Cynthia J. Cordell

Cynthia J. Cordell

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ghost Writer

Ghost Writer

Tracy walked into the room where the book club was being held and she took a deep breath before doing so.  The punch bowl looked enticing, but she declined to get any punch because she thought that there might hot cocoa for the club members there also.  This was no ordinary book club.  It was a book club for ghost writers.
     The members picked out an unfinished manuscript from the slush file and tried to patch it up by making it publishable and marketable.  Many of the literary bodies of work needed a lot of work put into it.  That was understandable though because even the best of authors were going to run into writer’s block and end up shelving their unfinished work.
     At that meeting Tracy picked out a novel manuscript and made an extra print out of it after acquiring the electronic version.
     “Hey, great to see you here,” said Molly, who was the book club organizer.
      “Yeah, I thought I’d stop by, since the last time I was here, I couldn’t decide on which manuscript to work on,” said Tracy.
     “Well you’re welcome to start working on the one you just picked out.  We’ve got a lot of computer terminals that no one is using,” said Molly.
     “Sure, I can do that.  You seem to have most of the manuscripts on file in each computer terminal.”
     After about two hours, Tracy had some assessments about the story that she was going to help ghost write.  Molly came over to check on Tracy.
     “What seems to be the trouble with the one that you’re working on?  In fact I know that the author that the one belongs to, has just about given up on ever finishing that manuscript,” said Molly
     “This manuscript is entitled The Trouble Within.  It’s about the murder of an innocent young woman in a town called Cornertown.  Now the woman that everyone is pointing the finger to had a lot of run-ins with the young lady that got killed.  The young woman’s name was Stacey Malone.  She was somewhat of an heiress, so there were reasons why somebody would have wanted her killed, like to get a hold of her money,” Tracy said.
     “Tell me more,” Molly encouraged.
     “Marion, the one everybody is pointing the finder at, really had no reason to kill Stacey.  This is so because Marion (although she didn’t know it) had more money than Stacey ever had.  The thing was that Marion’s mother only gave her just enough money every month.  Nobody knew about Marion’s financial relationship with her mother, so everybody assumed that Marion didn’t have much in her change purse,” continued Tracy.
     “So, are you going to fix this Manuscript?” Molly asked.
     “I’ll take it home and see which parts I can fix.  I’ll attend next week’s meeting and I tell you how much more work (other than just what I’ve read so far) I’ve done to it,” said Tracy.
     Upon reading through it some more, Tracy found out that in the story, detectives Miller and Brown programmed a computer game application for the other police officers.  It was meant to help them understand more about the Stacey Malone case.  The computer program even included a character by the name of Marion Sanders.  On the first level, it basically had the alibis of the different townspeople the night that Stacey was killed.  The goal of that first level of computer questions was to match the alibi with the townsperson.
     Then the second level dealt with the different motives of the individual townspeople.  For example there was a character in the computer game and also in real life within the town by the name of Milliscent.  Milliscent was the understudy for Stacey Malone.  Stacey had been a theater major.  Finally the third level of the computer game, matched the beneficiaries to the amount they would have inherited as stated in Stacey living will.
     At the book club meeting that following week, Tracy had more to tell Molly about the Trouble Within manuscript.
     “You see Molly, Candy the author of this original manuscript wrote about this very intricate computer program that was meant to be played like a game by everybody in the precinct.  After the police officers earned their way through all three levels, they were informed about the alibis, motives and the money that some of the townspeople were due to inherit,” said Tracy.
     “Wow! That is a really interesting story so far.  What do you think that you’re going to add to it, to give it the ‘wow’ factor?” asked Molly.
     “I am going to add a part in the story where the police department commissions the drama troupe at the local theatre facilities to re-enact different scenarios of Stacey Malone’s murder.  I am also going to add a character by the name of Kimberly Dawson, who will be a docudrama producer for a television network.  She will be filming the different dramatic re-enactments,” said Tracy.
     “Now, did the author Candy write in who the actual murderer was?” Molly asked.
     “She didn’t get that far, I but I’m going to make it to be the understudy’s boyfriend.  His motive is that Millescent, his girlfriend (and Stacey’s understudy) pressured him into doing it, by telling him that she would marry him if he did so,” said Tracy.
     “Who is the protagonist in this novel manuscript?” Molly wanted to know.
     “Well, the person I’m rooting for (and the underdog of the story) is Marion Sanders.  You see there’s this section in the story where people from Cornertown produce a diary that everyone writes in, well, everyone except Marion.  It’s like high school all over again, only this time Marion is the one being bullied.  In fact that is the reason that the docudrama producer is there for, to record the writing of what has been dubbed (in the story) as the ‘Daily Diary’.  However, even Kimberly is rooting for Marion because they accidentally meet and Marion’s rattled nerves (because of the town’s whisperings about her) were apparent, even to outsiders like Kimberly herself and her cameraman Ken,” said Tracy.
     After talking some more about the unfinished novel, Molly and Tracy began to question of as to what else could be added to the Intruder Within story in order to make it more fascinating.  They agreed that Marion could be helping an entire race of people (like aliens from outer space) to get back on their feet and that she could make money on the side selling nail polish for a cosmetics conglomerate.  Along those lines of the participation of an alien race, Tracy felt that instead of just all of Earth watching to see who the murderer is, the whole universe in existence could have a stake in it.
     The two ladies, Tracy and Molly also felt that the character of Marion Sanders should be a blogger too.  Tracy had some blogging material that she was going to add in.  The icon of the Disco Ball came to mind for Molly and she asked Tracy if it could be integrated in the blogging material.
     “Why yes, her blogs could be titled ‘Disco Ball Blogs’ and they could offset the popularity of the ‘Daily Diary’ entries (since Marion was being excluded from writing in that ‘Daily Diary’),” said Tracy.
     “Well, I’m sure happy with the way that you’re ghost writing is going.  Since it’s getting late, I’ll say good-bye now …and I’ll see you next week!” exclaimed Molly.

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