If you haven’t read Around the Block, don’t read this. It’ll spoil the book, and half of the fun is the surprises at the end.
Basically, I’m thinking out loud here, and I don’t want to plan the plot points beyond Act I just yet. So here are the characters’ breakdowns and goals as Mark approaches his senior year.
Josh–Josh has been caught smoking weed and getting into prescription drugs, so his parents have enrolled him in St. David’s which is the private school that Mark’s father teaches at. I don’t know how big of a factor he’ll be other than one sub-plot. I’d like to fit him in more though because I think he was funny.
Mark’s Dad (what is his name? did I give him one?) He’s going to have news that he’s been hired as the head basketball coach at Saint David’s. This is quite a bonus, and on top of his raise for getting his Master’s + 30, his salary is increasing by around $7000 for the year.
Bates–Mark is done with math since there’s no calculus II. Bate’s is the girl’s cross country coach, so he’ll have some interaction with Mark on that front.
Lisa Skyler–I’ve changed Lisa’s name to Skyler in the first book too (I can’t have to L names), because she’s going to have a much larger role in the sequel. You’ll recall she’s the gazelle-like sprinter who was a freshman last year and was one of the three people who were “it” during the tag game. She got too many people out from her speed and got sent off. She’s Bates’ niece though. She’s tall, wiry, a fast runner–though not as dominant at the start of her first cross country season. She also has a job at the Pond Bridge public library a couple days a week during the summer. She’s freshly 16, and has a car.
Brian–Brian is in recovery after his failed relationship. He’s pretty much over Carissa as she’s “grown” over the summer. He’s decided he liked the part about being sexual active now and is pretty much up for anything. He’ll even decide that Pond Bridge girls are no longer off limits, especially the younger ones. He worked a landscaping job over the summer and made a lot of money for a high school senior. He’s almost 18, so he’s really on a “I’m a man” kick.
Katy–She won’t be very important in this book. I’m thinking she might be knocked up.
Angel–She’s attending community college and is obviously growing more than Carissa even. I’d love to put her in a scene or two though for the sake of juxtaposition.
Jefferson–he’s going to be a bit of a paradox on one of the plots.
Leah–Still dating Todd at the beginning of the year. She wants to go to Cincinnati because of her relationship and fancies herself “over” high school. She really wants to beat mark out for valedictorian for extra scholarship money. She’ll be a pretty big role in this book and will come out of her shell a lot more now that Angel doesn’t have all the attention. She’s learned a thing or two down in Cincinnati.
Mark–Dad gives him the Civic! He gets a cellphone upgrade too but is paying for it all with tutoring. He tutors 4 to 5 days a week over the summer and often in the Pond Bridge library (as well as traveling to Perry). Rich parents love handing their kid over to him at $20-$30 an hour, so he can finally pay for a few things. Some growing pains affect his running though, so his senior cross-country season isn’t going to start where he left off in track.
(Mild spoilers ahead)
Plots–Obviously with working at the library he’s going to encounter Skyler (not sure I like that name enough) quite a bit. She seems VERY innocent, even for Mark, so he’s patient with any progress. However, Brian steps in and takes her out before Mark feels its right. In return, Mark’s senior year schedule isn’t challenging. He decides to apply for student ambassador and is chosen over Brian. Now he and Leah share the tiny office. This of course sets off a feud between the boys.
After Dad is hired as the basketball coach, he suggests to Mark that he could transfer and play for him his senior year. This idea seems even better now that Josh goes to school there…and Jefferson doesn’t. Nor any of the other assholes on his team. He’ll get a chance to visit a real school day at some point.
That’s all I want to share for now. I thought about trying to plan Act I, II, and III, but I think that would limit plots. I’ve always had a vague idea of where I want the novel to go, and then usually the surprises hit as I’m writing (well, once I got to bed, so I have to get up and find my whiteboard in the dark). I know what I want the theme of this one to be as well. Something to the effect of, once high school is over–none of it really mattered. Sports, dances, tests, etc. The real world is a much more relevant place.
I’ll keep posting about it on here I guess, and who knows–maybe I can get chapters up and running like last year.