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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Raistlin1040's Avatar

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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: National Novel Writing Month

    Alright ladies and gentlemen. Here is the plot of my novel, as developed as it probably will be before it gets started.

    For the first semester of his junior year in a small, New England liberal arts college, Clarke Kaplan decides to study abroad in Seville, Spain. He is a technically gifted painter, but he feels like his paintings aren't "important" or meaningful. He is an Art History major and decides that studying in Spain will help inject him with some passion and meaning.

    He leaves behind his group of friends, including Adrian, a Southern gentleman who is heir to a large forture, Erick and Amanda, two starry-eyed slackers, and Emily, an enigmatic girl from another school. While in Spain, he immediately connects with a new group of friends, the jovial computer programmer Santi, the budding politician Paulina, and the quiet 聲gel Mar燰.

    For the most part, Clarke finds his classes in Spain boring, one in particular interests him. It's a study on contemporary, counter-culture art that focuses prominently on a new Spanish artist named Salvadore S墈z. S墈z is extremely private, to the point where no one has ever met him. He is primarily a graffiti artist, but has recently begun a sequence of paintings that have been left on the doorsteps of local art galleries.

    Despite finding a lot of interest in S墈z's work, Clarke ultimately leaves Spain at the end of the semester feeling unsatisfied. He made friends, but didn't "find himself" or make any meaning out of his life. He also finds that in the five short months that he's been gone, his friends have changed a lot. Adrian, previously an entitled trust fund boy, has taken an internship at a large corporation in order to prove to his parents that he deserves his share of the family's company. Erick and Amanda, having never taken the step to have an official relationship and generally behaving like awkward teenagers, have begun dating seriously and begun to sort out their schoolwork. Even Emily, someone Clarke saw as a kindred spirit, has begun pursuit of a career in journalism.

    Feeling alienated by his friends' newfound sense of purpose, Clarke resolves to finish the year and then re-evaluate his life, but

    Spoilers for a book that has not been written yet
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    Clarke's father's illness gets worse and he is moved to a hospital full-time. Clarke leaves school to be with his family, and then to take care of his ailing grandmother and mother after his father passes away. He ends up taking a minimum wage job as a clerk to help support his family. He attempts to begin a relationship with Emily, but is rebuffed, and he tries to begin one with Amanda as well after she comes over to comfort him about his father's death. After spoiling his friendships with Emily, Amanda, and Erick, Clarke takes a turn for the worse, burning his paintings and throwing out his art supplies, resolving to "grow up" and abandon his creative pursuits.

    His grandmother gets sicker as well, but she reveals that she'd sold some jewelry in anticipation of taking a vacation. Given the circumstances, she offers the money to Clarke to go somewhere for a little while and clear his head. Initially he refuses, but after the doctors assure him that she will be fine, and after Adrian offers to look after his family, Clarke decides to return to Spain and track down Salvadore S墈z.

    Spoilerception
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    After a few days of bumming around Seville, Clarke discovers that Salvadore S墈z is the pseudonym of his friend 聲gel Mar燰. In shock, he has a conversation with 聲gel, who reveals that his father is dead as well. His father was a cruel man who beat him and his mother and drank away their savings before he was eventually kicked out. After he left, 聲gel never saw him again, but he eventually discovered that his father had won a large sum of money in an American lottery and left it all to his ex-wife and son, before being murdered over a gambling debt.

    聲gel hated his father for what he had done, but couldn't deny that the money he'd been left had helped his mother take care of herself, and allowed him to make his art for free. In that sense, he started to try and forgive his father and became concerned with redemption and healing, which is why he'd begun his paintings, as a way to express the conflicted emotions he felt over his father.

    Clarke initially reacts indignantly, upset that the art that he'd taken so much from could be explained by something so simple as a strained family relationship. 聲gel explains that it doesn't really matter what the art means to him, personally. What has made his work famous is the way other people respond to it, what meaning THEY take from his paintings. He claims that there is no great cosmic meaning of life, but that each person has to find their own path to a fulfilled, meaningful life, regardless of if it's "important" or not. Clarke leaves and reflects on 聲gel's words, deciding to return home and reconcile with his friends. As his plane flies home, he sketches the first piece of art he's done in months on a sheet of notebook paper, and has a brief discussion with the woman next to him about it.
    Being in that this novel has central themes that include "the meaning of life", "isolation", and "religious themes", I give this one Pretentiousness Level: Damien Hirst.
    Last edited by Raistlin1040; 2012-10-24 at 11:23 PM.
    My avatar is by Dirtytabs. From the Future.
    Quote Originally Posted by YPU View Post
    Real life doesnt happen, it surprises you like a trap of a CR way above your level.
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