Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sweety Angst, and the license to print money

Woke up at 2 am from a dream about a friend I haven't seen or thought of in years. My perplexity over the vision was more than a match for my sadness at how people move in and out of each others' lives. I went down parallel thought roads. In one, I thought about how in the dream we were back in school, and regressing, further and further, before high school, before middle. In the other, I wondered why our parents weren't friends like we were. It struck me that maybe people who may not like each other very much might tolerate one another so their children might be happier.

I had a bit of a brainstorm as I was looking down my options, standing at that dream crossroads. I ended up outlining a whole series of young adult supernatural-themed books. Buffy Potter, and the Lightning Thief, or some such. I imagined a young man listening to his parents argue, about what he doesn't know. Then the divorce, and the move. To Nowhere. At least, that was the working name for the out of the way town. Other, was another front runner. I had it in mind to google "most remote places in US" when I woke up, then I forgot. West Texas. Utah. Colorado. Wyoming. Okay, so, West. Curving roads, dry hills, mountain ranges, clear skies. Nothing, and then everything. A fully independent, lush, populated, city with modern amenities. I imagined the odd transition from the back seat of their SUV, the parent, probably the mother, telling the son about opportunities and adjustments and cheering up.

Then, first day of school, his guide finds him and gives him "the speech," the one where he points out all the different groups, who to stay away from, and why. High school as a microcosm. Except in my version, the jocks were werewolves, the goths were vampires, and the geeks were psychics. I had a funny interchange in mind where the main character, who I've chosen to name Ingram in honor of my friend, makes a reference to the nerds being picked on, and the guide's response is, "Yeah, this isn't that kind of school." I spent some time not sleeping, thinking of how they would probably want to avoid violent sports, and a lot of class schedules would feature a whole afternoon of "gym." I thought about a preceding aptitude test followed by a trade school style education, very practical and technological, so the graduates could go on and be productive members of society... while never leaving the small town.

The love interest, because it couldn't be YA without it, would be the child of a Fae. I was recently roleplaying in a game where one of the characters, a very attractive woman who asked too many questions, ended up under the spell of one of the powerful outsiders, and was tricked into making the wrong deal. In a dramatic turn of events, she ended up pregnant, and agreed to give herself over to the monster if her child could be born in the human world and never harassed by him. I imagine the guide telling Ingram about the "Ice Princess," and how she was #1 on the "do not disturb" list. Like her mother, she's attractive, and is intrigued by Ingram's complete inability to ascribe to the customs of a society he doesn't belong to.

The problem is I couldn't think of a world-shattering crisis that only the team of inexperienced main character teenagers could solve. Not their parents or even recent graduates, more experienced or more powerful members of the community. I couldn't think of a reason why it had to be them. When I was fully awake, it seemed like much less interesting of an idea. By the time I sat down to write chapter 3, I had mostly forgotten the idea, but I guess not enough to avoid typing it into the internet for safe keeping. What was interesting to me was how fully the idea took me and gripped me and prevented me from going back to sleep. That hasn't happened in a while. I think maybe instead of giving this more thought, I'll pick up the Facebook and call my friend.

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