Friday, November 07, 2008
various climactic moments i've considered for the novel i'm trying to write, inspired by crap television i used to watch as a kid
As of today, I'm exactly one week into National Novel Writing Month, and my progress is... slow.  Right now I'm only about 12% of the way towards reaching my goal of 50,000 words, and will have to write at least 25 pages over the weekend if I am to have any hopes of catching up.   This is not good.

On the bright side, I think I've identified my problem: my novel lacks a plot.  As it turns out, this is much more important than I initially thought it would be.  

So, today I've started to do what I probably should have done two weeks ago. I'm brainstorming.  See, I've decided on a genre - Young Adult Fiction - and have created a few reasonably well-developed characters, but I'm not too sure what I want these characters to do, exactly.   If this baby has any chance at all, then I'm going to need to get me some plot ideas and quick.  But since original ideas are clearly not my forte, I decided to mine my memory for plot twist that engaged me as a kid.   Here's what I've got so far:

The "My So-Called Life"
Jordan, my angsty female protagonist, finally gets the attention of the mysterious boy she's been coveting, only to discover that he's not really mysterious at all.  He's illiterate.

The "21 Jump Street"
Growing increasingly suspicious of why Ellie, her new best friend, tends to use weird and awkward lingo like "hash pipe" and "the pot", she decides to investigate and makes a terrible discovery:  Ellie's not from Idaho after all.  She's a 35-year-old undercover cop.

The "Saved by the Bell"
After two years of being all but invisible, Jordan decides to reinvent herself for her junior year of high school.  To do this, she must befriend Bryce - the most popular kid in school.  Bryce is handsome, blond, has an oddly informal relationship with the school's bumbling Vice Principal, and often interrupts conversations to look off into space and give winking monologues to what he calls his "audience."  

The "Married...with Children."
Jordan's father, Buddy, is a washed up loser with severe foot odor who spends most of his spare time frequenting bowling alleys and "nudie bars" with his gang of misogynistic pals.  He claims to hate his family, but when Jordan comes home from a date in tears thanks to a skeezy jerk who got a bit too fresh, Buddy reveals his fatherly love by hunting the little punk down and punching him in the face.  That big teddy bear!

The "Road Runner"
For no apparent reason, Mrs. DeCarlo, Jordan's diva mother, gets mad one day and chases Jordan through a mountainous landscape.  It's touch and go there for a bit, but the dramatic sequence ultimately ends with Mrs. DeCarlo plummeting into a canyon while Jordan, who's quite the little sprinter, "Beep! Beep!s" off into the sunset.

And that's the best I got.  Yep.  I'm totally screwed.


Blogger Courtney said...

Perhaps you should make it a satirical novel and include ALL of the above events, complete with a wacky denouement where all the characters--including the adults--get stoned in the high-school library and vow to continue speaking to one another on Monday morning. Don't you/forget about me!

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