Brainstorming Shane II

Bob Mayer  1:53 PM

This is an idea that came to me the other day as a fun exercise to consider.

Grosse Pointe Blank meets Game of Thrones

One liner: Shane has to prevent a Red Wedding at Two Rivers when a wedding party and a group of assassins arrive on the same weekend, the latter determined to wipe out the former.

Agnes and her hitman, Shane, have settled into domestic bliss at Two Rivers.
Sort of.
Agnes is still cooking, writing recipes, and hosting weddings at Two Rivers since the last one went so well.
On other weekends, people come to Two Rivers for a weekend ‘adventure’ hosted by Shane, pretending to be that which they will never be; an international spy.
Sort of like Tough Mudder but with guns.
Except there’s a glitch in the system and the schedules are mixed up.
Right after Agnes flies off to Paris to attend a highly coveted cooking workshop, two groups arrive for the same weekend: a foreign wedding party for a Gone with the Wind themed matrimony and a group of international investment bankers who want to play at being Jason Bourne.

Naturally, neither group are exactly what they appear to be.

Can Shane prevent a Red Wedding and the destruction of Two Rivers?

jenny  1:59 PM
Thatsa lotta story.
So who’s your antagonist?

Bob Mayer  2:00 PM
Yep. Idea then story

Protagonist: Shane
Goal: Stop a planned wedding from turning into the Red Wedding
Conflict: A group of assassins has arrived to wipe everyone out
Antagonist: Big Bad who think he’s the rightful ruler of Andova
Conflict: Shane is trying to stop his killers.

Andova is the country the wedding party is from

jenny  2:01 PM
So there’s a group playing assassin, and then a group of real assassins targeting the wedding party.
I like that layering.

Bob Mayer  2:01 PM
Same group. They come for the weekend and it looks like a scheduling mistake. Shouldn’t be both a wedding and workshop that weekend. But there is.

jenny  2:02 PM
Oh.  So the play-acting bankers are actually Andovian assassins.

Bob Mayer  2:02 PM
Problem is relying on keeping the secret of the people actually being assassins will be hard– but their instructions are not to do anything until the actual wedding. They’re mercenaries.

jenny  2:02 PM
Shane doesn’t do background checks on his clients?
Carpenter would.

Bob Mayer  2:03 PM
Good point. I can make that work.

jenny  2:04 PM
So the first chunk will be Shane trying to balance a bunch of bankers he thinks are playacting with getting the wedding to go.
When does he realize the bankers are assassins?  What I’m getting at is, what’s the story?

Bob Mayer  2:04 PM
Yeah. But the opening is action. Shane trying to take down a biological weapons transfer. It goes wrong when Agnes texts him she got into the cooking school because of a sudden opening and is flying out the next day.

Both, of course, are set ups.

So most of plot is Shane trying to get wedding and workshop to go, with Joey and Lisa Livia’s help, while in the background Carpenter is trying to figure out what went wrong.

jenny  2:05 PM
Let me come at this a different way.  Shane’s goal is to stop a red wedding, so he must know what’s happening fairly early on, like by the first TP.
As opposed to Shane’s goal is to keep the family business from going up in flames and drowning in blood.

Bob Mayer  2:06 PM
His initial goal is to make things work. He doesn’t know about the red wedding planned until near the end
So his overarching goal is to keep the family business running. It just gets a lot harder.

jenny  2:07 PM
The end of what?  The book?  The first act?  Because if he doesn’t figure it out until the end of the book, his goal is not to stop a red wedding.

Bob Mayer  2:07 PM
His biggest obstacle initially is not having Agnes there

jenny  2:07 PM
Right, the family business.
So his positive goal is a great wedding and a great fake spy experience.

Bob Mayer  2:08 PM
And trying to make the Gone with the Wind wedding work.
Yes.

jenny  2:08 PM
The wedding is for real, right?
It’s just the spy thing that’s a cover?

Bob Mayer  2:08 PM
Yes. It’s the princess of Andova, a small country in the Pyrenees between Spain and France.
Now I’m wondering if I even need the spy thing. Might be too complicated.
The bad guys could be part of the large wedding party.

