Okay, I have enough here as a stub to cross over to a main plot-support structure where it’s not just two people talking at each other plus stage direction. So that’s good and we should have some action sequences coming up after the next few chapters as it was getting a bit stale. My first drafts have a bad habit of doing this where I get focused on two people talking and I forget other people exist. I also forget that it’s interesting for stuff to happen other than people talking. The end of the Harvey Kettle scene obviously should have had Watson come in to comfort her for example except by the time I wrote that at 3am this morning I forgot that Watson existed in the previous section.
Did a brief review of previous sections to see if anything else stuck out at me and there were a few things.
I’m not doing having enough fun with architecture stuff. There’s a fountain? Yawn. There’s a high school? That’s a goddamn yawn. There’s got to be something more special to it than just that. The high school needs to be downright magical so a kid can read it and imagine being there and I need to show that in the flow of the story, like going in to the classroom by going through fourteen different prom gyms because prom shows up so much in these kinds of stories. Also of course I need to go back and rework a lot of this so that a hypothetical fourteen year old kid who doesn’t give a fuck can read it.
Call out a few things about the Periphery where things aren’t quite real like the way you look at a big mural and you think “Oh look those are some crates on the dock” but really it is a brown smudge and your mind was just filling in all that detail because the painter didn’t have the time to do that. This place is smaller than the totality of human imagination but it is still FUN. You have to want to imagine yourself being there.
Dorms isn’t working. That’s too boring. The Dorms should be called Shelves and the rooms should be called Books. So some of the SHELVES not DORMs (fragrant whale barf) will be as follows:
Child Detectives: Aliss obviously, plus Watson I JUST REALIZED I FORGOT THE GODDAMN NOTE. I PUT A CHECKOV’S GUN IN THE CHAPTER AND DIDN’T FIRE IT! ARGHHH!!! Who is the third for their team? Jade Princess? Gotta be.
Chosen Ones: Arthur Pendragon, Some YA Lady from the Weekly Barpod thread, plus… need to think on it. Just an fyi if there’s a slot I need to fill and can’t come up with a name I type “BOB JOHNSON” and then do a find and replace.
Halflings: Ariel, a Half Elf, Dryad? I introduced them so I could use them but need to figure out more of what’s popular. I’m least excited about everyone but Ariel so that needs fixing. Who was that lady that made a million on kindle for her porny half elf stories? But for young girls so it was okay. Also, as a rant, I used to work in a call center and all the ladies would read porn. I’m sorry, romance. Explicit romance books every day, sometimes with a pirate or a cowboy on the cover. The books would get so worn out from so many women sharing them that if you took one and set it on its spine it would fall open to a dirty sex part. I think I’m one of a very small number of men to have read a lot of popular female literature just out of morbid curiosity but it always makes me roll my eyes when you see stuff like r/menwritingwomen. Where I want to shout “OH! EVERYTHING JUST HAPPENED TO FEEL LIKE SATIN, HUH? OH HER SKIN WAS SILK AND HIS WAS LEATHER? I’M GASPING IN SURPRISE OVER HERE! I COULD NEVER IMAGINE YOU WOULD COMPARE ALL TEXTURES TO THINGS YOU PICKED UP AT JOANNE’S FABRICS!” Also I realized from reading these books that all women want to marry a man whose wife recently died, preferably while pregnant, due to reasons he had no control over because it’s like he’s already gone through a bunch of quality assurance tests where you know he can commit and he’s fertile but also it’s good if the dead wife looks sort of like the new lady except less attractive so that you know he will be into you. You can find a quality man with no fear of rejection in this way. Even better if he has some weird obsession with like brick texture to the point it drives off all other competitors and your dad was a mason so you are the only person who understand his obsession with brick texture. I have a whole theory about how female selection is like looking for a man who is almost perfect except for one glaring obvious flaw that makes him repulsive to everyone but her. Kind of how like beetles have weirdly shaped genitals to ward off most mates. Also cocks don’t twitch. I don’t know how many times I have read this in romance literature but they basically write dicks like they are Geiger counters that twitch really fast when brought close to an attractive woman. I might be able to use that because it’s funny. I have a whole rant about stories my wife listens to as well. Check out Verity on Audible. But I will not be rapey like chick lit is, like in that one story my wife loves where basically Taylor Swift but not, for legal reasons, ties that guy up and blows him because even though she doesn’t know he’s a secret millionaire he’s won her over with his rough cowboy swagger.
Anti Heroes: Sexy Dracula, Sebastian Brood, Serial Killer Boyfriend (who only serial kills other serial killers) but I will probably base him on the guy from YOU and just make up an IP for kids that doesn’t exist.
Teen Cancer Romance: Might just need to make this romance but my sister used to love reading these books and there were like eight different ones by different authors that had the plot “This girl has cancer. Now she’s in love. He has cancer. Which one will die first? Uh oh. One of them got better. Now the other one has to learn valuable life lessons.” These exist. They are for kids. Maybe Jane and Frank can get in here.
