Trouble in paradise
Here are some storyboards I have been working on. They’ve been written in chronological order but this is not necessarily the order they will appear in within the story. Instead, the narrative will start in the present tense and flashback to these scenes as the plot unravels…you with me?
The current day will depict the man you see here alone in his flat going through a daily hygiene and housecleaning ritual which will get more and more ridiculous by the minute. He showers and brushes his teeth endlessly, dusts and vacuums the flat again and again, never leaving his apartment for fear of the dirty world outside which he has no control over.
When the story then goes back in time we will realise that events in the past have caused these obsessions and we start to wonder what else could have happened. Why is the man now alone? What has happened to his wife and the pet cat she hated?
The flashbacks reveal a once blissful relationship in turmoil. We see the wife’s descent into depression, her extreme hatred of the animal pushed further on by the allergy its brought out in her. The husband does everything in his power to make things okay but they seem to go from bad to worse.
He then notices the vent hidden by their wedding photo in the bedroom. This vent will have great significance in the present day. It will be symbolic of some piece of the puzzle which is out of the protagonist’s control. In the present it constantly spews forth dust and muck which he finds impossible to clean. Why is this? What does the vent represent? Guilt over something he has done wrong? I don’t actually yet know…
…that’s not to say I haven’t had ideas. They just haven’t yet been quite right. You can probably guess. I did say I wanted this story to be dark.
Anyway, this losing battle with dirt sends the hero(?) deeper into psychosis. He starts to soup up his vacuum cleaner to tackle the problem. The machine then eventually starts to take on a life of its own. When it speaks we hear the darker thoughts and fears in the guy’s head. As the nightmare then worsens, we witness the horrific physical union (or hallucinatory union?) of man and machine!
This is basically how the rough story structure stands at the moment. It has been approved. When laid out in chronological order, the end of the narrative (where the truth behind the protagonist’s lonely routine is revealed) actually happens in the middle. It is the piecing together of the clues from the guy’s history that will lead the reader to the conclusion.
I’ve got the joy of depicting a frantic cleaning regime yet to come. However, when the storyboards are complete the real fun is going to be when I cut everything up and piece it back together in a crazy new shape.