Yeah– doesn’t make much sense Shane would be running those things. And he would do background checks.

jenny  2:10 PM
You need some threatened good guys in this, and a nice young couple who just want to be happy and have a nice wedding in the midst of chaos could be good thing, a sort of eye in the storm while Shane keeps them safe.   He’s defusing bombs and arguing with the caterer.

I actually like the wargames idea.
I like the contrast of Shane trying to direct both operations.
He’s lecturing about kill shots and placating the florist.

Bob Mayer  2:11 PM
There at least has to be a spy in the wedding party. Also a romantic subplot.
Maybe he’s running training for Carpenter who replaced his former boss.
That would make more sense.

jenny  2:11 PM
You’ve got two people getting married.  That’s not a romantic subplot?
You’ve probably also got the kid whose name I can’t remember.  Three Wheels.  Garth.  Depending on how long it’s been, he’s of romance age.

Bob Mayer  2:12 PM
I was thinking she’s marrying the wrong guy. For political reasons. She actually loves the head of her security who Shane think is a doofus but is actually competent. But that might be too much.

jenny  2:12 PM
Oh, no, I like that.
So the wedding he’s trying to bring off is the wrong one.  I think that’s great.

Bob Mayer  2:13 PM
Two Wheels. He’s there. And his family– I see Two Rivers getting shot up and Agnes calling and Shane’s looking at it saying its fine. Then Two Wheels bringing in the clan to fix it like Money Pit

jenny  2:14 PM
Three Wheels.  Two Wheels died in the first scene, remember?

Bob Mayer  2:14 PM
I miss him.

jenny  2:14 PM
As I remember, the Clan couldn’t fix anything.
Dumb as rocks.
But I get your idea.
Shane’s juggling plates.

Bob Mayer  2:15 PM
Yeah. And things are going wrong.

jenny  2:15 PM
I think it’s solid.
I like the idea of the two different parties, both of which have internal problems.

Bob Mayer  2:16 PM
Good point though about the people coming for the training. Need to recalibrate that. And the spy is important. Shane has to peel away layers of deception

jenny  2:16 PM
The wargames thing makes me think of Good Omens, when the demons replace the paint guns with real guns.  Something about giving people paint guns brings out the bastard in them.

Bob Mayer  2:17 PM
The key to the plot is making it all connected, but I can do that via Carpenter as I write.

jenny  2:17 PM
It’s really a fish out of water plot with Shane as the fish.  How flexible can he be?

Bob Mayer  2:17 PM
Another good point– actually, maybe some in the wedding party get interested in the training.
Shane will have Lisa Livia for help on the wedding since Agnes called her to come. And Joey will be cooking.
But LL is pissed she’s not in Paris too.

jenny  2:19 PM
So your through line is Shane making sure both enterprises come off, even though the bride’s marrying the wrong guy and the bankers aren’t bankers, or whatever that part is now.

Bob Mayer  2:20 PM
Yeah. So he’s going to have make lots of adjustments on the fly. Going to be incredibly fast-paced. I wonder about POV beyond Shane’s. Not sure I want to do Lisa Livia’s. Probably need Carpenter’s since he’s the backstory and not there.

jenny  2:20 PM
Carpenter is a great character.
You’ll have to distinguish him from Shane a little more, I think.

Bob Mayer  2:20 PM
He’s the plot linchpin since he sent Shane on the opening mission and he sends the people for training, which is his big mistake.

jenny  2:21 PM
But he’s so calm, he’d be a great counterpoint while everything else is blowing up.

Bob Mayer  2:21 PM
Also he has a thing for LL

jenny  2:21 PM
He and LL have been boinking since Agnes and the Hitman, I thought.

Bob Mayer  2:21 PM
Yep. And LL keeps bitching why she and Carpenter aren’t in Paris

jenny  2:21 PM
Unless something happened in there and They Had To Part.
How long after Agnes is this?

Bob Mayer  2:22 PM
Agnes was in the fall. This will be spring, but I’m open on that.

jenny  2:22 PM
So right after.

