AS PROMISED…my Mysterious Attraction overview and
not so brief writing experience journal. This took me a few weeks to put together, because I wanted to reread the series and take notes. So let’s get into it!
I love dialogue. I love putting words together to create a feeling, a raw emotion of hidden truths that are seldom spoken. But sometimes all can be said with a look, a glance, a glare, a stare. It’s all in the eyes. And that was the concept of this story.
Reading the story back, I read it as a reader. Instead of writing as a writer. And the story is ultimately a love story. I’d categorize this in the soap opera esque meets drama genre.
The main character Lexie is a heroine in some ways and a villain in others. The same could be said about Reeves and Carter. Everyone has their moments of destruction and then they get a clear epiphany of self-discovery and true heart. There is a constant theme of struggle between Right & Wrong, Law & Crime, Love & Lust, and Marriage & Infidelity. There’s a lot of Blurred lines and Gray areas. There are explosions, high emotions, guns, fights, big revelations at every turn. It’s a story that will keep you guessing while people fall in love in the hidden shadows of a dangerous life of revenge.
I put together this collage when I first started writing this series, it kind of acted as my visual storyboard. * I take no credit for the photos used*
In a way this story is also about coming home…in the form of Roxy coming home after years of traveling and constantly finding reasons to stay away. In the form of Lexie coming into who she is flaws and all. A story with some twists and turns for fun entertaining measure.
Mysterious Attraction Dream Cast:
Mysterious Attraction’s newest attempt at a movie poster! * I take no credit for the photos used*
Lexie: Sophia Bush
The decision to surround Lexie with male characters was to emphasize the fact that she was the lead, she was the one to beat. She was the woman scorned, the powerhouse, the woman who can take care of herself no matter how many men were surrounding her. I love when stories have strong independent women in them. (yes she was a mobster but that’s besides the point, haha.) Lexie was a femme fatale with a heart of gold once you washed away the pain and fear. It’s a story about knowing she can stand on her own, but learning that she didn’t have to. A story about falling in love and still remaining a strong independent woman who believes in feminism. [for more examples of this check out my post *In Love & Feminism*]
Carter: Ryan Gosling
*the love/the confidant
Reeves: Maurice Benard
*the mob boss/the fixer
Joe: Jensen Ackles
*the past that haunts
Joe is an unusual character. He seems like a careless hardass who just wants to ruin Lexie’s happiness. But after he helps save Lexie’s life we start to see the playfulness of their past. We see that they were once very close, but just weren’t meant to be. Joe has been holding a torch for Lexie for years and has been bitter about her relationship with Carter. But as Lexie realizes how truly he cares for her they get to talk it out and really have a heart to heart, getting them to a place of peace with each other.
Brice: Wilson Bethel
*the voice of reason/the mediator
Kelly: Julie Marie Berman
*the threat/the other woman reversed
Basically what that means is that technically Lexie is helping Carter to cheat on his wife, she is the other woman. But Carter reveals that his marriage has been long since over before Lexie even came into the picture. Making Lexie feel like his real wife, essentially deeming Kelly as the other woman. The story paints Carter and Lexie as an epic/very unconventional love story. But the passion and the love they have for each other is a way for the audience to disregard the fact that Carter is committing adultery and you end up just rooting for them. Besides in a big twist, we also understand why Carter and Kelly haven’t been happy…***cough cough*** Kelly cheated first.
Roxy: Demi Lovato
*the happiness, the light, the fellow woman Lexie needs in her life
I had an idea to introduce another female character for quite some time, but I wasn’t sure how. I didn’t really want her to be involved in the mob too, because I felt like this was Lexie’s story and it was her struggle. So I decided I would bring in someone brand new, but yet who still had history with Lexie and who still knew her and her past and her present. Someone she confided in behind the storyline that was playing out in front of you. Someone who maybe wasn’t as heavy as the life Lexie had immersed herself in. Someone who could shed some new perspective into Lexie’s dark world. Someone who was fun loving and likes to joke around. Someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously, but also someone who equally mirrors Lexie’s spice and powerhouse vibe. Unlike Kelly’s, Roxy’s introduction was a positive one.
Skully: David Morrissey
*the true villain
Infamously spoken of for chapters until they come face to face again and this time the battle has finally come to a head.
