Notes on “Love Can Be Scary”
|July 19, 2012||Posted by Michael Pape under Pape Blog, The Blog|
I'm pretty happy with how this story turned out, except for the one sentence with the uncaught redundancy (aargh!). I think it sums up a lot of my current thoughts on a lot of the big issues -- love, God, dreams, kindness, and (of course) jealousy. These are not simple, trite, or easy subjects in real life, and I feel like they shouldn't be that way in fiction, either. Sometimes dreams are bad, and sometimes jealousy is good, and nothing is ever as easy or as impossible as advertised, because ads lie.
But that's just my experience. Maybe yours is different.
Random story notes:
- That opening quote is really a paraphrase of something Oprah Winfrey said a long time ago in an interview about her faith. I don't think this story exists without this quote to react against, so Oprah, you have my gratitude.
- The real origin of the story is that I was thinking about Twilight and vampire mythology and how I think it tends to reflect so much of what annoys me about our culture and its relationship to men/women/sexuality/sensuality/love and about 1000 other things. It's not that I hate vampire stories; rather, I hate that vampires in stories have become celebrated rather than monsterized. This is, I suspect, highly localized to just me, so I don't go around making a big deal about it. ANYWAY, I thought it was too obvious just to make a Twilight satire (though icky books that start as erotic Twilight fanfics are apparently all the rage these days), so I switched the genders and turned the vampires into pirates. In our culture, pirates are just vampires who can die. They even wear the same clothes. I swear, we're absolutely obsessed with fetishizing and venerating any and all historical and mythical criminal jackwagons. It's kinda sad. We must be bored.
- The tone of the story was there from the beginning, and I kept it after much second-guessing. It's supposed to be distant, and humorous, and a little sassy. Hope I pulled that off ok.
- Dickey Simpkins was a basketball player. In the 1990s, I think.
- If you happen to come across a sentence that both begins and ends with the word "now," just shoot me. I'm so sorry. IT WAS A LOT OF WORDS AND I'VE ONLY GOT TWO EYES.
- This story did not beta test well at all. Everyone to which I showed earlier drafts just patted me on the head and said, "That's nice," all the while wearing a look on their face like, "what the heck?" That's when I knew it was good. Plus, it has a happy ending! Isn't that great?
- Alternate title for the story: Sic Totaliter Nudus (in Latin, "So totally naked.") It's a reference to my Latin class in college that only like 10 people in the world would get, therefore it is only the alternate title and not the actual one. The phrase did work its way into the story, though.
- Some story elements may have been inspired by MTV's pseudo-reality young adult drama The Hills. Specifically, the name Justin Bobby.
- Sentence I like: "Bobby looked up at her face, which was wide-eye in hopeful anticipation." I AM SO CLEVER.
For my next project, I'm going to tackle the zombie-survival genre in about 20,000 words. This one is pretty ambitious, and is a smash-up of Dawn of the Dead, LOST, and H.P. Lovecraft's dreaded Cthulu. That is WAY overselling it, so...um...just stay tuned.