These are all great questions and let me clarify some stuff now that I’m reacting to this thread.
• Rule-breaking. Joe’s plan doesn’t break any rules so much as it’s more like, “Let’s act like the bullies act.” It’s almost like, “we’ve been behaving, and they just do what they want. Let’s start doing what they do.”
• Brian always wanted to “act better than them”. Nobody wants to be a jerk, right? But over the course of the story, he sees that he (and his group) are being taken advantage of. He gets resentful of this, and by the end is like, “If that’s how they’ve been acting, we owe them nothing, and actually it will feel good to crush them.”
• The murder. Think of the murder as being a side-project. Investigating the murder is the means by which all the information comes out. Joe is the one murdered in an attempt to stop him from following through on a grand plan he’s cooked up. Through investigating why he was murdered, Brian learn about the plan and the history that drove Joe to make this plan—this is what converts him to take up the mantle and carry Joe’s plan forward. Whether or not the murder is solved doesn’t actually matter that much to the plot. (Maybe solving the murder is the OS Goal, and Brian taking up the mantle is the Dividend? Maybe solving the murder happens at the midpoint?)
• Potential Premise: Understanding that you’ve been fucked over without mercy for years and years, and you’ll find the motivation to cast your principles aside and seek revenge or seek power
• Something about the idea makes me think that the OS is definitely in Mind or Psychology
• The source of all the problems is that Joe has plans that many, many people do not want him to do successfully. Some people want them stopped altogether. Some people want to do them, but without Joe and for their own profit.
• Brian’s game of mental pickle is probably one of self-image. He has sought to find success on his own—it’s America, we can be anything we want. Turns out, not so much, and when he finds out that the game has been stacked against him, Joe, etc., he has the wool pulled from his eyes and decides to play the game everyone else has been playing.
• I don’t know if Brian is naive or if he has a solid moral foundation… my heart is telling me that he thinks he has a solid moral foundation, but discovers that he’s naive, which is why he changes.
• The OS Goal is one of many places where I’m tripping up. I know that Brian learns a lot and changes. I think this is in one of Conceptualizing/Conceiving/Understanding. Once he “gets it” the story is over—that probably narrows it to Conceiving/Understanding—but I don’t know if it’s Concern or Benchmark.
These things jump out to me:
- expectations/determination; acceptance/non-acceptance; aware/self-aware.
- Confusion with Concern, Benchmark, Dividends
- Inexperience with stories where the stakes are tied to what is uncovered more than to the actual Goal. (Is Angel Heart like this? Training Day…?)