Dylan: Sterling Knight
*the youth-the future
Joan: Catherine Hicks
John: George Clooney
Elena: (mentioned) *Lexie’s late mother/Reeves’ Wife
Baby Elena (pictured randomly and not always the same, no actress credit): *Carter and Lexie’s daughter
*Why I didn’t include last names…???*
In my head I just didn’t see the need. There are a lot of nicknames though. I feel like that’s more realistic in life. And more of a mob stereotype. Reeves calls Lexie “princess” as a term of endearment. Carter and Lexie often refer to each other as “babe.” Joe calls Lexie “Lex,” which is to signify the fact that they know each other well and have a history. Although as Carter and Lexie’s story unfolds you will see he too at times will refer to her as Lex. Brice refers to Lexie as “Ms. Lexie” and Carter as “Mr. Carter,” to showcase his level of respect and the fact that he is professional. Elena is introduced later in the story as Carter and Lexie’s baby girl and we soon after find out that Elena was in fact Lexie’s mother’s name. In honor she names her child after her mother. Elena Lexie’s mother is kind of the hidden driving force for everything that has shaped this storyline. Her death was the driving force for Lexie and Reeves’ revenge toward Skully, Elena’s support and influence was Lexie’s driving force to start her own fashion empire, and her advice and love was what ultimately let Lexie pull down her walls and let Carter in.
How the writing process started:
I first got the idea from Joseph Gordon Levitt’s independent company Hit RECord…I spoke more on that in Mysterious Attraction’s first post…Click HERE to read.
It initially was just Dialogue. But the challenge was basically to write dialogue without names or actions.
The initial setting is an Office. A conflict between two people…eventually you realize it’s a quarrel between a man and a woman who have some sort of twisted history. As the story evolves so do the settings and we get to see these characters and how they relate to each other outside the walls of this office.
Ruthlessness- It’s a story that revolves around a mob business. Lexie and Reeves are instilled with a certain level of ruthlessness. And Carter displays his own versions of this as well. Most characters will embody this at some point in their character evolution, however they each have different definitions of it.
Power Struggle- Every character in some form goes through this with themselves as well as with another character or characters. It’s evident in Lexie and Carter’s relationship at the very beginning. It’s evident in Skully and Reeves and the mob war they created. It’s evident in Roxy’s playful conquest with Brice. It’s evident in the spats between the men in Lexie’s life…Reeves and Carter, Carter and Joe, and Reeves and Joe.
Fear- Despite the fears that come along with that of a dangerous mob life, Lexie has a severe fear of love failing.
Femme Fatale- Lexie and Roxy are both categorized as such for their obvious charm.
Temptation- The fight to engage further in an affair with Lexie while he’s still married is a constant temptation for Carter. Lexie’s temptation comes in the form of fighting the fear to fall in love.
Courage- Carter steps forward in courage when he confesses his feelings to Lexie and doesn’t let her push him away. Lexie steps forward in courage by allowing Carter in and removing herself from the life she always knew.
Pain/Broken hearts– This is probably one of THE most centric themes. It seems every character has suffered a broken heart. Lexie and Joe broke each other’s hearts years ago. Carter and Lexie are breaking Kelly’s heart now. Kelly broke Carter’s heart years ago. And Reeves and Lexie were brokenhearted from the minute Skully took Elena away from them. So in a way Lexie’s heart was never full…until she met Carter and it started to heal. (too mushy? ok moving on.) Roxy had her heart broken time and time again, but still manages to joke around and keep things light, she never gives up on love.
Destiny- Kelly wasn’t meant for Carter. And Joe wasn’t meant for Lexie. It was just a path they each had to go through to get to each other. Lexie and Carter were destined. You know that saying that says “what do you do when you finally meet the love of your life but you’re already married?” (#oliviapope… President Grant….Shout out to Scandal that show kills!) Or something like that. Pretty morbid concept if you ask me. But it makes for one hell of a story. That’s why we call it FICTION.
Irony- Carter has a type. Both Kelly and Lexie are similar in the sense that they test him, in many ways. Seems he likes a challenge.
Regret- Reeves regrets the life he’s made and by extension made for his daughter. Lexie regrets playing games with Carter. Kelly regrets cheating on Carter, but also not checking in on herself and her health. Skully has no regrets at all, which is why he is the true villain of this story.
Revenge- Is probably the most prominent driving theme. The story is set in a life where revenge is what keeps the story growing and moving and evolving. It’s what drives the explosions, the fights, the guns, the love, the lust.
The color RED: The color of a bright shade of lipstick. A pop of color in a dark world. It draws you in. A femme fatale’s main accessory. It’s also the color or blood. Blood baths. Blood coursing through veins rapidly during high emotions.
These are a lot of examples, but there are plenty more I’m sure of it!
Introduction of Images and Why?
