Ever since I walked out of the theater six weeks ago, this bunny’s been hoppin’.
When I took a break from Rainbow’s Freedom after I finished writing the first draft of Arc 7, this crossover just took over! :) I’ve been working on it steadily, just about every day, and it’s engaged all sorts of emotions for me.
The story is in a dark place, but there are threads of light running through it. And I’ve been pondering all sorts of writing choices: crossovers can be tricky to pull off, but I think I’m going to make it.
I’ve got three parts plotted out so far. The first part was tricky, because I know Mel and Johnny from Public Enemies far better than I do Teddy and Chuck from Shutter Island (BTW, there will be no spoilers for the movies in this post. SI’s major plot twist won’t be referenced at all, and won’t be in the story, either.). There’s much more history for Mel and Johnny, especially since they have RL histories, and I’ve been writing them in all kinds of situations since July of 2009, so I know them pretty well by now.
Teddy and Chuck were the challenge. How do I fill in their background, and how do I build up an eventual romantic relationship between them? Well, the chemistry in the film helped a lot, so I built on that. From the trust both showed each other in the movie, I can plausibly write that as a good basis for their eventual romance.
I find both couples interesting parallels: while Teddy is damaged from incidents in his past, Chuck is a calming influence on him, and Teddy’s dash and heroism inspires Chuck, who’s got quite a bit of it himself, but he’s the quieter one, which is exactly what Mel is: quieter, but possessing heroism himself, and bedazzled by Johnny’s dash and charm. As with all well-matched couples, each man gives what the other needs.
I’ve been having fun developing some of the other characters, too: Dr. Steven Cawley, head of Ashecliffe, is a good man who believes in the work he’s doing, and when the topic of homosexuality comes up, he’s pretty enlightened for 1954. And is Dr. Jeremiah Naehring a former Nazi? Even if he isn’t, he’s creepy! ;)
I will be dealing with society’s view of homosexuality in 1954. Remember, it wasn’t until 1974 that the American Psychiatric Association pulled homosexuality from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Nowadays it’s just immoral sinning, of course. *rolls eyes.*
Orderly Trey Washington is from the movie, and I created an OC for his best friend on the staff, another orderly, Sam (haven’t decided on a last name yet). I figured there had to be characters of a sympathetic nature in this story, but they’ll be balanced out by the hard cases! :)
I’m still researching early 20th-century psychiatric practices. Yikes, the description of electroshock therapy is pretty chilling! As are some other pretty harrowing practices once used as treatments. :(
I’m going to tweak the backgrounds of Teddy and Chuck because they’ll work better for the story, but essentially what you saw on-screen is what you’ll read in my story.
I’m having a great time putting in the little historical details! And fedoras and greatcoats are all over the place! ;)
Nurses actually wore caps! And crisp white uniforms! And being on Shutter Island is like being in Korea: you have to go through a switchboard to get to the mainland (remember Radar performing that service on M*A*S*H*?).
The New England setting intrigues me. The weather seen in the film is just normal for this part of the country during autumn: fog, storms, choppy seas…you name it, we got it!
I just love it when an idea just washes over me! :)
Enough babbling! Thanks for reading! :)