“You Ain’t No Nice Guy”

W 4th Street Courts, aka "The Cage" Tiny, but one of the toughest, most competitive courts in the city.

W 4th Street Courts, aka “The Cage.” Tiny, but one of the most competitive courts in the city with some of the greatest streetball players.  Unusual because it has nets!

The post title above is one of those quotes that tattooed itself on my brain as soon as I read it–many, many years ago.  It’s from The Stand, by Stephen King, earlier on in the book, before Captain Trips has completely taken over, said to the character Larry Underwood.  Simple, clean, all-encompassing, and it stayed in the character’s head the way it’s stayed in mine. I love those types of characters; not nice but interesting.  I will always vote for interesting, and I think that quote shaped the characters I create as much as anything else I’ve read and learned.

Last year, someone mentioned to me that “satire” is currently the kiss of death in a query. Naturally, I immediately started thinking, “what a great idea, I’d love to try satire!”  Thoughts of not nice guys married the idea of satire, they honeymooned in the too-many maudlin days of nostalgic thinking I had while recuperating from my fractures, and Jack was born, he’s the protagonist in the short I’m posting today.  (I think I posted back in the early days of Mrs Fringe about growing up in Brooklyn and falling asleep to the sounds of dribbling basketballs and hard popping handballs in the park across the street.)

I don’t know how other writers do it, but this is me. Bits and pieces of brain mishmash that probably don’t belong together, but in my peculiar mind they do. In some ways this is a continuation of my last post, about it being ok to reach and try new things, even suck.  While part of me mourns for my quickly fading dreams of publication, another part of me sees this as an opportunity (excuse?) to stretch and try all the out of the box ideas that I’ve got without worrying whether or not it’s publishable. Marketable.

If you haven’t noticed from my other stories, I like things that are just a little raw, with jagged bits that stay with me.  With any luck, two of my readers/followers do, too. Please click here for “Blacktop.”

12 comments

  1. I’m pretty sure THE STAND is my favorite Stephen King, hands down. And for similar reasons to what you list above (including that line sticking with me….man, Larry’s arc is something, isn’t it?)

    I’ve got a similar “problem” where I don’t know where a story fits in once it’s done. I like those bits and bobs and oddities of detail which filter in to me through life. I did a lot of Poe and Shirley Jackson reading as a child, and it’s really stuck with me. And been an influence. So sometimes that twist isn’t ’til the last couple of pages, just like them. Is it okay for the modern audience? Well, I’d like it if they could handle it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! The Stand is my comfort food in a book jacket. 🙂 And I agree, Larry’s character and character arc are amazing, no matter how many times I’ve read the book. One of these days I’ve going to write a writerly love letter to King. 😀
      I think those final twists are just fine for modern audiences. I love them, but I alas, I don’t have any influence over what the publishing professionals take. :/ ❤ ❤

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      1. I’ve tweeted at Stephen King occasionally (and he favorited one once!); he’s one of those authors who seems more like “a real person” than some others, perhaps because of the conversational biographic tone of his forwards and afterwards.

        A conversation I once had with my fiancé:

        Him: You’re reading THE STAND again?
        Me: Well, kind of. I’m just reading the Frannie parts.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. lol. I follow him, but don’t think I’ve ever tweeted specifically to him. Tee hee, I always think I’m just going to read specific parts, but then I read the whole thing, because YUM. 😉

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