Because I wasn’t using stage directions, or character names or actions, I relied on the images to give you guys a little insight as to what was going on with these characters. I was able to focus on the dialogue and just leave the rest up for interpretation and imagination. In hindsight I was slowly learning more myself; more about the characters, about what their relationships were, what they meant to each other, who they are, and how they feel. It was really fun, just winging it and not over thinking it too much, but then I felt like I saw a longer length in store for this series. So I decided to avoid any confusion I would start adding in names and character actions and more description.
How the story went on for so long and Why?
I thought it’d be 5 chapters at most. Well how wrong I was. I just kept going, and as long as I kept thinking of new ideas, and new twists and turns, I thought hey let’s keep this up. So I kind of just let it run its course till I felt Lexie and all the other characters had reached their destination. I didn’t want to just wrap it up because I felt it getting too long. I wanted to finish each character’s story the right way.
Character Point of Views and Voice Overs
Writing Character thoughts and Voiceovers are probably one of my favorite things to write. I just feel like we get to see the character’s true feelings and what’s going through their heads. It’s my way of showing the truth while the characters try to find out how to be who they truly are. Carter and Lexie were the only characters who had P.OV.’s and voiceovers. This was a story based on the evolution from toxic affair to full on can’t eat, can’t sleep love story.
Character P.O.V examples
(The hearing of a character’s thoughts at the moment.)
there’s a pull
an urgency between the two of us
how can being with someone you love seem so wrong
but feel so right
I guess that’s the wrath of mysterious attraction…
But being with her, in some strange way…
has always felt right
Is that just the attraction talking…
or could it really be love?
Am I still in love with her?
(Off camera commentary …a specific character’s narration….it’s a relatable voice from beyond.)
“Back then, that’s all I knew of it. That we were a family and that you fight for the ones you love. But like I said before, they never tell you what it’s going to be like. And as I grew older, I began to see that same fearful side of my father in myself. The more and more I became invested in this so called business, the more I felt obligated to use my ability to instantly instill fear in someone. That’s when I knew I had to change it. And that change came in the face of one man. And although I may not be able to truly have him, I know that he’s worth fighting for, and so with everything in me I vow to protect him, and I vow to save her.” -Lexie
The Evolution of core characters
At first Lexie is a powerhouse, and not good at opening up to people. You can tell by the way she distances herself from her staff that she has been hurt and has many secrets.
Carter over time evolves in terms of ruthlessness and Lexie’s ruthlessness will digress, as she realizes her father’s battle isn’t her own.
We see Carter becomes ruthless when it comes to Lexie and loving her. He won’t let anything stand in his way.
Reeves is ruthless when it comes to his family, he won’t stand for anyone hurting his them. He will take action to protect them, no matter how drastic those actions may be. But we also see him sacrifice himself to save the rest of this family. It’s that whole mobster with a heart of gold storyline. You can’t help but secretly love him.
Lexie and Carter’s relationship is a stressful one at first. It’s driven by sex and high tension, and Lexie’s need to hold her power over him. However, as feelings start to arise, you start to see Lexie thaw and you notice that maybe she wasn’t always this way. Carter even makes mention to loving her genuine smiles, her yoga pants and when she lets down her hair and tries being herself. We find out that Carter and Lexie have more of a relationship then just an affair to remember. (Haha see what I did there?) The friendship is there. When Carter’s wife Kelly goes missing Lexie is right there to dive in a help him, even going as far as risking her own life to save her.
There is always an underlying respect, love, friendship, bond there…flirtation and fun….they belong together. Even when Lexie is using her power over him, in work related situations and other situations 😉 we later find out that Carter has always felt attracted to Lexie’s bossy ways. It was all part of their game. The passion, the tension, the back and forth bickering, the looks, the slight touches, the close quarters. The need to be with each other, it’s always been there, and all that drama just made it more interesting for them to fall in love. Ultimately they are there for each other, they support each other.
New Character Alerts
I did this so that it would be easier to follow and to put face to name. It was a visual thing. And it was kind of like a fun little promo thing to do to introduce a new face.
