April 1st, 2009

Setting It Up

As you might have been able to glean from the occasion dysphoric comment here at Rose-coloured, or my eye-rolls in person, my current manuscript is not coming together as well as I’d like. Of course, it’s very early days, but I feel that if I could just establish a strong set up for the initial plot developments, the writing would roll on smoothly from there. But that simple structure keeps getting mired in extraneous detail, so I thought it might help me to lay it all out simply here on the blog, and perhaps a helpful reader will know where I’m going wrong, or perhaps simply getting it all out of my head and into a public space will clarify things for me all on it’s own.


We begin the chronology with a young woman in a high-school chemistry class. She is both late and unprepared because of an argument with her mother that morning, and as she walks to her seat, her teacher notices her face is streaked with tears.

The teacher is a bit of an asshole, though, and he only makes her be lab partners with the other tardy student, a burnout named Kevin who is stoned at 8:30 in the morning, and who knocks over their retort stand midexperiement, spilling the suspension all over the Lululemon Groove pants that the girl–her name is Genevieve–worked all those hours in her uncle’s Tim Horton’s franchise to afford.

Genevieve runs out of class and down to the gym to hide under the bleachers and brood, and then attempt to sew up the acid-burned hole in her pants with her pocket sewing kit. Just when she’s got her pants off, though, Kevin somehow manages to find her there, and she stands frozen before him in her thong. There is a moment of eye contact in the shadowy, sweat-stained space, and then Kevin comes closer and Gen drops her pants and sewing kit, and without a word they embrace.

After they lose their collective virginity in 20 minutes of safe-sex passion, they pull themselves off the crashmat and have a frank and earnest discussion about all the disappointments and frustrations in their lives. Then Kevin cuts off one cuff of his baggy jeans to help make a patch for Gen’s jeans. She is deeply grateful, but as she sews it on, she begins to sense that the contamination in the lab room has given her super-human abilities. She also feels that she can trust Kevin with the knowledge that her mother is emotional abusive and withholding.

To her shock, he only believes the emotional abuse and not the superpowers. Kevin insists that the suspension was only supposed to smell like bananas, and Gen rejoins that it wasn’t the right suspension because he put in twice as many drops of the green stuff as he was supposed to because he is a giant waster.

Hurt, Kevin runs out from under the bleachers, out of the school, and into the parking lot where he is run over by a Hummer. The driver is narcoleptic, and passes out at the wheel when she brakes on top of Kevin. Gen had only gone outside to see if she could bum a smoke from someone, but when she notices the massive ugly vehicle parked on top of her true love, she remembers all the love and joy of the past hour and a half, and she races to his side.

Kevin is of course only barely conscious, but he manages to whisper, “You were right, I f*cked up the suspension and your mom is a total b*tch and I will always love you!”

And Gen says, “OMG, I love you too,” and then she notices that supernatural-powers-tingle once again, and she lifts the car off Kevin. Then they kiss.

I’m not totally sure what happens after that, but I think it’ll involve Kevin and Gen totally destroying her evil mom, and maybe that science teacher too. And then the epilogue is a year later and the happy couple are celebrating the birth of their first child, and Kevin gives Gen a bottle of banana-scented perfume, and they remember how far they’ve come. And then they kiss.

As you can see, obviously this is going to be a kick-ass book when I actually get around to writing it. But really, working out the general ideas for the plot is the hard part, and it looks like I’ve got that in the bag. Go, me!

He rewards my good behaviour

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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