Sunday 21 July 2019

What Were We Singing In The Eighties?

Over the past few months, I've been composing a story I originally conceived in 1988. I had already written a number of novels, still unpublished today, and I wanted to take a change in pace. My first four-or-five novels were what we might today consider Young Adult Thrillers. The principal characters were high school kids based upon myself and my friends. So this particular novel followed a remarkable pace.

Things have changed - kind'a sort'a.

I wanted to take another break from Craig Ramsey. Just a short one. And I re-discovered all my old writing plans and ideas. There amongst everything else written on the fronts and back of old yellowing foolscap pages I unearthed it. The book I primarily wanted to be a horror because I read heaps of Stephen King in those days.

The old outline is 38 chapters long. Character sketches looked at me with jaundiced eyes from the pages. Some of the names I will use. Most I won't.

And NONE of the characters were based upon anyone I know. Although I planned to write it in first-person, I never even imagined myself as the main character (or even secondary characters).

Now in 1989, I did start writing this book. One chapter written in three nights on my summer holidays after finishing high school. I never wrote another chapter of it. And that chapter was written in two different versions. One clean, the other so dirty and filthy that it made my sticky-beak mother cringe when she discovered it while nosing around in my room.

"I don't like your writing style, Chris," she said, which is why I swabbed it up. Maybe I went overboard. Where is that chapter now? No idea. Probably stored away in a plastic box somewhere, feeding some free-loading cockroaches.

But I digress.

The characters are more distinct. Rebooted, you might say. The story remains the consistent theme.
A bullied teenager wreaks havoc upon the ones who maimed him - thanks to the girl of his dreams. She presently turns into his nightmare.

Last night, I finished drafting chapter 11. It's turning into quite a trip as I recall so many things from the 1980s. Instead of setting it in 1988 (as initially intended) it's now in 1986-1987. That presents other challenges, heightens some conflicts, too. But the biggest challenge is to remember SPECIFIC things about life in Rockhampton (my hometown) in 1986. I pride myself on remembering dates, names and places. But now I discover myself trying to remember things in better detail. How did people act then?

What exactly did we listen to in each year?

What did we sing in the eighties?

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