“They say the devil was an angel… I guess the devil was also a dark haired, red lipped, high heeled, tightly dressed siren too.”- Carter
“I’m always ok.”- Lexie
“You guard your heart from the world like you’re waging war.”- Carter
“Everyone has their pasts, things they’ve done that they’re not proud of, things that have broken their heart, things they’re afraid of, things that they wish could be different.”-Carter
“Dad stop! If you walk out that door…I swear to you…I won’t be around to watch as they haul you off to prison, but I will make sure that they do.” -Lexie
*Indirect Foreshadowing in a way of Reeves fate*
“Carter, don’t handle me…ok? You know I hate that. If I’m pissed at you, I have a right to be no matter how irrational you may think that it is.” -Lexie
“Rule number one…never turn your back to your hostage. Rookie mistake.”- Lexie *Lexie’s mob rules for when faced with an enemy*
“Chinese or pizza?”- Carter
*to signify the level of normalcy Lexie & Carter’s relationship finally hit*
“See Carter, in this business when you want something, you don’t ask for it, you just take it.” –Skully
“Rule number 1 always come prepared, rule number 2, learn who you can trust.”- Lexie *Lexie’s mob rules for being kidnapped*
“The only time a woman is helpless is when her nail polish is drying.”- Lexie
“You know what they say, you can take the girl out of the mob, but ya can’t take the mob out of the girl.”- Lexie
“See, girls wait for the guy to come to them. Women go in for the kill.”- Lexie
*Kill is a play on the fact that she’s a mob princess*
“We take what we want. No questions asked.”- Lexie
“Nothing reels a man in better than a sexy red lip and a smile.”-Lexie (quoting her mom.)
“Some hearts are just born with the intent to love.”- Roxy
“I like to make ‘em squirm. It’s more fun that way.”-Roxy
“Exactly. That’s the definition of mysterious attraction. A look reveals everything and nothing at the same time. A look sets the stage…it shows that the want is there and that lets your mind wonder to all kinds of crazy places. But when you look away, it takes it all back, revealing nothing.” -Lexie
Carter: There it is.
Carter: There’s my smile.
Lexie: You didn’t even know me.
Carter: No. But that didn’t matter, because I wanted to. And you weren’t some kind of payback, I swear. I just saw something in myself that I hadn’t in a long time. I felt alive, just watching you…. And that’s why I hated myself for it, because all the pain Kelly put me through had caused me to become numb and you changed all that with one small glance across a crowded room and then you smiled and I was a goner.
Lexie: You got all of that from one look and a smile?
Carter: It was a hell of a smile.
The flashback scene of when Carter and Lexie first meet is my favorite complete scene.
Click HERE to read.
Holes I found In my story/General Notes:
Lexie and Carter’s Affair: I have to admit in my head this was much more sensual and sexual very physical relationship that builds into an epic love story. Which is still essentially what I think I created here. However, I think it is alluded to in the way they carry themselves while they are around each other, as well as in their body language and how they speak to each other. I think I toned it down for personal reasons. I don’t want my writing to be built upon a stigma which mirrors the heaviness of 50 Shades of Grey. I think there are ways to enhance this aspect of a story with how you film and how you direct your actors. Unfortunately Ryan Gosling and Sophia Bush are busy and haven’t returned my calls. So the movie version will have to wait. 😉
Timeline…I fast forward a lot to show case how long it’s been and sometimes as I did that I would lose track of my timeline, especially with Lexie’s pregnancy. That was difficult to keep track of. Also Lexie’s past could have been a little more specific. How old was Lexie when her mother died? How old was she when she entered the business? I feel like these questions could be answered through context clues, but maybe I should have been more specific. For instance we find out that Lexie’s past with Joe is a colorful one. Lexie got pregnant at 16 and lost her baby. I would say that Lexie lost her mom long before that, I’d say she lost her when she was a kid around 8 or 9 or so. And by 16 Lexie’s life turned upside down and she didn’t have her mother there to help her through and her father was still grieving and helped the best way he knew how. So Lexie sought revenge as a way to stifle her pain of losing not only her mother, but her child and her chance at a normal carefree college life. She was changed. I also mention that Roxy was an old boarding school friend. One who knew her life story, and one who also knew Joe personally and knew the whole thing that happened. So basically all of this is mentioned when Roxy is introduced. Which I felt was fitting.
Elena (the mom) should have been pictured. Reeves makes mention to how much Lexie looks like her and how much she reminds him of her, and Lexie tells Reeves in her letter to him how baby Elena looks like her mom so they named her after her. Also in the locket Roxy gives Lexie on her wedding day, there are pictures of both her daughter and her mom. I imagine visually the camera would close up on the locket and the pictures, I just failed to pick an actress to play the roll. Maybe that’s part of the mystery. The story is driven my a face unknown. In a way gathering from Lexie and her daughter’s appearance you can get a visual of Lexie’s mom in your mind.
