THIS IS ONE OF THOSE ENTRIES that is not meant to necessarily entertain you, or even make you think or get pissed or any of the number of reactions I would like to get from people who read my words. No, this one is a worker entry, meant to find ways to continue the plot I am developing for the next novel. I am not going to be happy with anything that is stripped down and simple; i suspect that few novels that can be adequatly described in a paragraph or two are worth reading. I want a series of complicated sub plots, a caste of characters that goes from the achingly normal to the absurd (including a man who may or may not be from outer space, depending on what seems best when I start writing everything down in the pliant stone that will be the plot outline ... after which I can finally start doing what I do best, which is plain old writing.
I described some of the other characters in an earlier entry, but I need them all in one file for now, so I am going to repeat myself for a few lines...
The hamsters are going to become the troops at war.
M. is going to be the voice of reason that is hopefully, underneath all the partisan talk and heated debate, whispering in our ears.
Spike is going to become the unthinking flag waver, who just goes along with Bush.
Rick is going to be the religous guy, into crystals as the portals into different dimensions when he believes that he experiences god, who barely cares about the planet at all. He does all the little recycling things, but he doesn't botherr with the depressing aspects of the environmental crises because he expects to get his rewards on 'another dimension.' He lives across from Johnny Pain, and they share the same balcony, and certain likes and dislikes in movies and what not, that leads to an unlikely freindship (which is the basis of a hell of a lot of comedy).
The Alein, who is named Robert Mitchum, a name he took from his favorite actor in films, which he is addicted to. He does not like to go out in public, because he believes that his ultimate job is going to end up being destroying humans, so that balance can be restored to the ecoshpere... he is desperatly searching for ways to avoid this happening, but his experiences have convinced him to expect the worst.
Johnny Pain is the protaganist. He is not as crazy as he appears in here sometimes.. the hamster army is going to be something he writes about, out of his frustration at being one lonely and probably worthless voice in the clamouring crowds trying to effect the national consciousness.
This NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS is going to be a key to all the characters in some ways, because they will either represent people who are now effecting society or wish they were.
AMO: is a black guy, failed hip hop singer, who has started an illegal baptist fundamentalist church in the basement. He keeps a podium on rollers in his storage bin, and pulls that out and sets up a colorful assortment of folding chairs and lawn chairs that he has scavanged from the alleys on his daily search for tin cans. His congregation will basically be clean cut republican white kids, who find being preached to by a black minister proof that they are compasionate conservatists, not the robotic leeches that they truly are.
THE PLOT: The various people should come together or not on a larger issue. This issue has to be one that requires quasi legal actions -- shooting up a dog fight, torturing a gang banger and slicing his throat. This will all take place after the gang has basically declared war on the apartment building. They do this after Johnny Pain beats the shit out of a kid who tries to steal his dog to fight it.
The other neighbors decide to come in on his side, despite their differences, because protecting the innocent and needy is something we all agree on.
The guy who is or is not an alein may either save their asses in the end, or think he can and become a worthless victim when his mania is exposed.
A book within a book may be used.... In this case, the hamster wars could be written about, and in them can be a mirror of the events happening in the apartment building. This would have to be mucho subtle, or just balls out the events.
THE NARRATION: An omniscent narrator makes more sense, if I am going to have all these bizare subplots going on. I would like to be able to see the world and say the world from the perspective of my characters in a way that is intimate and telling, which would be much harder if the tale was told only from the events that Johnny Pain knows about...
This would mean starting with Johnny Pain and the dog, then moving on to the others and getting their reactions or non reactions. I could title the various chapters in ways that show who is thinking. This could be as simple as 'APT. Q' to designate the shift of perspective.
I want my omniscent narrator to be a character as well, of course. He will basically be the me that I am sometimes, and wish I was more... the moral voice screaming from the back of my mind that the dog needs walked and the bills need paid and the woman needs more time and the fucking earth needs saved.....
The plot needs a lot more thought. I have subplots for all of these folks written down somewhere, but since I always remember the latest stuff about my book, I am just going to begin anew, in a way.... writing the same thing in a different way can really add to the end product, as DH Lawrences incredible novels show--he wrote them from the perspective of various characters, then finalized drafts that threw most of this work out.
THE CHARACTERS AND THEIR SUBPLOTS: THE eight characters need at least one subplot, and then ways that they connect to the over arching plot. They all need a few days worth of writing to fill in their back stories and really get to know their mentality; to in fact create a mental room in my mind where I can go in and be them...
At present the people in an apartment building band together to fight off a dog fighting gang, after the cops tell them that since it is just a misdameanor, they don't even bother going after the gangs for dog fighting, just murders and drugs and rapes..
I have run out of time for writing... M. will soon be home, and our task of moving will have to coninue... not to mention the dog is pissed off at me because I haven't taken her out yet... this entry will be continued... maybe.