Host Chapter Fifty Three

I was reading about an interview with Otis where she said she already had titles picked out for sequels to this crap. They would be called ‘Soul’ and ‘The Seeker’. That’s another mark of an amateur writer, one who picks titles before their work is written. Picking a title should be a secondary consideration, having no bearing on the rest. It also tells me that for ol’ Otis, there is something else hack about her. The ending to those stories are already forgone conclusions.

Here’s a tip for any aspiring writers who read this blog(total:1, ping!). Don’t start off knowing where you want the story to go. When you try to make the characters fit a certain ending, they become stale and then all you’re doing is filling pages from the introduction to the conclusion. Your characters need to breathe a little and go places you didn’t expect them to.

Let me give you an example. Say you’re writing a novel where a love triangle features heavily in the story. Let’s say the three are Bob, Stacey and Mary. Say you want Bob to end up with Stacey, you obviously just can’t start off that way because then there’s no story. So you need to make some tension between the characters. Maybe Bob has an affair with Mary or they’re exes that haven’t resolved their feelings. Whatever the case something needs to happen or there’s no story.

As you’re writing it out, you’re always conscious that’s the ending you want. You don’t let Bob wander too far astray from Stacey because otherwise you might have to change the ending and that’s not what you want. So you’ll subconsciously avoid getting too close to having Bob wreck the relationship with Stacey for good. And believe it or not, readers pick up on that.

Mind you that’s not a hard and fast rule there. You can have an ending in mind, or a goal you’re working to. Say you’re trying to take Bob to the point where his feelings for, at least one of the two, are resolved and he moves on. You can keep that in mind, just don’t be afraid to let your characters live a little. They need to get out, make mistakes and get hurt like real people. They need to breathe.

That’s just my hack opinion anyway. If I truly knew anything I’d be making money hand over fist like ol Otis, right? You’re free to disregard all this and move onto the recap.

This chapter is called ‘condemned’. This could be referring to either a building she saw that was condemned once or maybe even the game. Please let it be the game. No wait, don’t. I don’t want Otis to like or touch or even know about anything else I like lest it somehow be tainted.

You ready for a real shocker? One that will make you drop your socks? Okay, as long as you’re sitting down. It turns out ol’ HK was jealous of Eve and that’s why she was following her. Apparently HK could hear her host too and wanted to know how to make her shutup. So she followed Eve around and watched, all the while getting madder and madder because Eve was so perfect. A valid gripe, I have to say.

So Otis’s avatar only makes people mad when they’re jealous of her. Sharon(!) is angry because Doc talks to her, Jared is mad that Ian talks to her, Maggie is just a mean old lady and HK was jealous because her own host wouldn’t stop talking. Gee, compensating for much Otis? ‘Damn all the haters.’

Because HK is someone Otis doesn’t like, her body is just as annoying. She complains and whines, something I would expect the author would do rather than just clam up and deal.

Yadda shmacka flap. Eve wonders how people will look at Jackie Otis when she’s gone. Jamie treats Eve like two people so he’ll miss Eve while Jared will be glad to have Jackie Oti back and Ian will cry.

Okay Otis, have you read any of what you’ve written? Jamie doesn’t treat Jeeve as to separate beings. He talks to Eve and Eve alone. He just doesn’t care because she’s wearing his sister’s face and occasionally hands him sweets. This kid would love a serial killer if they tousled his hair and gave him a hug every once in awhile.

Oh and suddenly everyone’s mad at Kyle for some reason. Apparently he slipped out the second he saw how well the Bugectomy worked. It seems he’s off in search of a girl named Jodi who’s likely out in Oregon. All the while they’re complaining that he’s gone and put them at risk.

Yes, how dare he do something in the name of love, selfish prick. It’s okay that Eve kept endangering people for the fun of it but Kyle? Draw and quarter the bastard I saw. Tar his head and bring it to me. I shall leave it at the gates of Badgertopia for all to see. There it shall remain until the flesh rots from the skull which will be bleached over the weeks.

You remember how I suggested they kidnap a ‘healer’? Praise the darkness, somebody finally listened to me. Eve decides to take one, excise the bug and hope they retain the memories needed to use the alien medicines.

Oh man, I don’t know. It’d take a scientist to use something like ‘no pain’ or ‘heal’. You might want to go to the alien equivalent of the Mayo Clinic and kidnap one of them. Maybe they’ll have someone smart enough to use those. Otherwise the humans wil be forced to sit around staring at the labels, trying to puzzle through the arcane language written on the box like hieroglyphs without the Rosetta stone.

Eve tells them to send the recovered bugs to certain planets because it takes at least a century to get there. ‘Uh huh, whatever you say Eve! Man she talks a lot.’ ‘Keeps smiling and nodding until she’s gone. Have you got the incinerator ready?’ ‘Ready and polished. I wonder if they’ll squeal like lobsters when we toss them in?’

Eve finds a ship that’s being loaded and grabs HK’s tank out of the truck. She then calmly carries it up to the open hold and adds it to a stack near the back. You know, it’s a good thing space and weight aren’t at a premium in space travel. I too would have lots and lots of extra space that goes unused in the hold of a spaceship, just like in real life. Remember how the Apollo Twelve guys got to take a jukebox along because there was just so much room?

Now they go into town and lure a ‘healer’ or two out and knock them unconscious with the chloroform. It’s a good thing chloroform only has one use. I hate to think of them having an anesthetic on hand and not using it while ol’ Walt was dying of cancer. Yup, it should only be used for it’s intended purpose. Knocking out people for purposes of the plot.

Wow Eve is boring. They stop by a drive thru. Eve gets food and so does Ian. She dips her fries into her shake. Yes, but what kind Otis? Is it chocolate or strawberry? Were they regular fries or curly? Did she use her napkins or just wipe her hands on her pants? How can you leave me hanging like this? I demand answers!

They get back, they cut the humans open. Eve makes them promise, cross their heart and everything, not to kill the bugs. Then she teaches them how to play red rocket with the aliens.

One of the ‘healers’ wakes up after they finish the first one. The bug inside shreds the host brain and falls over. Don’t care. Something had better happen or I’ll send my badgers down to Arizona with some chloroform and see if they can dig out a bug or two from you, Otis.

<<Chapter Fifty Two

Chapter Fifty Four>>

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4 Responses to Host Chapter Fifty Three

  1. maeverin says:

    granted i ain’t no pro-fesh-shun-al writer, but i actually find i have to have an ending in mind. otherwise i lose focus and get bored and/or never finish.
    I agree that can sabotage a story, like you said, but I think it’s a matter of preference and doing whatever works.

    • vivisector says:

      Preference or no I think that planning out a trilogy before it’s written is one of the writer’s greater sins. Plus, picking the titles is a bit preemptive for work that was, as of the interview, not done nor even started. Again, I’m no more than a hack and I know it.

      • maeverin says:

        i do think picking out titles this early is awfully strange. it’s like dooming your story before you write it, similar to knowing the ending i guess.
        course this comes from the incredible imagination that brings us poetry like “heal” and “clean.”

      • vivisector says:

        Oh yes and let us not for get ‘healer’ and ‘Tumbles with Dryer’ for professions and names respectively.

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