Well, here we are again. I continue to get weekly notes from my imaginary editor, for reasons that may be more clear if you catch up.
And honestly, after the revelation that my imaginary editor is editing what may be an imaginary book, I’m pretty relaxed about the whole thing. So let’s just look at this in a calm, curious spirit. There might be something we can learn from it.
I can see that the imaginary editor has an interesting point. We give characters tics and foibles and unusual ideas to help us – and the reader – to know that character as a unique person. Some of these are minor; some are extreme.
In a case where a character has an extreme view it makes sense that this should have something to do with the story. (That the miniscule orange octopi really are crawling over her skin; or that the miniscule orange octopi are, in fact, a delusion that’s explained when we learn that unusually large orange octopi from space have released a hallucenogenic drug into the Earth’s atmosphere.) I get that. The character’s peculiar quirk turns out to be essential to the story, often in a way that’s surprising.
But this? I mean, spinach is a force for global evil. This can’t be seen as unexpected, or revelatory, or insane. It’s just a fact.
Spinach infects our parents with some kind of mind control when they’re children. Then it forces them to expose us to its vile influence while we ourselves are young and helpless. It’s kind of like Toxoplasmosis.
Everybody knows this. So what’s the big reveal, here?
Something about this is odd. In my notes for one of the characters in Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom I’m sure I mentioned the truth about spinach: but none of that made it into the final draft. So once again I’m left to wonder exactly what book my imaginary editor is talking about. It doesn’t seem to be my book, but… now and then there’s one of these weird coincidences that sounds like my book. It’s starting to get kind of creepy.