Tuesday, August 28, 2018

One #Plot Possibility by Sharon Ervin

Please welcome today's guest Sharon Ervin.

Allegedly there are only seven basic story plot-lines in fiction. The seven supposedly are: 1. Overcoming the monster, 2. Rags to Riches, 3. The Quest, 4. Voyage and Return, 5. Comedy, 6. Tragedy, and 7. Rebirth. If that is all there are, writers must embellish, enhance, and fantasize without plagiarizing.

“Pygmalion,” a stage play written by George Bernard Shaw in 1913, is about a man who falls in love with a sculpture he has created. There are many stories based on similar concepts: “Pinocchio,” “King Kong,” even “Frankenstein.” 
I loved “Pygmalion.” Even more, Hollywood’s embellishment in “My Fair Lady.” Both “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady,” were historically set. I imagined this love story revised, reversed, updated, and set in Dallas Texas. That’s how I happened to write, DO YOU LOVE ME? my fourteenth published novel released in May, 2018 from Intrigue Press.

Pedro Rivera is as an unpolished hero, who needs only a caring hand, skills, and a bankroll to turn him into Peter Rivera, the man he wants to be. Once he meets Savanna Cavendish, Pedro needs only to convince this aloof, CEO, socialite to take the challenge. He guilt trips her into agreeing.

True to earlier, similar plots, however, as Savanna falls for her “creation,” she is horrified, believing it somehow immoral to love a man created for her by her.

Pedro and Savanna meet in the opening chapter. Here are samplings from the book.

The Set-Up: 
He looked menacing, the man in the massive earth mover shouting down at the laborer sent to fetch him. Savanna Cavendish was glad their words were swallowed by the noise of all the equipment. She glanced at Carol Ashby, her traveling companion, whose eyes were locked on the figure aloft in the machine. 
The messenger pointed toward Savanna’s stalled Lincoln and the angry-looking man squinted her direction. He glared up and down the endless conga line of traffic mincing its way through the single-lane highway construction area. Shaking his head and scowling, he relented and climbed down from the machine. 
Savanna shivered, ridiculous in the ninety-seven-degree Texas morning. She looked at Carol, then back at the angry worker the foreman had assured would repair her car. The worker’s long black hair was tied in a ponytail. That, his size, and the Fu Manchu mustache made him appear sinister as long, determined strides brought him closer. The sleeves of his work shirt were lopped off at the shoulders exposing biceps the size of small boulders that rolled and rippled beneath his sun-parched skin as he buttoned his shirt and jammed its tail into his khaki work pants. Obviously he was an alpha male.

The Meeting:
Pedro planted himself in front of the car, pressed one grimy paw to the clear-coat finish and slid his fingers under the hood in search of the safety catch. Savanna didn’t realize she’d gasped until he shot her a look. 
His eyes startled her, not because of the venom she had expected to see, but in the spectacular color she had not. The man’s eyes were an iridescent, moss green. All the Mexicans she knew had dark eyes, brown, sometimes black, but never this astonishing green. He clenched his jaw and his amazing eyes narrowed against the glare off the windshield as he released the safety latch. He flung the hood up and ducked inside, tapped and tightened and thumped, then pulled two wires, touched them together, bent to examine something else, raised his head and growled unfamiliar words at the foreman, who nodded and turned to Savanna.

The Problem:
“You need an alternator.”
Savanna addressed the mechanic. “Where can I buy an alternator?”
The foreman intercepted the question. “Ma’am, Pedro speaks Spanish.”
Savanna turned her attention back to the foreman. “Where do I find an alternator?”
“A dealership or a parts store. Any shade-tree mechanic can get you one.”
She scanned the area. “Okay, so how do I get there? More importantly, how do I get my car there?”
The mechanic mumbled something, his words delivered in a husky baritone. The foreman answered him looking puzzled, then shifted his gaze to Savanna. He seemed uncomfortable about what the mechanic had said.
“What?” she asked. 
“Pedro here will take you to get the alternator and he will put it in for you.” 
She turned the beginning of a dutiful smile toward the volunteer before the foreman added, “But he says you must pay.”

The Future:
Work completed, Pedro declines the cash Savanna offers in payment. Instead, he asks Savanna, through their interpreter, to pay by allowing him exposure to her American household; to help him learn and develop skills so he may one day have a company of his own. Reluctantly, she agrees. He moves into her world, and the plot gets complicated.


About the Author:
A former newspaper reporter, Sharon Ervin has a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She is married, the mother of four grown children, and works half-days in her husband and older son’s law office in McAlester Oklahoma.



Leah St. James said...

Welcome, Sharon! I've never actually read Pygmalion, but "My Fair Lady" is my favorite as well. I've seen the movie, of course, and a Broadway adaptation about 15 years ago. Both were wonderful. I love how you broke down your version's structure. Fabulous excerpt and descriptions! I can see Pedro as i read. Wishing you much success with the story.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Pedro and Savannah are on some kind of collision course. That's for sure. As Leah said, welcome, Sharon. Thank you for sharing the breakdown and the excerpt. Best of luck with your latest story.

Jannine Gallant said...

I look at the 7 basic plots the same way I look at the different food groups. There are infinite varieties found within each one. Because a strawberry and a pumpkin may be in the same group, but they don't have a heck of a lot in common! Your story sounds like a unique take on the theme. Best of luck!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Welcome to our blog, Sharon, and thanks for showing us your 'build' on your story. I've found most of my plots are some version of a makeover, suggested in several of the seven plot lines. Pedro looks like he's about to get one hell of a makeover, of his own choosing...but we know Savannah will change in the process as well. My kind of story! Good luck with your novel!

Sharon Ervin said...

Thank you, Leah, Margo, Jannine, and Rolynn. Without intending to, I've used lots of established plots to create the stories I weave, from JACK SPRAT COULD, to BODACIOUS, which one reviewer likened to "Beauty and the Beast." You all sound as if you're familiar with the drill. Also, several of my romantic suspense plots have come from news stories. There is no shortage of ideas waltzing through our everyday lives. Of course, I not only read, I eavesdrop and observe things people often don't intend strangers to hear and see. Real life is fair game, right? That's word to the wise. Don't air dirty laundry in public, either personally or online. If one of us gets hold of it, you may see your most private thoughts, emotions, secrets, in print.