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knittingknots's avatar

Literature Text

I knew she was trouble when she walked through the door.  Big trouble.  Woman like that, dressed like real money, comes to a dingy place like mine and it could mean only one thing -- she was at the end of her rope.

"Isn't that a little cliche?  You channeling Sam Spade or something tonight?" I asked.

"Eh," said Pink.  "You gotta better idea?  I've been reading...."

"O gads," I said, grabbing the paper from her hands.  "I know I'm in trouble now."

Pink, if you don't know, is my writer's muse.  A personification and projection, if you will, of my creativity and drive to tell stories.  She's also a four-foot tall pink anthropomorphic Easter bunny- looking thing, with permanently red eyes from the endless quantities of stuff she drinks.  And she thinks she's the reincarnation of Cecil B. DeMille.

A real pain in the butt sometimes, and a perfectionist, but when it works, we make beautiful words together.  Go figure.

But not tonight, I suspected.

Looking at the papers I grabbed out of her hands, I saw the following: "Lester Dent's Master Plot Formula.  This is a formula, a master plot, for any 6000 word pulp story..."

"Pink, where'd you find this?"  Cold shivers ran up and down my spine as I felt the weight of yet another one of her harebrained schemes hanging over my head.

"It's all over the internet, doof," she said, taking a swig from her bottle, then wiped her chin with the back of a pink hand.  "You ought to try looking there sometimes if you could stay off the games at Facebook.  You'd be amazed at what you can find. And I am not a hare.  I'm a plot bunny."

"Yeah, right," I muttered.

"So, ol' Dent says you gotta start with something different.  The villain needs to kill someone differently, or looking for something, or the locale needs to be different, or there's some weird menace hanging over the hero's head."  She took another swig.

"Weird menace," I said.  "Maybe something like a crazed plot bunny?"

"Keep it up, wise guy," Pink said.  "There's other writers out there."

"So," I asked.  "What's so different about what I just typed?"

"Well," said Pink, reaching for her popcorn bowl.  "Maybe your narrator's not Sam Spade after all.  Not a detective.  What if it's a computer repair shop?"

"Not techie enough to pull it off," I said, reaching for the coffee.  "You know I'd have to research it."

Pink gave me an evil look, then wiggled her nose.  "No way.  Last time I let you go off researching, you didn't come up for air for three months. And you call me compulsive."  She flicked her left ear.  "It was easier when you were just doing fan fiction."

"Yeah, whatever."  I stared at the computer screen, and then started typing.

"Hi," she said shyly as I looked up from my magazine.

It was five o'clock.  Nobody else was in the shop but me.  I knew I had one last appointment for the day, but I didn't expect someone like her.  I looked down at the appointment schedule: Kelly Raeburn, it had in bold handwriting.  Shampoo and cut.

"Can you help me," she said, shyly, then pulled off her hat to reveal the most beautiful, long cascade of red hair I had ever seen.  It went past her waist, past her behind, in lovely shimmering ringlets.  Beautiful hair.  Hair that I would kill for to have growing out of my mousy brown roots.  I wanted to touch it, caress it, glorify it.

"I can't stand it any more," she said, with pleading, doe-like green eyes.  "Please.  I just have to cut it off."

"Pulp hairdresser, heh.  I think I like it," Pink said.  "It's different.  A touch film noir."

"You sure it's not horror?"  I asked.  I could tell it was going to be a long night.
I guess you would call this metafic. It's certainly a type of satire on how I write, LOL. What happens to a writer when their muse discovers the joys of pulp fiction formulas?

If you haven't discoverer the Lester Dent Master Plot for pulp fiction stories, you can read it here: [link]

Dent was the master at churning out fic stories back in the day...and other writers, like Michael Moorcock have played with his formula over the years.
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DesaraSoleil's avatar
A little pink plot bunny on your back, eh? Must not have a dull moment in your imagination. :nod:
But yeah, I enjoyed this. Love the Pink and Writer dialouge, insync yet conflicting but very right. :aww:
knittingknots's avatar
Thanks! Yep, Pink is such a character...Once in a while, she even lets me use her as a character...
Cibbwin's avatar
Haha! Pink is a lovely little dictator. I get the feeling she's harmless under the constant barrage of insults and demands.

This bit was my favorite, 'cuz I can TOTALLY relate:

'"Not techie enough to pull it off," I said, reaching for the coffee. "You know I'd have to research it."

Pink gave me an evil look, then wiggled her nose. "No way. Last time I let you go off researching, you didn't come up for air for three months. And you call me compulsive."'

Except I'm you and Pink is my best friend. :O
knittingknots's avatar
She can be quite the little dictator.

LOL. Ah, compulsive researching...Once I spent 3 days looking for what methods, out of the five I knew of, was common for starting fires in Japan in the 16th century...and ran across something in one of the early Jesuit father's reports about how they used flint and steel, although with smaller pieces of flint than the Europeans were used to using. And then I didn't need the detail in what I was writing after all.

