Help me choose a storyline
I have two storylines I’m contemplating for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I can’t decide which is more interesting to focus on. I would love your thoughts on these two ideas.
Quick Synopsis of Each Story:
(Longer versions of each story plot are below.)
18 Days is a psychological thriller where a man is brainwashed into being an assassin. Every 18 days his handler can either give him a murder to complete or he can be reset to normalcy for another 18 days.
Sending Christmas is a sweet romance that discusses the power of music and the written word. Both play a powerful part of helping a soldier overcome PTSD and a singer through depression and lead them to find one another.
Genre: Psychological Thriller
A young man, John Smith, is kidnapped from his college graduation, experimented on and into an assassin after years of torture and brainwashing. He ruthlessly kills as directed by a single man for 10 years.
His handler, The Director, eventually reveals that they can reset John’s brain but only for 18 days at a time. After 18 days he reverts back to an Assassin unless he’s reset again. There are no limits to how many times he can be reset but only the director knows how to do it, ensuring his own safety.
The Director’s power goes to is head and he orders the Assassin to kill a woman, Jane Doe, because she wouldn’t date him. When John sees Jane he remembers her as his college sweetheart. He pretends to have killed her and the Director resets him for 18 days. John finds Jane and they are instantly back in love after catching up. Director continues to reset him every 18 days and he only kills a handful of people for a year.
John feels he has to tell Jane the truth about himself so that she has a choice and knows that she’s at risk if he doesn’t get reset. Together they start trying to figure out how the director resets him. While they would like to find a more permanent solution, they need to start with the 18-day solution.
The Director finds out the woman is still alive and is enraged. He decides to invoke the permanent switch that he’s been hiding; he can either switch the Assassin personality on permanently or he can turn it off. If John can get ahold of this, he can have a normal life with Jane.
Who will act first – the Director or John? Or will it be Jane?
SPOILER (highlight this line to reveal): This is written in first-person POV with the author alternating viewpoints between John & Jane, but that fact isn’t revealed to the reader until the very end.
The story starts when a young soldier, Sergeant Rick Ralston, receives a randomly-delivered Christmas gift of music recorded by a sorority girl, Kaitlynn O’Shaughnessy.
Over the course of several years, the story goes back and forth between their lives, which intersect in other random ways without them actually meeting.
Kaitlynn’s music encourages Rick through his PTSD after he returns to the States. He goes to college and finds he has a knack for storytelling and writing. Rick writes a biography about his journey and how music, particularly HER music, helped him.
Kaitlynn goes through a period of severe depression when her career takes an unpredictable spin. Reading Rick’s biography helps her overcome and return to pure music and she finds her true voice.
They finally meet and learn how they have already helped saved one another. Of course, they fall madly in love. 🙂
This story is written with interwoven settings. For instance, her scene might end like this:
“When she finished singing the bar was silent. She was scared to open her eyes, thinking they’d all left while she sang. But then the applause started and it was thunderous.”
And then the next scene starts with him:
“The thunder woke them all. So loud and close it shook their very beds. But this wasn’t thunder born of storms. It was war. Hitting too close to home. Unexpectedly but not surprisingly.”
It goes back and forth like this, the scenes getting closer and closer to being the same until they actually meet.
Which one would YOU read?
I really do want to know which of these you would read, or not read, and why. I have a few chapters written of each and I have outlines for both. I’m intrigued by both possible outcomes and excited to write either one. So, all things being equal, which one has market appeal? 😀
Thanks for your help!
XO – T.