Late Merry Christmas
In much the same way that everything is late, also here’s a whole outline and massive spoilers for both Ambergris and Trebucehet
Not to make excuses —but totally to make excuses, and also to complain, let’s be honest— I get up at about 5:00am every day. By 5:30am I am ready for work, meaning I’ve had some oatmeal and put some water in my hair and combed it plus brushed my teeth. If I have video calls I will throw on a nice shirt. Then, because he can sense these things, my son wakes up right as I finish. I spend from 5:30am to 5:45am with him so my wife can do some minimal self-care while she gets ready for the day.
At 5:45am I start preparing for work and by 6:00am I am usually thrown right into conference calls until about 3:00pm. I do way more multi-tasking in this period than I should. IM’s for one, urgent emails for another. Also just my general life stuff. For instance, if a meeting ends early that’s when I find time to shower. I generally don’t take a lunch. Sometimes I’ll have a free couple hours in there to answer emails but that’s usually something I have to do at night.
From about 3:00pm to 8:00pm I’m with my son. We play together, I feed him, bathe him, take him for a walk or whatever. I usually have a podcast on while we do that and pretty soon I’ll have to be more careful about that when he can understand the words. From about 8:00pm to 9:00pm I answer emails. I’ll also try to clean up the house a bit during that time and do dishes. Then from 9:00pm to 10:00pm I have my husband time where I try to watch a show with my wife.
10:00pm is sleep time or I won’t be very functional the next day.
For a while my son was going to bed at six and it seemed like I had way more time in my day than I knew what to do with but now that’s not the case and just… between this and the weird emails I send to people about turning the internet into a republic I’m stretched thin. It’s a good stretch, don’t get me wrong. I definitely feel the ghost of Mufasa speaking to me from out of the clouds, transforming me into a better man and father, but boy is it tiring.
So my son went to sleep 24 minutes ago and there wasn’t anything specific for me to do during his nap time so I decided to write this.
Here’s everything I need to write before the end of the story plus re-writes at the beginning. I have no idea when I will have time to actually write this.
-Redo the start of the story with the Bechdel Breakfast with Ariel. Really flesh out that character more. As it stands right now she’s shallow.
-Aliss needs more character defining traits. She’s also kind of a blank slate right now. She’s not sparking alive. I need to do some journaling in her voice to figure out who she is and what she wants.
-Pretty happy with some of the other stuff except for how bare bones it is. I want Min to throw flaming skulls.
-Okay from where I last updated I need Min to be taken into Aliss’ confidence and gradually helped out of her sad state. They can become two, not quite friends, but friendly. Min will help Aliss win at the end.
-At the end of the first challenge in child murder forest, for some reason I also want there to be a pirate ship in there, they get a McMuffin that allows them to see in the real world.
-We meet Min’s author on her way to a YA writer’s conference. She’s a funny southern lady, from that place where Chinese people have been living in the Deep South for like a hundred years. That’s a real thing and it always cracks me up. I’ll research that a bit more. Anyway, she’ll get into some drama with other YA writers and we can really do some digs here. We will start getting scenes written from her perspective at this point.
-Aliss starts to have flashes to her own author too. I don’t think I know enough about her yet but I’m going to have her be kind of a goofball who doesn’t conform to what people think a police officer should be, but she’s super good at her job and very lonely. Always tries to do the right thing. But everyone dislikes her, including herself, because she’s not connected to the world right because she’s always trying to be happy.
-There need to be two more challenges where we advance the writer conference plot where Min’s author is going to give a “fuck you, you don’t get to tell me who I am” speech at the climax and leave aside her shame. At the same point in the story the characters need to figure out the void is made out of the fictional selves of people from their social media. The way to move past them is to simply have the integrity of your own beliefs.
-The rest of imagination is still there but it’s unpopulated because the future that could be is being cut off by fear of the void characters. The rest of the characters can’t go there unless they also believe.
-At some point Sherlock has to be the one to help ALiss get through, and he will do so by talking about how characters effect the real world. No joke, Sherlock Holmes is the reason that police use evidence at trial. People didn’t think that was a thing before those stories came out. Arthur Conan Doyle would get letters from people who thought Sherlock Holmes was real, and they’d talk about how they brought their police department up to his standard. That’s to overcome the “nothing matters” thing that people have.
-Harvey confronts Aliss and Min when they get back and tells them that it doesn’t matter if the rest of imagination is there as long as he can control the story of what is in people’ s heads. A people who are afraid to go to a better place never will and it won’t matter how close it is. The C’s are there with him and this is the big show down. At first it’s going to seem like they’re winning. Aliss is going to have a feeling of choking, like when her author killed herself, and then we’ll cut to the writer conference scene and realize that they’re actually happening at the same time. This is the big reveal. Aliss’ author is having all of this flash before her eyes while she’s swinging from a rope. Then Aliss has to say something about how the bad guys never win and Min’s writer is going to life up Aliss’ writer’s leg and stop her from dying.
-It turns out Harry Potter (except not, for copyright reasons) is still alive and has been pretending to be the janitor and so are all the other people we are going to see die before the end of the book. They will each say something about how their characters made the real world better, King Arthur by making people expect more from their leaders, Sherlock Holmes by the stuff I talked about above, and Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer for teaching people to think about what they think is right and wrong. Plus whoever else. I’ll need to think through that when I get there.
-Together they’ll all attack Harvey and the C’s and free Imagination. Harry Potter will be the big one.
-Aliss’ writer lives and there’s a scene of her and Min’s writer talking in a hospital and talking about how it’s important to remember that the imaginary world and the real world are separate, and may Aliss’ writer wants to put the whole imaginary world away the way I do sometimes and Min’s writer will remind her that imagination still matters. We can only get to the futures we can imagine.
-I think that will be the end of the book with some possible reshuffling. The Big End Battle will take place across the whole high school simultaneous with a tweet storm from people that causes the void to dissipate as Min’s author’s speech represents a cultural turning point where people pull their heads out of the their own asses and stop trying to pretend to be nice people and instead try to actually be nice. I will need to include some lines about that in the book, which I think I mentioned before.
-Also, Min is a hermaphrodite or whatever you want to call it, which is why she has both halves of her people’s magic. I’ll figure out what I’ll call it later. Her writer is one too because I feel like people who have that as a real genuine fact of their life don’t get to have that represented in fiction enough or at least when they do it’s only in a preachy way. And she’ll talk about how she had to be tough and figure out what her life was about because at the end of the day, you have to have courage to live and there’s no getting around that by just wanting to be comfortable all the time.
Well, since I got called out...
- This makes me think of books I've read which take place dream world that's symbolizing the real world in parallel -- Iain Banks's "The Bridge" is an example that comes to mind (uh, spoilers, I guess.) Also a YA (and I mean like classic YA, Beverly Cleary tier sort of stuff, not Hunger Games) book I read when I was a little kid about a boy who writes a SF story to deal with the stresses of school bullying and incorporates the other kids into it as characters; there's no way I could ever remember its title of course.
- Is the fictional world "real" under its own power, or does it just exist in one author's imagination?
- As far as making Min's author a hermaphrodite -- I'm not going to tell you that you can't, obviously you can do whatever you please, it's just that the number of people who fit the category enough for it to be physically obvious is microscopically small so doing that would jump out pretty dramatically. It'd be on par with making the author a Siamese twin.
Percolate on what brings you joy! And no burning out. Take a nap with the little one if at all possible.