Blog No 124
Before you read this post, you may want to check out the story it refers, especially since it came out only a few days before this write-up.
The Squirrel Cage
Anchor Coffee House
If you’d like to see copies at a specific location, let us know.
The Fifth Monday was a really cool idea Christian had last year. (P.S. I haven’t pimped his site in a while, but go here to read more good stuff: http://christianlaforet.com/). We fell into the habit of posting our stories on Monday over on Adventure Worlds and every so often the calendar would spit out five Mondays instead of the usual four. We considered letting it slip away as an off day, filling it like normal, and taking things up with science, but we had also talked about doing some directly connected stories among the group since the beginning. The extra posting day was the perfect spot to put a story written by one member and continued by another months later when the offending day came around again. It was an inspiration worthy of Archimedes himself. Christian, being the mastermind of the scheme, started us off and two parts later, it fizzled out. We let a fifth Monday go by without continuing the story and the whole thing fell to pieces. Neither Christian or I wanted to continue it after that. We liked the idea, but the first story was dead. Fast forward to now. The first fifth Monday of 2015 sitting at the end of March. The idea survived but the story is all new and started by the guy writing all the posts on this blog.
Last time around, we looked at The Fifth Monday as a cool experiment and an opportunity to push our story telling to the limit. We were starting to hit our stride and looking at larger, more polished, storied for print, but finding that we had a definite style and structure about our writing. The Fifth Monday was a good opportunity to write beyond ourselves. We had a few stories submitted by Edele Winnie that were far more creative and energetic than what we wrote. They had the limitation of sometimes being frenetic, but it was a specific style that really worked for her writing and had built a following on Adventure Worlds. Personally I tried to find that kind of eclectic energy in myself when I wrote my part last time. It was a fun break from my plodding towards coherence and added to my repertoire of available story types.
This year, since I had the opportunity to start the new adventure, I wanted to really push the envelope. I sat down with a vague idea for the plot and a strong sense of impulsiveness and wrote a hyperbolic, frenzied, outrageous, story that leaved a huge swath of possibility for Christian (since he is writing the next part for June). It’s so much more descriptive and surprising (I hope) that anything I’ve done before. It even tripped up Christian when he edited it. Since he’s become so used to my style of writing, a lot of the over-the-top language and descriptions stood out like exasperated buffoonery (which it did).
The story is (at heart) a buddy comedy with a vicious, one sided, taunting. When one side of a pair is a classic 20-something slacker and the other is an exasperated demon, things are bound to get nasty. I didn’t know what personality I wanted to infuse the main character with when I started. Eventually he fell into the weaker side of the everyman but the whole thing started with his first interaction with his boss. Initially he seemed a bit more confident, but even with his old, disgusting, and possibly decrepit employer, he displayed some insecure tendencies. Sure, when faced with a huge demon he becomes a sniveling coward, but his first verbal confrontation is done with the person out of the room. Still, I wanted him to be likable. I gave him a couple of quips and an underdog’s struggle. I’m not sure if it’ll take after he wimps out a few times, but I gave it a shot.
With the demon, I wanted to make a terrifying, possibly evil, character stuck with a nine-to-five type job who can’t catch a break. If Chad is the slacker, The God Burner is the disappointed parent, the difference being there is no family bond stopping the demon from physically harming Chad. I was more sure with how I wanted the demon to turn out, and I think I hit the mark. Given that he’s supposed to be from hell, he is inherently prone to evil and violence, but I wanted to make it more complicated than that. He’s more sensitive and a bit snobbish, even startled by the rat in the apartment.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the story. It’s whimsical and ridiculous and crass. There are a lot of places that could be cleaned up and I know some people won’t like the language or crude acts depicted, but it’s a break from the ordinary and it was fun to write. I’m really excited to see where Christian takes it in the next part. It’s going to be a whole other story by the time it comes back to me again. I can’t wait.