HH Com 420 (419 is off roasting chestnuts over a flaming coiffeure)

A friendless, troubled college freshman, London Marr joins a group of campus anarchists incensed by Bush's Mideast war. He takes to leftist agitation like a natural, and soon he's out there burning flags for peace. Finally, he has a purpose. He's fighting evil, and having a great time doing it in the party atmosphere of campus anti-war demonstrations. A solitary freak no longer, he's part of a mass movement for social change. He even hooks up with Triss, the first girlfriend he's ever had.

Gino is a hothead pushing a philosophy of political violence. Because peaceful protest won't accomplish a thing. Never stopped an imperialist war, and never will. Gino's talk of Revolution sounds like what London's been seeking his whole life, and the older boy starts to seem like the nihilistic big brother he's never had. Until Gino's bomb explodes on campus, maiming a janitor, and forcing London to question whether he's down with blowing people up in the name of world peace. And whether he wants to spend the rest of his life sharing a prison cell with Gino, as the FBI descends on student leftists full-force.

Gino isn't stopping at one bomb either, not while America oppresses the world and destroys the planet. He sees enemies everywhere, including a former best friend too weak-kneed to do what it's going to take to sink the System. With cops yanking peace activists off the streets, Gino sets his sights on London as the next target for his rage.

Here's why you don't give characters geographic names: "With cops yanking peace activists off the streets, Gino sets his sights on London as the next target for his rage."

You're awash in descriptions of characters. Pare down. Focus. The read The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing.


Anonymous said...

Cripes, this wasn't a good story in 1968 when things really were that crazy and campus violence was as common as keggers.

Strangely enough, I DO remember the 60s.

If it takes a poor janitor getting maimed to wake up the hero about violence being bad for...well...everyone, then he's too dumb to breathe.

Anonymous said...

Also, by the time the book comes out (probably two years from now) the "current" events will seem quite dated.

Deschanel said...

Ugh. It sounds like a right-wing paranoid fantasy by an avid FOX news viewer.

It's a common trope among that set- all those dirty hippies against the war are somehow worse than the people escalating it.

Politics and polemics SUCK in novels, from the left or the right. Fiction with a "message" is just the worst. Good art and craft are paramount.

Virginia Miss said...

Maybe try Landon instead of London for a character's name?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I can read about this kind of stuff in the paper right now, why would I want to pick up a book about it, and fiction to boot.

the author said...

Well, I'll consider changing the kid's name, but I don't think it causes any real confusion in the novel. He calls himself 'London' because he thinks it sounds cooler then 'Fred.'

Of course, any name changes will have to be run past my masters at FOX news first.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, with the world in the fucked-up shambles that it is currently, in large part thanks to chicken-hawk right-wing assholes, I'm not picking up a book that has leftist protestors as the bad guys.

Maybe you've created a more nuanced world than your hook makes it seem, but if you're going for liberalism and opposing war is evil, count me out. Not just now... forever.

Oh, and libertarians suck, too.

See? Doesn't my strong political viewpoint make for vivid, entertaining reading? Neither did yours.

jamal said...

Well, it's politically incorrect, and therefore bad. Evil exists only among Republicans, Libertarians and Christians. Choose your villains accordingly.

You're writing about a young man who considers taking violent action? This is simply not believable. Everyone knows that young men all over the world are absolute pacifists.

Nice try with the current events, but soon they won't be current anymore and we'd rather read about them in newspapers anyway. Journalists illuminate the world far better then mere fiction writers ever could.