An In-Depth Examination of The Writing Process (Also, Monster Toilet)

11 08 2009

Paraphrased from brainstorming with Jen last night.

Me: “The problem is I just don’t see Scout being dumb enough to try some of the things Yavain’s going to teach him. You and Lira both caught that, and I agree.”

Jen: “I could see him doing some of it, but not the more obvious bits, yeah.”

Me: “I do like the idea of song dedication, though. I think I know how to make it work; Yavain does it without Scout’s approval, the whole having the band say ‘This one’s going out from Scout to Emily, he loves ya, girl’ bit. Then Emily actually smiles, and says ‘You know, that’s kind of swee–‘ and THEN the band launches into some horrible ear-bleeding punk rock, making Emily cover her ears. And Yavain promptly offers the double thumbs up like nothing’s wrong.”

Jen: “What song should they be playing?”

Me: “I don’t think I should specify. Just have it be completely terrible.”

Jen: “Could have Una quote some hideous lyric, asking ‘Gosh, what does that mean?'”

Me: “I’d do Dead Kennedy’s ‘Police Truck’, which is about stealing a cop car and going on a rampage beating hobos and gangraping women, but the title’s not threatening enough. Maybe Anarchy in the UK… Holiday in Cambodia… I’ll think of something. But this still doesn’t cover all the bases for the ‘lessons’ Yavain wants to teach.”

Jen: “Hmm…”

Me: “Maybe I should just cut out the ‘lessons’ gag. It was improvised, wasn’t in my scene notes. But it feels so right to have it there…”

Jen: “You could just have Yavain start teaching him there in the van, and Scout shooting down the ideas.”

Me: “Yeah, but then I’d have to extend the scene.”

Jen: “Why not just break scene and skip time?”

Me: “I prefer to switch locations whenever I break scene.”

Jen: “So, switch locations to a rest stop along the way. That way the girls are out of the van so the boys can talk, too.”

Me: “But they have a Winnebago. It’s got a toilet. Although I did have Yavain specify Emily should pee before they leave… what if it’s got a toilet, but in tradition of replacing mechanics with magic… when he opens the lid to demonstrate it, this big slathering tongue rolls over the rim? And Emily promptly demands they pull over instead.”

Jen: “Right! And there can be, like, elvish brochures at the rest area. ‘Come see the Temples of the Mouse’.”

Ultimately I didn’t want to write the scene that night — not enough time, and I was eager to stay calm rather than work my brain into a tizzy so I could get some PROPER sleep prior to work. Which worked like a charm. I’ll do the writeup of these ideas and more tonight.

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13 responses

11 08 2009
cmdr_zoom

I just got to the toilet and made a horrified little noise.

11 08 2009
jengagne

Guess that means the gag will work, then. ;)
Great summary of the convo, Twoof.

11 08 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

I’m debating whether or not there should row upon row of tiny teeth as well.

11 08 2009
kublaikhan

But of course. As well as disturbing stomach noises and a flower-scented belch.

11 08 2009
lirazel

Erm… I think not. Too close to the concept of vagina dentata, and if you don’t know what that is then do your brain a favor and DON’T look it up. NSFW, to put it mildly.

11 08 2009
jengagne

A toilet is vaginal how? o_o It’s a monster. Sounded like Fizzgig to me. Or a shark. Or a Saarlac.

11 08 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Definitely shooting for the Saarlac Pit effect, yeah.
A joke like this is all about the conservation of words, though. Just enough to leave the rest to the horror of the imagination.

11 08 2009
jengagne

Then in this case, the tongue is enough. It’s more than enough to startle the reader and freak out Emily, which is really all you need. Details of teeth etc. wouldn’t be needed?

12 08 2009
lirazel

And I really can’t see Yavain, an elf’s elf if ever there was one, keeping a Winnebago with an enchanted potty that might start noshing on his dangly bits. If elves in Anachronauts have dangly bits.

12 08 2009
cmdr_zoom

Teeth aren’t really necessary considering its likely… diet, and I figure the tongue… serves much the same function as a bidet OH NO NO NO NO NO SQUIIIIIICK

12 08 2009
shachihoko

Well, they have enough of something for Yavain/”SexyElf86″ to figure he can tutor Scout in the way of the woo.

12 08 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Elves @ Witchipedia. Outwardly they’re identical to humans, save for the pointy ears.

13 08 2009
Anonymous

Maybe you can just say he bought for cheap somewhere and didn’t realize until later that it was a horrible nightmare toilet from hell. That’d solve the issue of why he would buy it in the first place.

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