Bob Mayer  2:22 PM
About six months

jenny  2:22 PM
I think that’s good.
Agnes was in the fall?  I thought it was summer.  There was at least one strappy sundress.

Bob Mayer  2:23 PM
I’ll have to check– something said late summer, early fall. But people don’t get married in the winter so spring, after things bloom

jenny  2:23 PM
Of course people get married in the winter.  Just not in gazebos.

Bob Mayer  2:24 PM
I also have to check what a Gone with the Wind wedding is. Like Shane will have to.

jenny  2:24 PM
A fucking nightmare with hoop skirts.
Not to mention racist.

Bob Mayer  2:25 PM
I figured it was pretty crazy. Yeah– Agnes already talked them out of the most racist stuff, but it will pop up.   Or. Just occurred to me, maybe they want a GOT Red Wedding. People are doing that.

jenny  2:25 PM
You could make it a year later.  That would give them time to have the businesses up and running.

Jesus, you’re kidding me. They’re really asking for a Red Wedding?

Bob Mayer  2:25 PM
I worry about the racism angle of GWTW.  

Oh yeah people have Red Weddings.   Takes all kinds.
Not so much anymore though after the last season bombed.

jenny  2:26 PM
You know, maybe the groom wants that and the bride hates it.
But she’s stuck.  Plus if they’re really planning on killing people at the wedding, that would give them some cover until people figured out the blood was real.

Bob Mayer  2:27 PM
Which illustrates their incompatibility.  And, based on your earlier comment, the assassins are going to switch out the fake crossbows and swords, etc for real ones.
Liking this better.

jenny  2:27 PM
People are really doing red weddings.  That’s like those idiots who have “I’ll be watching you” as their wedding song.

Bob Mayer  2:27 PM
Or guys who give used engagement rings
I’m liking the tightening down of everything.

jenny  2:28 PM
Define “used.”  Family rings are different.  Antique rings.  But yeah, “I stopped by the pawn shop and got you this” probably not.

Bob Mayer  2:28 PM
The latter.

jenny  2:28 PM
You’ve got a nice faking-it motif going on.
Nothing is what it seems, including Shane who is not Rhett Butler running a wedding venue.

Bob Mayer  2:29 PM
Yeah. I already had that Andova has no army– their military is a dozen guys like the Swiss Guard. So. Red Wedding makes sense.
And she hates the idea but he loves it.
There is a real country, Andorra, I’m basing it on.

jenny  2:30 PM
I like the absurdity of it.  Who the fuck wants a wedding based on betrayal and massacre?  That just boggles my mind.
Why is the wedding here instead of in Andova?

Bob Mayer  2:31 PM
I doubt many are doing it now, but I saw pictures of it years ago, not long after that season. I thought it was insane

Well, the GWTW thing was why they wanted Two Rivers. If I drop that, no clue

jenny  2:31 PM
Oh, wait, was that the reason for the GWTW wedding?  To have it in the American South?

Bob Mayer  2:31 PM
Nothing is easy.

jenny  2:31 PM
So back to the GWTW wedding.
That actually makes sense, we did a lot of Tara and Rhett tags in Agnes.

Bob Mayer  2:32 PM
But now I really like Red Wedding and swords and crossbows.

jenny  2:32 PM
I know, a Red Wedding would be so mucn more fun to write.

Bob Mayer  2:32 PM
Are there hybrid weddings where groom and bride each get what they want?
Is there peace in the Middle East?

jenny  2:32 PM
A Red Wedding mash-up with GWTW?

Bob Mayer  2:33 PM
Yeah

jenny  2:33 PM
The mind boggles.

Bob Mayer  2:33 PM
I’m really shooting for over the top. If I write it, just want to have fun

jenny  2:33 PM
I’m no good here, every time I think of GWTW I think of Carol Burnett saying, “I saw it in the window and I just couldn’t resist it.”

Bob Mayer  2:34 PM
I don’t think I’ve ever watched it all the way through. Bits and pieces. The railway station sticks out.

jenny  2:34 PM
I think for weddings it’s mostly the clothes and the Southern setting. And probably the food.

