Writer's Commentary: Your Lucky Day in Hell

On Post: Your Lucky Day in Hell

Date: January 10, 2014

Find it here

At first I was going to go a bit more literal with the concept of Hell, linking it to the version of the Devil I had in last year’s “We Are,” but I quickly realized that while that version of the Devil worked on a stoop in Brooklyn, he perhaps would not be as useful or interesting in a literal Hell. Once I made that choice, I decided not to return to the character and to just try something less.

When Hell became less literal (“hell” if you will), I thought of a Home Owner Board monitored kind of neighborhood as a close proximity to Hell on Earth, if you run aground of the wrong person. I just started with that setting and the viewpoint of the one making things hellish and just began to write. I wrote myself into a couple of blind alleys until I hit on Vicki turning the neighborhood against Nathan for crimes he is not even aware.

I also sort of figured that hell was the kind of place where a lucky day actually ended up making things worse for you so the lucky day for Nathan would be Vicki making amends and extending him  tempting offer (more hell/devil tropes there) but that it was all a show and the deal was, in fact, a trap to further destroy his life.

The ending that implies/makes clear that Nathan will outplay here on this own was born less of a particular plot point I had in mind and more of what might make an effective cliffhanger ending. Additionally, it had the benefit of throwing the initial organization of the scene against itself. What if Vicki’’s the one who’s in hell and her seeming triumph over Nathan is the lucky day that is sure to soon fade to ash?