THE SKEIN – Three Act Story Structure Outline for Novel
Hook – The Protagonist Adolai Shungyosai has just spent the night with his new girlfriend, and she sleeps over after a brief discussion of the weight of the intentions for their developing relationships. He has class in the morning and meets a new teacher’s assistant and when she expresses interest in his abilities in physics, they plan a date, and we see the protagonist’s duplicity.
Backstory – The Professor of the class that Shungyosai is in, (where he met the Teacher’s Assistant), takes Shungyosai aside, and lets him know that there is interest in his experiment with the new Brain-Computer Interface he is tinkering with. He is told he will need to put together some kind of experiment with demonstration of how it implements his bold theories on the underlying structures of the brain, at which point he may be in line for funding.
Trigger – Shungyosai and the T.A. have their date and discuss trying the BCI experiment together. She is willing to try it, and though he tries to give a brief warning of its possible dangers, he doesn’t push when she brushes this off. They make plans to experience a virtual reality ‘trip’ where their minds will come into contact in a simulated environment, in the designed program Shungyosai has developed to facilitate the demonstration of his theories. This is triggering to his naivete, and pride, because he is sure it will turn out to his benefit, and despite not preparing for possible dangers, or unseen flaws in his theories.
Crisis – Shung realizes that even though he and Crystal shared the same time and space, the same stimuli, they had different INTERPRETATIONS and thus he has to rethink his planning for Virtual Reality and THE SKEIN, because people do not correspond identically from stimuli to meaning, people diverge (THE GREMLIN)
Struggle – Shung can not stand up to the fact that he is an asshole, so he runs, sure he has done nothing wrong through psychological denials and a broken reflective apparatus… He is medially co-axed (? – mean to say split – ) He himself has dual responses to the stimuli he receives, not realizing his GREMLIN is more monstrous that he realized on his first confrontation…
He runs, the women who love him somewhat give chase, rebuking him, trying to show him some clarity, but he is fighting himself, ultimately
Epiphany – Shung Realizing he needs to start a V.R. cult, to change people’s minds en masse, to make his vision widespread, to conquer the world, give all the idiots a brand new religion
Plan – Shung walks away into the night, like Jack Kerouac in the end of ‘The Town and the City’ “Where are you going?”
But Shung has a deck under his arm and VR lenses on. If T.S. Eliot is right that “At the end of all our searching we shall arrive where we began and know it for the first time” then for one thing, Shung may never GET back, in that way, because he was born to be a debaser.. He may end up destroying the world, or himself, but God hopes his attitude, something in this prodigal son on his way to make his fortune, this sheep on his way to stray from the 99, will help, because he is a fool rushing in, where angels fear to tread.
Climax – Crystal sees Shung one last time, but he has a will to not give her the chance, and as she ducks out of the apartment, brushing to dust her wasted time on a broken boy, she sees in the glint of the computer monitor, where Shung, and Harmony at his side, something sinister and revolting. Their smiles frozen in broken time. Their stares unnatural and fit to shatter on their draining shallow breath at the foot of their worship-totem.
Ending – Chrome sunglasses, gas tank at a quarter headed to empty, city of memories burning in the rearview, the child of the pleasure leaves behind the relative safety of his little college town to the wild west of California, to make his name, to build his company, the Manticorp. Brilliant dreams shall rage from these auspicious beginnings of a renegade on the run.