Bob Mayer  2:34 PM
I need to do a bit more research. That always frames story for me.

jenny  2:35 PM
I think your basics are solid.

Bob Mayer  2:35 PM
I always find neat tidbits. Researching Andorra, which I didn’t know existed, was interesting and gave me great tidbits to throw in.

jenny  2:36 PM
You’ve got Shane trying to make everything work and an antagonist bent on bringing everything down, even if he personally bears Shane no ill will.  Their goals just collide,

Bob Mayer  2:36 PM
Exactly. It’s nothing personal against Shane. He’s just in the way.
You’ve given me a lot to think about.

jenny  2:36 PM
That’s what I’m here for, baby.  Things to think about.
Like, people really had Red Weddings?  Jesus.

Bob Mayer  2:37 PM
It’s just a bubbling idea right now. I need to write some more things down. That always solidifies things.

jenny  2:37 PM
Yep.  You don’t know what the story is until you write it.  But you have a LOT of good stuff here to choose from.

Bob Mayer  2:37 PM
I know. It’s just fun crazy stuff. I thought of the movie The Mouse That Roared.

jenny  2:38 PM
Wow, that’s an old one.  [Edited to add: 1959.] Is that the one where the small country declares war on the US so it will lose and the US will restore it?

Bob Mayer  2:38 PM
Yeah. And they win.

jenny  2:39 PM
I remember it vaguely.

Bob Mayer  2:39 PM
Me too. I think their lone military guy takes it seriously and steals a nuke.
But it was a comedy.

jenny  2:39 PM
Maybe Anwhatsit is like Monaco.   Mostly a vacation/gambling spot, so there’s a lot of mob/money/political stuff.

Agnes was a comedy.

Bob Mayer  2:40 PM
Oh yeah– it’s all about money in the background. The power play that pushes the planned assassinations

jenny  2:40 PM
So now all you have to do is plot it.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Bob Mayer  2:40 PM
Yeah. Have things make sense. Then make decisions.

jenny  2:40 PM
Seriously, good luck.

Bob Mayer  2:40 PM
Thanks.
Really appreciate it.

jenny  2:41 PM
So next week we check in with progress reports?

Bob Mayer  2:41 PM
Sure. I’m editing survival guide next few days, but then I’ll revisit this.

jenny  2:42 PM
I’m reading research mostly.  It might be valuable to just keep this running to show where we are in the process.  Keep a record. Or not.

Bob Mayer  2:43 PM
All right. Tuesday at 5.  See you then and thanks again.

jenny  2:43 PM
You are more than welcome.

21 thoughts on “Brainstorming Shane II

  1. Since this is all Before Instagram, if you made the wedding a year or so after Agnes, maybe Two Rivers was featured in a wedding magazine or they hosted a celebrity wedding and the bride saw it and fell in love. People expect crazy logic from brides as to wedding crap and if she’s a princess, well, they also expect spoiled and demanding even if she’s really not like that. People fly off to all kinds of places to get married and no one thinks twice about it. It could be a destination wedding, something exotic and different for the Europeans. Shane could keep telling people it’s not a GWTW wedding because that’s racist and they don’t do that. Spitballing. How Argh People entertain themselves.

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  2. A) This is fun.
    B) Might want to consider renaming your country to avoid confusion with the The Christmas Prince on Netflix where the country is Aldovia. Tragically, many people watched that. Including me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m here for Shane & Carpenter returning.

    I like the spy camp idea and the conflicting events would serve to keep Shane & Carpenter apart while they juggle both. The assassin’s background check could pass if the assassin is embedded, couldn’t it?

    I think a European royal couple would find anything American to be a unique theme and could provide lots of quirky input from the bride & groom. So Southern wouldn’t need to be actual GWTW. They could mix up parts of the South and want Mardi Gras or a riverboat gambler thing. Or Gatsby themes are a thing, maybe it could be a 20s mob theme. I’ll shut up now.