Classics: Huck Finn and who else? Need to look at a required reading list but I refuse to do Holden Caulfield on basic principle.
Magic Users/Fantasy: I have no ideas here. Background people from Not Harry Potter? Need some maybe to help set up the twist.
Intelligent Animals: Martin the Motherfucking Warrior the mouse from Redwall with a meteor sword but human sized and therefore really creepy.
Horror: NO ideas but Midwest Nurse posted something I can use maybe.
Science Fiction: No ideas here either. But God I hate the online science fiction community. Worse than YA twitter even. Yech. This is why I’m literally willing to write a novel for like nine people and never try to get it published or make money. Just so I never have to have any interactions with those freaks. And for the record, I’ve been friends with people who have literally committed murder.
Dystopian: The girl whose stupid fucking power is that she has a well rounded personality. Plus some other people.
Part of me wants to see how far it could go if I encouraged people to reverse shoplift it from a bookstore when it’s all done and edited. Like, you don’t steal it, but you print out a copy or put it in a thumb drive and leave it in the bookstore. That would be funny but probably only six people would do it. This is where the “I like to write but hate to have attention thing comes in to play.” I like this. I think it will be a lot of fun when done. I’d like for people to read it. I don’t need to make money and I also want it to in no way ever touch my real life or ever come up in a conversation I have with anyone face to face. I had a publisher (small press, although they published Jessie Ventura which was weird to me that they had somehow put us in the same category) call me when I was in college to see if I was interested in publishing some of the stuff I had out there at the time and it just seemed… not worth it. I don’t know why people want it so bad. You could roof a house in one weekend and make as much money as you make on a book that took a full year to write unless you get some rockstar deal which means you make as much as like a journeyman carpenter over the course of your career. I think I “suffer” from having had real, actual jobs and not being wowed by the economics of the writing industry. I discount lottery type bestseller movie rights money on principle (although I almost sold a screenplay to the company that made American Pie but looking back on it, I think it was mostly bullshit and all that happened through a third party and it was just a lot of talk. It was about a summer camp for special needs kids getting into a prank war with a summer camp for rich kids for the curious) because you shouldn’t think of those things as practical. I used to write in a coffee shop and there was a writing group that went there sometimes (none of them ever wrote anything so it was more like a “Not Writing Group”) and then this one really weird guy (I’m eccentric, but this guy was weird) would go on and on about different mega IP deals he’d heard like he was going to be a millionaire any day for something he’d just imagined, again he never wrote anything, and then like five minutes later he’d be calling his mom a bitch for asking him to pay rent. I think he was like thirty. So I’m not in to traditional channels. I don’t need to make money. I would like for people to read it when it’s done. I would like for it to remain distant from me in real life. I’ll see what else I can figure out. Funniest way with biggest distribution wins.
Random other observations:
-Character introductions need to be distinct, clear, and iconic or they need to be moved or cut. Frank and Jane is funny but dumb as just background. They need to talk.
-Enough of two people talking in rooms with stage direction
-Harvey should have Fox Ears as a shout-out to Tracing Woodgrains
-I really need to figure out Harvey’s voice more that wasn’t quite right
-Aliss needs some more defining traits moments and her voice doesn’t quite work yet.
-The architecture of the Shelves is like a bunch of different little rectangular houses sticking to long running shelves??? I like that but there’s something a little bit missing about it.
-Need to redo the intro part to chapter one so that Aliss is at a Bechdel Breakfast (the girls get together to eat avocado toast and they have a conversation about something other than a man) trying to get support from the Halflings girls
-Class should be announced with a bell. I need to just explain this better. How sometimes there is class and sometimes there isn’t. C’s have to talk as well.
-Watson needs to cling to Aliss next few chapters. Huck needs to be the odd man out. Romance triangle? It’s YA so of course.
-Think of some fun architecture when walking with the baby. How do we store books in real life? Little Libraries. Big libraries. Library drop off boxes. There’s inspiration there.
LOL. Brain dump. No order.
1. A penis that flails around like a used car lot wind sock thingy never fails to amuse. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2c2Im1Ph9Lo
2. Werewolf - Couldn’t finish wiki article on omni thingy. Had a young intact male dog and older spayed female. At night male skittered down hall and desperately snuffled under door crack whining for female. He slept in a crate so he wouldn’t drive her insane with incessant humping. He spent a lot of time licking his male bits.
3. Architectural? Folios for Shakespeare, scrolls for Socrates, big clay tub for Diogenes? Giant dildo house for multi dimensional ”Flavio” the romance novel hero? He has to keep renovating house according to the texture euphemism of the day.
4. Stephenson’s Anathema had genetically engineered page trees - leaves are collected to use as archival paper. A non GMO dryad as an anarcho marxist. I’m trying too hard.
5. Little libraries - hilarious to print & donate this story into little libraries, waiting rooms, book drives.
Go to sleep. Thank you as always.