Bad thing about being a reenactor and writing historical based fiction (which most of my fanfic really is, even if its about fantasy people - it's about fantasy people who are in solidly mid 16th century Japan (watered down a little for easy fangirl digestability)...I know the plan of their houses and how they are put together, the way the villages they are in are governed, how the clothes they are wearing are made, how to cook the food over a fireplace of the type they use, the recipes for common dishes, how to make several styles of Japanese pickles, how to make soba, even how they made miso...because I'm obsessive. I also am pretty up on who's fighting what battle in the years involved, because my characters are dodging getting dragged into the real history most of the time, for simplicity's sake.

I've had great fun doing it. Gave me a great excuse to do the social history thing I do definitely like to do, and I added a whole lot of books to my collection, thanks to that. Yay!

I was smart and married a man who's also a history buff. (One needs enablers for this type of behavior to enjoy it fully.) He kind of enjoys it, especially when I'm going crazy over the American colonial/revolutionary period...that's the time we reenact the most.
Cibbwin's avatar
You said you reenact history? Do you do LARP? :D

I'm a bit intimidated to do historical fiction. I've thought about doing it for years, but I worry I wouldn't do it justice. Pre-made fantasy settings are completely fine for me, but I would do a ton of research like you do, and then... I'd be completely unsatisfied with what I've found.

Good on you for really delving deep and wanting to make everything authentic! :D

I love history also - especially Roman history right after the birth of Christ, and any Northern European history.
knittingknots's avatar
Never did LARP. Mostly, we go to reenactments once or twice a year, where we dress up in our period clothes and demonstrate this or that...I often demonstrate spinning or knitting. Hubby's into all things dealing with fire...making fire from various techniques, and period lighting devices (oil lamps, candle lamps, candle holders) and such stuff.

The rest of the year, we research, and maybe make new things and buy new toys. I have just about everything I need to keep house 18th century style except for some wooden tubs and buckets and maybe a period broom....

Oh, I keep gravitating towards historical fiction, mostly cause I'm a history junkie...I have a B.A. in it, but I'd be a history junkie anyway...I want to know how everything was done and why people lived the lives they did the way they did and all that type of stuff. But I think the fanfics I wrote are my only true historical fiction, and a couple of short pieces set in the 18th century.

Flax [link] is one of those pieces, written a long time ago and before I had written very much fiction, and I really ought to revise it, but it is solidly historical fic.

Most of the rest of the stuff I write is medieval-ish fantasy settings, except, perhaps for myth pieces, and that is semi-fantasy, both underpinned by my knowledge of the eras, but not written with the same desire for rightness.

It's been fun, though, learning about Japan before the Shoguns. Most people's image of Japan is formed by stuff 1700-1800, not what it was like before. So, my history nerd side is very thankful to InuYasha for letting me indulge.
Cibbwin's avatar
You demonstrate spinning?! Amazazing! I would LOVE to watch. :D

Your hubby's performance sounds awesome, too!

Are you saying you even live 18th century-style?!

I love earlier Japanese history. I'm especially fascinated with the empresses. I'm a big feminist, and Japan for a time was a very nice place to be a woman.
knittingknots's avatar
I do indeed. I can spin on a spinning wheel or with a drop spindle, and have all the tools I need to go from raw wool to finished garment. LOL. Fiber arts were big on my list of things before writing started eating all my time.

No, I don't actually live 18th c, just have the toys to do it if I wanted..these get used some if going to an event. Also, if the power goes out, we have enough old style lighting devices that darkness isn't nearly so bad.

Yeah, the earlier you get in Japan, the nicer it was for women.
Cibbwin's avatar
So cool, honey! I need to get into something like that. I bet you could make a BUNDLE at Ren Faire.
knittingknots's avatar
Be more fun to be part of the crowd, but in costume...being a vendor is work! lOL...
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teardownthefence's avatar
I love the concept behind this ^^
knittingknots's avatar
Why's the type of stuff I do when I get was fun to write and silly, and although the story I'm really wanting to work on isn't making any real progress, at least I know I can still write...
teardownthefence's avatar
that's always a good thing to know
knittingknots's avatar
It is important...there's always new things to say...
teardownthefence's avatar
kokoronagomu's avatar
LOLZ --sweety, if you need a cosmetology expert to ask the finer points of hairdressing, you need to go no further. licensed cosmetologist for over thirty years =D ROFLMAO
knittingknots's avatar
Well, dear, if I ever DO decided to really write a story using a hairdresser, I will be pumping you for info! It's been so long since I've gone to one...I haven't done any real haircut since 1996, except to cut the extreme ends of my hair off for split ends....and that not very often.
kokoronagomu's avatar
i haven't worked in a shop in a year, i worked in the day spa doing skin care and massage and diddled around with hair now and again. now that i can't take the chemicals i have to figure something to do at home. funny, i haven't gotten my hair cut since before i left --i don't believe in paying for it. LOL
simplykynd's avatar
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