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    1. I’m going to drop the GWTW concept– too troublesome. The Red Wedding however merges with the royalty concept of the wedding. Not smartly, but who said the groom was smart?

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  4. I love this! I would totally read it. I have had a crush on Shane since I first read Agnes. I would love to watch cool-as-a-cucumber Shane have to deal with a wedding with only LL to help.

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  5. Love this. The idea of always in control Shane trying to juggle a wedding and spy training is such a neat thing to contemplate! I picture the groomsmen getting in the way and the bodyguards and them spilling over wanting into the “cool” spy training while the bride is having a meltdown and the groom is more interested in the spy school than he is the bride etc. Because men typically don’t like wedding stuff and if this wedding is political then the groom really doesn’t care and if there is a spy school there for distraction? They are all over that. Which leaves Shane pulling his hair out trying to keep them out of the way of each other. All great stuff. Such a neat idea.

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    1. Their story is kind of done, so she’d weaken the plot. She loves him, she’s gonna stay with him forever, he feels the same way. Even more important, if she’s there, she handles the wedding, and Shane and Rhett hide in the woods. If she’s gone, Shane has to step up (which, of course, he does) and handle everything. The romance will come with the bride and whoever she wants; Shane is firmly in his happily ever after, which he wants to keep, which is why he’s handling this damn wedding.

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  6. I, too, love this idea! Watching Shane try to run a wedding, let alone while running a spy course, would be hilarious.

    Wouldn’t the stakes be higher, though, if it *were* personal with Shane? He must have enemies or people who might come after him for his special skill set, and the story could still be over the top (maybe moreso!) and hella fun to write. As OWC said, just spitballing.

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  7. Just skip this comment — I’m being troublesome.

    I think Agnes would be as livid about something happening at her venue while she was away as Anna is when Nate wants to save her. I can’t imagine Agnes being out of town when something was scheduled at Two Rivers.

    I do like the idea of Shane, the old crew, and a comedy. But wouldn’t anyone planning murder check out Shane’s background beforehand and decide that finding an Andovan event held somewhere else would be a lot smarter?

    Another sort of approach might be to have Garth’s family come up with a crack-brained idea just when the Andovan not-yet-weds are looking for a wedding venue (and haven’t made an appointment ahead of time at Two Rivers). Murderers could even be chasing the couple on the theory that the couple had inadequate security (and were finding each other loathesome). Of course, I’m expecting a one-eyed alligator to play a role.

    Another personal preference is to avoid testing Shane’s soul to the core a second time. I want his earlier experience when he revenged his parents’ murder to be the last heart-crushing moment of his life.

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    1. Good points. There are always strings being pulled in the background in my books that make some of this work. I’m dropping the idea of running a hit man weekend– that was a bit much. The wedding is enough by itself.

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    2. Agnes is finally doing something selfish for herself by going to the cooking school in France. Shane has Lisa Livia and Joey on call; I don’t see her being livid. I think the “royal wedding” part might give her pause, but maybe she doesn’t know it’s a royal wedding. It was booked under another name, so she thinks it’s just a run of the mill nuptial.

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      1. And Shane thinks so, too? Is Phoebe (?) the one who gives him the bad news? (Why can’t I remember that woman’s name? I remember her hair.)

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  8. If it’s a big destination wedding they’d all be there for like a week. The wedding party would need activities to keep them amused and out of the way of Carpenter’s actual training. Maybe spy games keep the groomsmen occupied while the bridesmaids do the wedding detail work and get manicures etc? Sexist, I know, but that seems to be how weddings mostly are.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The couple want a Bonnie and Clyde themed wedding and part of the Two Rivers area was a safe house/ crime spree location and Wheels family has a connection. The survival game group is actually a mob family pretending they are not, but there is an undercover FBI agent in that group. Maybe he trained the head of security, that the bride wants to marry, and his cover could be blown if the 2 groups meet. But how could a real group of mobsters not want to join in and pretend to be mobsters. Oh, so many ways to have fun with this! I havent read/seen any GoT, so I dont have a clue about that. So looking forward to any version of Shane in action!

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