I’m in the ‘percolating’ stage for my current novel in progress, THE DAY WE ATE GRANDAD.
It is the third in the Pagham-on-Sea series, which are not a strict chronological series but more like the Discworld books in concept, where there is a setting that connects all the groups of stories together.
This is the third one with the same characters as THE CROWS and THIRTEENTH and is more a direct sequel to THIRTEENTH, but I have PoS books planned that are unrelated to this series, and ones that spin off the same central family as this trilogy. I guess this is the Fairwood series within the series?
Anyway, I thought this would be a fun game to try and focus my thoughts and pull the draft together…
My WIP Playlist
1. OPENING CREDITS: The theme tune by Gemma Cartmell would be the opening… I asked for a theme that echoes the one for THE CROWS and THIRTEENTH, but this should be more Welsh folk, and reflect the themes of grief and bereavement. Check it out:
2. MC’S “I WANT” SONG: I have 3 MCs, the same as in THIRTEENTH, which makes TDWAG a direct sequel in a way THIRTEENTH is not exactly a direct sequel of THE CROWS. The problem is that at the start of this novel, none of them really know what they want. It opens at a point where they’ve had to let go of a lot of the things they thought they wanted at the end of THIRTEENTH, because life – and the consequences of their actions and decisions coming back to bite them – means things have taken a Turn.
Katy thinks the way to get what she wants is to complete the task she’s ‘born’ to do, so she leans into that, largely because she really believes that her life will be better once everyone’s dead, and she isn’t entirely wrong: KILL EVERYONE | Hollywood Undead
Wes wants the cull to end as quickly as possible so he can rebuild his life from the wreckage – he also wants to emerge from it more powerful than he was before (so he won’t be looked down on by family elders and enjoy doing nothing except what he wants to do): THE ANTHEM OF MR DARK | The Arcadian Wild
Ricky has absolutely had enough of everyone and everything, and he hasn’t gone through all this bullshit to be continuously fucked around, so he’s very insistent on his position as a god in the family, and that he wants to be the master of Fairwood, not just a lodger, which is causing some serious friction at home: KING FOR A DAY | Pierce the Veil, Kellin Quinn
3. MC’S MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP SONG: At the beginning of the book, the MCs are all strongly reliant on each other even though they are basically estranged or separated by physical/emotional distance.
Katy at the start of the book believes that self-reliance is the most important thing, because of the amount of people she’s lost and she is struggling to find herself in her new role: LOVE MYSELF | Hailee Steinfeld
Wes will always have his partners as his most important relationships and he’s also aware that, after eight years with his girlfriend and four years with his boyfriend, he’s a nightmare to be with, but he’s pretty much nothing without them: I’M NOT A SAINT | Billy Raffoul
Ricky‘s most important relationship at the start of the novel is with Fairwood, and he’s seriously messing it up, largely on purpose, because the one thing he is the master of is epic self-sabotage: ENDING | Isak Danielson
4. A SONG FOR THE SETTING: The novel takes place in an alternative contemporary U.K. with scenes in Pagham-on-Sea, East Sussex (fictional), London, possibly Basildon, and maybe somewhere else for a funeral scene. It also has a bit of Wales in there at last!? But there are also significant scenes in the Outside, where eldritch entities await, eager to enter our world… so maybe there’s a few options here…
THE TRAITOR | Atrium Carceri – The Outside
ENGLAND SCREAMS | Strange Bones – most of it (apart from the Welsh setting scenes)
THE BURNING FOREST | Enrico Pasini – Wales & related Welsh myth settings (will update when I find a Welsh song with this exact vibe, recs welcome)
5. THE VILLAIN’S SONG: In this case, the antagonistic element is the apocalyptic death cult that has sprung up, intent on taking their place as gods once the cull is complete.
1997 | Saint Motel
6. THE LOVE INTEREST OR SIDEKICK’S THEME SONG: There are three side characters of importance, who have their own POVs! Fairwood is a central one for Ricky and Katy, but there’s also Layla, whose determined normalcy and refusal to give in to the family is really important for Ricky, who needs a kick up the arse from someone who isn’t Wes. On the other side of things there’s Theo, who has joined the death cult and is absolutely villain sidekick material if he thinks the villain is hot. Which he does.
Fairwood: DEAD IS THE NEW ALIVE | Emilie Autumn
Theo: RELIGION | Isak Danielson
Layla: NEVER SURRENDER | Paul Herzog
7. A SONG FOR SOMETHING SAD/UPSETTING THAT HAPPENS TO THE MC: Honestly a lot happens that is sad/upsetting but here are three teaser songs…
Katy : MONSTER | Skillet
Wes … um. Wes has to face up to a few things. His whole existence is upsetting, to be honest. OUTRUNNING KARMA | Alec Benjamin
Ricky has to face up to what he is most afraid of, and it isn’t what he thinks it is… HOLD ON FOR YOUR LIFE | Sam Tinnesz
8. A SONG ABOUT THE MC’S DOUBTS OR FEARS: The doubts/fears of these three are fairly dramatic, but ultimately they each have to face up to the people they are, and the ones they could turn into. Grief and guilt, and the many related emotions that come with bereavement and loss, can themselves monstrous things, and this threatens to consume them in different ways until they learn to deal with it.
NIGHTMARE | Set It Off
9. A SONG FOR WHAT THE MC REALISES THEY WANT EVEN MORE THAN #2: Ultimately, they are all looking for the same thing, which is not only somewhere to belong, but to be able to belong there. What they want is to be able to be family properly, in a healthier way.
HOME | Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors, Bebe Rexha
10. A SONG THAT REPRESENTS WHAT THE MC HAS LEARNED THROUGH THEIR ARC: All three of them have to face not only the person they each are, but the people who had a hand in shaping them. They confront a lot of generational trauma and realise that they are equal to the task of overcoming it. Both these songs are applicable to all three MCs.
BONES OF A RABBIT | Young Heretics
BEAUTIFUL DARKSIDE | The Classic Crime
11. A SONG ABOUT THE STORY’S OVERALL THEME:
MIDDLE FINGER | Bohnes
12. THE CLOSING CREDITS: