Starting from two recent short stories, I have decided to try and put together a quick 50,000 word novel I call Witch. Here are some initial notes:
On the surface, the narrator believes his wife is a witch and has decided to anecdotally document his case. It can be read that way but why would anyone ever trust a narrator?
The fact that he believes, so strongly, in a supernatural explanation for his wife’s success defines the narrator. Although his admiration for his wife is boundless, there is an underlying misogyny to his attitude. He struggles to accept that a woman could be smarter than he is even though it is patently obvious to anyone. By assuming she using magical woman powers that are somehow wrong, he can buy in completely. She’s not just a woman; she’s a magical creature. No machismo rules apply.
We also glimpse a fundamental lack of morals on his part – he doesn’t care about the whole good/evil thing as long as he’s on the winning side. She brings him nothing but victory; blasphemy be damned!
That said, I don’t want the novel to have any religious commentary. Deals with the devil are not part of the discussion.
To be fair, however, it is also a personal limitation. It is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the mental gyrations of someone significantly smarter. We may see her as simply smart; unable to understand smart, he sees magic.
More than anything, however, this is a love story. I want the entire novel to scream and whimper and bleed with the love that the narrator has for his wife. That he loves her and not just her power is the denouement of the story.
The other prevailing emotion, one that I have to keep from making comical, is fear. From the beginning, his wife appears to him as so powerful that he honestly and legitimately fears her – not for the things she has done but for the things he fears she is capable of doing. Some of this comes from witnessing her ability to be ruthless in business but mostly it is a projection of his weakness. His only real fear is doing without her.
Lots of forgetting. The narrator assumes that is a spell she cast. He’s not as bright as he thinks he is, she doesn’t seem to mind. He’s functional and cute and she can manage the rest.
Part of the magic he identifies is her ability to foresee and avoid troubles. She’s being sensible and reasonable but those words don’t mean the same thing to him. She anticipates and maneuvers; he can’t react until he recognizes a crisis. What she does seems magical to him because he could never do it. His mind doesn’t work that way.
What he’s really good at is visual design. He knows how to make a picture look good, to speak appropriately, to convey unspoken messages. She recognizes this minor but profitable magic in him. Part of the magic he sees in her is her ability to bring out good qualities in him. He’s a better person because she’s with him.
What makes this a really beautiful love letter is that the narrator doesn’t even know that’s the message. Art is accusation.
She has a cat – named TBD
Dolls, crystals, knives, incense, sage, jewelry, gems
I’m aiming for the gullible charm of a paranormal show host. He believes because he’s not smart enough not to believe. But he’s nice about it.