The mob storyline could have been further explained. The drama and the fear was there but I just felt like Lexie was supposed to be portrayed as her dad’s successor but maybe it didn’t come off so well. Never the less I did so in a way because ultimately Lexie never wanted this to be her life, Lexie and Carter as all those who work for her father, are not cut out for that life. Their hearts are good. Brice is a perfect example of a guy who just needed a job to survive and got wrapped up in the wrong one. I think alluding to the lifestyle and Skully and Reeves’ ongoing war was enough to get the audience to understand the danger of it all. After all we do finally get to meet skully and there are kidnappings and explosions and shootings so I think there’s definitely enough mob drama displayed, now that I think about it!
Joan and Carter should have had a conversation about Joan’s choice to keep Carter from Skully. And also how Joan and Skully conceived a child. Were they in love back when Skully wasn’t so ruthless? I’d say Skully was always pretty ruthless, but Joan realized a little too late. The heart wanted what it wanted.
Who was John really??? A friend, a relative of Skully’s who decided to step in? I never really said. But I think that in Carter’s mind, it just didn’t matter, John was his dad, the man who raised him. The man who taught him how to be a man, and that’s all Carter needed to know. I did however allude to Carter and Joan having a conversation and that John and Carter are closer than ever in Lexie’s letter to Reeves at the end. That was kind of my way of summing up everyone’s storyline and showing you how this is a new start for everyone.
The clothing store front should have been more played out. In every mob story I’ve seen there’s the business which is the life of crime and all the illegal mumbo jumbo and then there’s the “legitimate” side where they import coffee or sell baked goods. It’s basically a front to gain a living while you continue on your quest of crime and illegal antics. I felt like I failed to carry the fact that Lexie was working in a fashion front. I feel like I through that detail in too late. It should have been introduced sooner, and I could have been more descriptive about Lexie’s office and the business surroundings.
I neglected to inform the audience that Kelly was a photographer. When she was captured. Carter mentions she had been traveling for a job. That she got a location and was rerouted to the warehouse. In my head she was a photographer who was traveling to a shoot. It’s difficult to keep little details like that in order when you are writing it, while your mind is thinking visually how you would orchestrate a scene and how you would shoot it, and how you would tell each character’s story. I lost sight of the fact that what I write is what the audience will know. So by not writing it, I missed a piece of the puzzle. Just because I see it, doesn’t mean the audience does. I have to be more careful of that. Check yo self, Michelle!
Lexie’s never killed anyone outside fatherly orders and self-defense…this was mentioned in conversation but we don’t get to hear the full story. It was more strategic, I suppose. Lexie has alot in her past. And I allude to the fact that Carter and Lexie have had multiple conversations about their pasts. Some are even played out in their scenes together.
What was Carter doing before he met Lexie and joined her in the mob? I definitely failed to answer this question. Obviously Lexie and Carter’s affair has been going on for a year or two, so this has been his job. But when they met what was he doing? In my head I guess he was a businessman of sorts….but I guess I just didn’t feel the need to go there. Ultimately this was a story about Carter coming into Lexie’s life, and changing her forever.
Kelly is quick with the comebacks like Lexie is. Carter has a type.
Lexie and Kelly mirror similar traits at times. The difference is Lexie and Carter share true love.
Irony that Carter just wants Lexie to open up to him and lean on him, while all Kelly did was lean on him and not do for herself. It’s the opposite, but there’s a deeper level of commitment and love in Lexie’s affection for Carter. Kelly may have loved Carter but Lexie is in love with him. Kelly and Lexie character swap a bit.
All in all, each character has an arc. But in the end, Justice is served where it’s due. Skully dies, Reeves goes to prison. Lexie matures so much and realizes that life has so much more to offer. And all of the rest of the characters get a fresh start.
I gotta admit, I have a soft spot for Brice & Roxy…p.s. how cute of a couple would Demi Lovato & Wilson Bethel make on screen!
****There is always going to be holes and questions. I think all in all, the story holds up. There are a lot of references to each of these holes and if you have an imagination I think they are easy to figure out. I mean think about all the shows you watch or the movies you love, don’t you walk away with questions. I know I do and yes it can be frustrating, but what’s a good story without a little room for audience interpretation and imagination. ;)****
To catch up on or read Mysterious Attraction in FULL start HERE or refer to the Mysterious Attraction Category on the right side. Thanks for reading!
***I take no credit for any of the images used on their owns, or in edits.***
Stay Tuned for what would happen if Mysterious Attraction had a soundtrack 😉
I know I know, the story is over Michelle, let’s move on. But I’ve spent the past year developing these characters and their stories and I’d like to stay in this world for just a tad bit longer.
Hope you don’t mind 😉