Saturday, October 20, 2018

Football Counter-Programming 2018: Week 8

Here are some things that you may already know about me.

First--two of my favorite characters on the great TV show, LOST, were the one-and-done side characters Nikki and Paulo.

Second--my favorite titles in the Chronicles of Narnia series is The Magicians Nephew.

(If you don't happen to know what these stories are about, please follow the provided links and learn more.)

From these facts, you may then be able to deduce that I enjoy seeing familiar stories from a new angle, sometimes retold with a different perspective. An attempt to broaden the narrative in new, creative, and exciting ways.

I am a committed counter-programmer after all--trying to fight against the accepted hegemony of weekend college football on each and every Saturday.

This is all preamble to give you background to what I am going to explain now . . .

A week ago I was surfing Facebook and saw a Young Adult novel title generator meme on one of my friend's Fb feeds (shout out to you Nancy). You used the first letter of your last name, the month and day you were born to randomly select three phrases. These phrases are the title of the YA novel you should write. After I plugged in the information, I got FRENCH KISSES, ASSASSINS, AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS.

Now, I don't have to explain to you what an excellent title for a YA novel that is. It has single-handedly motivated me to seriously consider writing this manuscript in ways that few other things in my recent adult life have done. But it has also reawakened in me an idea that I once had . . . to a.) either pair up with a teen and cowrite alternate chapters from teen and adult perspectives or b.) to write a YA novel from a parent's POV.

Admittedly, I haven't spent any time yet investigating whether or not these ideas already exist in accomplished form. But even if they do, that doesn't mean that I shouldn't do it anyway.

The first option was born sometime after I read David Levithan and John Green's co-written novel Will Grayson/Wil Grayson. Levithan and Green alternative chapters of this novel, telling the stories of two different young men with similar names. I originally wanted to partner with Sarah--back when she still talked about being an author. But I don't know if that is a viable option any longer. Grace is already quite busy with her own high school career. And I don't think I can wait for Hannah's writing skill to round out enough. So, I could either hire some other teen to work with me (not nearly as much fun as working with family) or go on to option b.).

Option B is like telling Harry Potter's tale from the perspective of Mr. Weasley. He is definitely not involved in every crucial moment, but he is close enough to the action to draw you into it when you need some jolt of familiar plot drama. But he is close enough to the action to know what is happening to the others around him without things becoming deadly boring and pointless. And it definitely provides a compelling point of view, right?

To be clear, I am not talking about writing fan fiction of an existing novel. I am not writing The Fault in Her Stars--as seen from the perspective of Hazel Grace's father. I'm talking about creating a whole new YA sub-genre, where the fans of the books can experience the familiar (or slightly familiar) beats of the books they love to read, but with a new outlook. Would they want to read those stories? I have no clue. That is up to the publishing company to figure out.

All I've got to do is find a way to start writing.

But I know I can't begin until after this season of college football is over. But I can't let you forget the following . . .

No matter how much you might imagine the deep inner life of the starting right guard on your alma mater's offensive line, you can never account for the fact that he probably just wants to play Fortnite and each Cheetos. Because . . . don't we all?

Until next week, just be honest with yourself and with each other. And the world will start to be a better place.

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