Mapping out the story

Today, I wrote up one sentence synopsis for each of the scenes of my new play “The Secrets of the Magic Pool.”  This will be going into the playbill during the show, but I thought it was quite telling of how I wrote it. I like to write stories where several characters have major parts, and I’ve accomplished this in this story. You can see this by noting the different characters which are used in each synopsis. The overall story is about Eva, but Eva only shows up in several of the synopsis. The same could be said for the witch or the beggar. It’s fun using other characters to bring the story around and to shift the focus in a meaningful way. Here’s the scene by scene synopsis. This is going to be a great show. Can’t wait!

Act I

Scene 1: Cane is banished and meets the witch

Scene 2: The princess waits for him. The cobbler complains.

Scene 3: Cane meets the beggar and Eva

Scene 4: Prince Casimir arrives at the castle

Scene 5: The cobbler’s girls drive him crazy.

Scene 6: Baker and Cobbler have a dispute.

Scene 7: The prince returns. Cane goes insane.

Scene 8: Eva & Cane meet a second time.

Scene 9: The witch changes tactics.

Scene 10: The journey is not what it seems.

15  MINUTE INTERMISSION

Act II

Scene 1: The true story of Eva

Scene 2: Atty is in trouble.

Scene 3: Atty and the beggar.

Scene 4: Majji and Casimir disagree.

Scene 5: Cane comes to claim the water.

Scene 6: A surprise visitor at the cobbler’s house.

Scene 7: Majji and Casimir part ways.

Scene 8: Majji finds the past.

Scene 9: The witch’s visit.

Scene 10: The final meeting.

JStef-Apr2016-2777

The Recluse Storyteller: A Long Synopsis

I’m very excited about the release of my second novel in a little more than a month. So much to do! Here’s my first long synopsis of the novel. Hopefully, it will intrigue you enough to check it out when it releases. Your comments are appreciated. Thanks.

Red Hat hijacks a yoghurt truck and barrels into the Chester Walz Bank at full speed, desperate to open a safety deposit box. 

The twins, beckoned by an ominous streak of light across the sky, climb Harper’s Hill to encounter an apparition of their missing father. 

The reverend stands on a muddy ridge, the barrel of a rifle in his neck, looking down on a Vietnamese village, scarred by war and regret. 

The stories come to Margaret at all times, but they are anything but random. A fractured view of Michael Cheevers’ red hat through a discreetly cracked door sends her off on adventure. A glimpse of the Johnson twins from apartment 2D takes her to the lonely hill on a Midwestern prairie in 1887. The regular letters from Reverend Davies, who has tried to look after Margaret since the death of her mother, brings her to the brink of exhaustion, staring intensely into the heart of war deep in the jungle of Vietnam.

Margaret is not insane, at least not in a clinical sense. She’s like a midnight raccoon, painfully aware of her surroundings, gleaming crumbs of information at every turn; eyes peering incessantly in the night, stealing glances of neighbors behind partially opened doors.

But the tales that she weaves were not meant to merely hold empty court to the receptive dead air of her apartment. Her stories were meant to embolden the lives of the inhabitants of that drab apartment block because her story is also their story—and everything would be different if they could only hear her stories.

The Recluse Storyteller weaves five stories into one as the loner Margaret not only searches for meaning from her reclusive life, but also gives meaning in the most unexpected ways to the troubled souls of her apartment complex. Part adventure, part tragedy, and part discovery, The Recluse Storyteller bridges genres, bringing hope, life, and redemption to the broken relationships of modern society.