After the men gather, the plot picks up steam and their interactions increase, with Pritchard quietly portraying a shifting dance of male alliance and competition. Their picaresque sex tales start to cast a subtler light on their characters. The story of the Serbian fashion model ends poignantly. A tale of a threesome takes an unexpected turn, with the storyteller unable to perform, feeling both sentimental about an old girlfriend and ambivalent about the suddenly aggressive behavior of his current one. In short, the scorekeeping of these men becomes less about tallying up sexual conquests and more about assessing their own strengths and weaknesses — and the elusiveness of their desires.
Wow, thanks Lisa!
I found this interview with author William Gibson, who like many science fiction writers is a futurist who uses fiction to explore his ideas rather than non-fiction, very pertinent. My favorite quote:
Technologies don’t emerge unless there’s someone who thinks he can make a bundle by helping them emerge.
One of the things I explore in How They Scored is exactly that dynamic: a software entrepreneur senses he can make a bundle — to use Gibson’s apt phrase — on a certain idea he had about data mining and aggregation. During the book’s action, he recruits both money and expertise from the other characters.
I had two ideas early in the morning: The character of Shaun still being hard to pin down, I ought to have him appear first of the other characters. Perhaps Hap picks him up in Wenatchee and brings him up to Chelan and they talk. This establishes his character in readers’ minds before they have a chance to focus on anyone else.
Secondly, I need to begin the book with a problem for Hap, a problem he seeks to solve throughout the narrative. He will be tempted to solve the problem by submitting to the temptations offered by the other characters.
Perhaps Shaun is one who does not offer an explicit temptation, but then we find out that the temptation he offers — whatever it is — is more insidious than the rest.
It sounds hokey, but I wonder if I could somehow tie the sex stories that people tell into the whole business development scheme. Could the sex-talk spree possibly be a competition, with the winner being somehow rewarded with the business deal?
No, it’s too too corny. Sex is too subversive. What I should do is have the sex talk somehow go against the grain of the whole business atmosphere.
In order to have a business idea for Don, I could cannibalize the bit from the cut section of Bangalored when they were joking around about spy software that would report back what songs people were listening to on their iPods during which activities.
In that book, it’s raised as a joke and then Jed starts going with it, to Stella’s disgust. What I could do is, instead of spyware, have it work on the Twitter model where you opt in. In fact, let’s say it’s a plugin that works with Twitter. When you send a message on Twitter saying what you’re doing, it pings your iPod to find out what you’re listening to at that moment, and matches them.
Almost too realistic!
Setting up office. Thinking about characters, what their stories are.
Theme emerging: temptation. Each character either/both is tempted or tempts others (sometimes other of the characters, sometimes only those in his story, sometimes those in his job).
- Friday. Drive up to Bend. Introduce main premise, the weekend with college buddies hosted by one of them who’s rich. Meets a girl in Bend and has an erotic encounter.
- Saturday. Arrive in Chelan, meets three of the other men: Seth, Dusty and Bart. After the two others go to bed, Dusty tells a story.
- Sunday. Ferry ride up the lake: Hap witnesses a conversation between Dusty and Bart. Seth inside looking a little green.
Arrival at dock. Doc and Greg there in an SUV.
Arrival at cabin. Shaun is alone there.
Dinner. General ribald atmosphere, no long story, but a lot of dirty talk.
Hap glimpses Bianca early morning, no interaction.
Golf. Continuation of ribald atmosphere. After match, mixed talk of business and sex. Perhaps a sort of power game here where choosing to talk about one means you can avoid the other.
Evening: after dinner, Bart tells a story involving his online business.
Another glimpse of Bianca, no interaction, but we get some explanation.
Bart’s additional details.
Because he is competing for Don’s attention, Greg tells a story.
This time, an actual short conversation with Bianca. Hap invites himself on a shopping trip with her, then discovers Seth has been taking her already (earlier in the week).
Tension between Bart and Greg, and also between Shaun and Greg, between Dusty and Greg. No lone seems to like Greg much. But they all have to be nice to him for a reason.
Hap tells a story tonight. Then in contrast to him, Shaun does as well.
In order to extend that, I’ll need to know more about the conflicts and all.