.

Now we get to Thomas's Memoires...in which he tells us what happened and seeks to reconcile truth and memory. Here we meet Kate and watch the ritual of the jam and the bread. We also meet Donovan the gypsy boy and his mother. Thomas discovers evidence that he is an alchemical homunculus, made from Sir Jasper's sperm in a laboratory beneath his castle. Thomas flees the unloving home with the gypsies and joins a ship bound for adventure. In fact, it's David Copperfield with some awful unstated secret lurking in the shadows.

Now we are off to Far East to watch Thomas Grimes become a fully fledged monster like the Blackbeard he has read about in his his father's library. And we meet the exotic prostitute that he makes his wife. And the terrible circumstances that lead to the death of Thomas's twins.

Now we rejoin Sherlock Holmes, but with Dr Watson narrating. The unpublished, and unpublishable, story. Holmes, as always, solves the case...but only by deducing his own fictional status and the skewed nature of reality. Thomas's father Daniel Grimes has murdered Thomas's mother, after an affair with Sir Jasper. Sir Jasper is revealed as Thomas's biological father (but with the usual use of sperm, involving Thomas's mother). Kate is tracked down and rescued from Bliss's Abaddon. She relates the horrible rape she has underwent - but not by Sir Jasper, who let her go, but by Thomas.

Holmes finds the fairy too. A picture of Nausicaa in the Grimoire. Which is now just a tawdry book. The seduction of the fairy was a masturbatory construct of Thomas's mind.

The resolution has Thomas now king of the castle, with both his bereaved, mad wife and Kate and the child born as a result of the rape all in his care. They all hate him. But, as Mr Bliss says, "there is no hell, save that we make for ourselves, as punishment meted out for our own sins."

Try to fit that into a paragraph?