Friday, January 10, 2014

Story Notes: Bubblegum Peculiarity

Notes to: Bubblegum Peculiarity

Lately I've begun toying with the idea of "test-driving" longer stories before I write them out. The idea is to write five hundred or two thousand words that play with characters, settings, or concepts that I intend to treat with more depth later on, without touching the plot that I'll be using later. Anything about the idea can be pulled and adjusted as necessary without regard for whether or not it can fit into the continuity of the primary piece.

Bubblegum Peculiarity is the first such test-drive that I've written, and there were two things that I was playing around with. The first was the involvement of Child Protection Services. There's another short story that I'm drawing up right now where CPS is a major force within the plot. The initial reason for their involvement is similar to Miss Taylor's but they have a much greater opportunity to get further involved than an initial visit that ends in a social worker's death.

The other reason for writing this story was to tinker with Autumn and Nancy.

Nancy is named after Aunt Nancy or Anansi the Spider. Vampires liquefy their victims' insides before draining them, like spiders, and Nancy's name refers to this quality in anticipation of the day that she grows fit to claim it. Autumn's real name hasn't been determined, but she gave herself this name some years ago in reference to her favorite season. Vampires hibernate for a good portion of the year to conserve their energy and only wake up when the nights are growing longer and they have enough time to do more than hunt. The same amount of drink that would sustain them for a week at the height of their activity in winter will serve them well through their hibernation, so it's much more efficient this way.

I'll be keeping their names and at least most of Nancy's personality, but I don't really like how Autumn comes across in this story. The next time that I test-drive the characters I'm going to make her more predatory and disturbing, at least when she doesn't need to put up a front. The transformation from human to vampire has made it possible for her to be a serial killer, and I think that she needs to reflect that in some ways. Not all of them, because she's a psychologically healthy representative of her people and serial killers aren't, but there are some traits that I think would carry over. 

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