Monday, December 26, 2005

I am taking back the block I gave you for Christmas

You know how when you take your car start acting up, the moment you take it into the shop, it suddenly start working perfectly? And when you want to show someone else how this frog you found on a construction site can sing and dance while wearing a top hat, the minute you open his cigar box, he does absolutely nothing and makes you look like an idiot?

I posted that I had writer's block. That fixed it.

I tend to write PG-13 stories, whether I intend to or not. Happy Holly Days is akin to a sweet coming-of-age romantic comedy, like a pneumatic John Hughes movie. It's randy, but it's chaste. It's flirty, but it doesn't show everything. Much is left to your imagination at the story's conclusion, but it's definitely a happy ending.

I don't know if that makes it particularly exciting, or exciting enough compared to the other stuff out there. I have read some tense, scary revenge inflation fantasies that really thrill me. One of those was Plowboy's "JH-12," one of the first dark stories I'd read, and one that really made me feel naughty when I enjoyed reading it. I don't know if he wrote anything else, and I've tried to contact him to no avail--he wrote that story years ago and has since abandoned that e-mail address. But when I needed a name for my mystery chemical, I couldn't shake that strong memory and decided to co-opt it as an homage.

Otherwise, the stories have nothing in common. His is a series of unapologetically vengeful vignettes that caters to several audiences at once--no matter what kind of inflation story you like, you'll find something there to make you happy and horny, and it has three different climaxes. It also has a lot of the hallmarks of my favorites: Characters who overstate the obvious (often ridiculously, melodramatically, and unrealistically), stretchy clothing like spandex or rubber, and lots of detail of the expansion.

By total contrast, my story describes the expansion lyrically, tries to keep all the emotions and reactions somewhere in the ballpark of reality, and ultimately pulls its punches when it comes to a big payoff.

So I guess what I'm saying is, go read JH-12, it's a better story!

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