So-- I recently spent a good chunk of time re-telling the story of Hailey's Comet (as my faithful stalkers well know). To be completely honest, the final product is nothing short of astounding. Given the useless fart that I had to work with-- I dare say it is my greatest contribution to Insanely Witty Stupidity. The changes I made are pretty extensive. I could never hope to discuss them all in a brief article (like the one you are reading). I catalogued my thoughts while I read Hailey's Comet from my website. And, I wrote some very detailed notes about the story. My comments analyze the structure of the narrative not only by chapter-- but by paragraph number.
I intend to discuss changes I made to the story in this article. But (because they may contain additional, thoughtful information), I have included a copy of my original notes as well. It's worth mentioning-- my personal notes (and this article) contain many spoilers about the book. Also, my hapless dictations are not censored or dumbed down for the benefit of a reader. As a result-- the language of my analysis is sarcastic, unhinged, and filled with crude humor and (possibly) narcissistic insults. My notes were written by me-- for me. They are provided as is. Do not take them too seriously (after all, I am completely incapable of thinking in such a way). Neither my notes nor this article are sufficient for covering the extensive modifications I made to the original narrative. The only way to truly appreciate the changes I made is to (literally) compare the chapters of Hailey's Comet to those of the brutally dissected edition.
I suppose I should start by analyzing chapter one of Hailey's Comet (titled "Wednesday"). I didn't like the story right from the start. The city of Malley, Glory High School, and the characters Hailey and Wednesday are quickly "introduced" to a reader in the opening three paragraphs. What actually happens is that-- the introductory sections of the first chapter are constructed with (what seems to be) "filler material". In fact, the opening paragraphs contain a great deal of descriptive detail. At the time that I wrote them, they were some of the more thoughtful descriptive paragraphs I ever wrote. Sadly, they lack sincerity. They throw details around in a way that is very passive-- meaning the descriptions are not put to good use. Rather, they simply *pass* through a reader's eyes without being visualized and fully appreciated.
This is the start of a frightening trend that (sadly) continues throughout the entirety of the story. As descriptive as Hailey's Comet is (and believe me, Hailey's Comet contains some very thoughtful visual details), it leaves a reader's imagination strangely unused. Unfortunately, it rarely implants an image inside a reader's mind as intended. Wanting to describe the way things look is not good enough. As it turns out, it takes a lot of ambition to transfer an image to another person's mind. It requires a great deal of dedication-- and patient, philosophical analysis in order to accomplish this. Sadly, the first three paragraphs of Hailey's Comet set the mood for the remainder of the book. It never deviates from this path of perpetual disappointment. It's true. :(
The remainder of chapter one consists of character driven dialog and actions (at least, it's supposed to). The dialog of the first chapter of Hailey's Comet is some of the worst I have ever read. It's frightening to me that-- I actually am the person who wrote it. I'm not sure what world my imagination was rotting in when I crafted the character interactions of Hailey's Comet. But, they are absolutely pitiful! For example, there is the following exchange between Hailey and Wednesday:
" \"Hey,\" Hailey replied, rubbing her arm, \"the truth hurts.\" She slugged her friend back. She smiled at the squishy sensation of her friend's jacket against her fingers. It was made of soft, black leather. \"Nice coat, man.\" "
So, right off the bat-- let's say I was going to write this same language in a story today. " \"The truth hurts.\" " would be the start of a new sentence. I'll tell you that right away. Here is a wasted opportunity to thoughtfully describe the texture of Wednesday's soft, leather jacket: "She smiled at the squishy sensation of her friend's jacket against her fingers."
For starters, simply dropping the prepositional phrase "against her fingers" results in a more thoughtful statement: "She smiled at the squishy sensation of her friend's jacket." But, hell-- she is smiling and experiencing the texture of her friend's jacket-- in the same sentence?? Jesus Christ. This is how something thoughtful can quickly become something "passive". Simply saying: "The texture of her friend's jacket was squishy." is much more sensationally stimulating. Then, starting a new sentence: "It made her smile." completes the thought. The " \"Nice coat, man.\" " is (I suppose) Hailey's way of speaking "cool"?? That sounds really dorky, to me. I would *never* write this dialog, today. Boy-- does that statement sound pretentious? That is only the first paragraph of the exchange. Shall I continue?:
" \"Thanks,\" Wednesday replied, rubbing her arm. \"I stole it last week.\"
Hailey turned to her. \"You stole it?!\"
\"I'm kidding!\" Wednesday assured her. \"I bought it at a garage sale. The only thing I've ever stolen is a heart or two.\" "
Alrighty, so-- I don't give a flying fuck if Wednesday stole a jacket. Seriously, I don't. I *really* dislike that it bothers Hailey so much. 'cause-- it doesn't. Who gives a fuck?? We leave these passing thoughts only to arrive at: " \"I bought it at a garage sale.\" " Because-- I (apparently) need to know this?? No. The narrator is trying to switch tracks to some final thought: " \"The only thing I've ever stolen is a heart or two.\" "
The word pretentious does not do this dialog justice. That would be an insult to the word "pretentious". This is manipulative garbage. It is leading. It is infuriating to read. Please, do *not* do this to me (your reader)!! If we must arrive at a specific topic of conversation (for some strange reason), we can choose any number of ways to get there. Hailey and Wednesday were (literally) just talking about Travis making out with his girlfriend. The girls' love life couldn't have been discussed following *this* exchange? Choices. You've gotta make the right choices when telling a story. I'll switch to Tommy and his friends, now. I don't intend to analyze every single chapter of the book to this extent. Basically, just keep in mind-- the same pretentious dialog (and character actions) encountered in chapter one are rampant in every subsequent chapter of Hailey's Comet. Let that sink in.
Next in chapter one, we arrive at Vicky's car-- where (apparently) Paul, Joe, and Tommy beat Vicky to her automobile and start acting like a bunch of ass-holes. Maybe that is slightly humorous. It's hard to say. But (for whatever reason), Tommy has made up his mind that *he* will be driving Vicky's Station Cruiser. This leads to the following confrontation (and resolution):
" \"Man, you guys are dicks!\" Vicky screamed. She ran up and hopped over Tommy. As she jumped, Tommy snagged her around the ankle and took her to the ground. Vicky let out a screech. Tommy dragged her across loose gravel and knelt on top of her."
This paragraph bothers me immensely. There are many things that trouble me regarding this collection of sentences. I don't like "She ran up and hopped over Tommy," (simply because it is not entirely clear who "she" is). At least if the statement were "Vicky ran up and hopped over Tommy," it is easily understood we are (in fact) still speaking about Vicky. "As she jumped, Tommy snagged her around the ankle" is (again) unclear. For all I (a reader) know, we have switched to two totally separate people. This statement is also a missed opportunity. It is supposed to detail some action occuring in the story. Yet, no clear descriptive details are given. I get no visual information about the shape of Tommy's fingers (scrawny, bony fingers? thick, hedonist digits?) The author (me) did not bother to describe Vicky's clothing, shoes, something about her "ankle", etc.
Next, Tommy "takes her to the ground". Does Vicky trip and fall on her face? Does she tear a hole in the knees of her bell bottoms? To me, this is the most frustrating aspect of Hailey's Comet-- it *wants* to describe what is happening. However, it consistently fails to do so. Then, it annoys a reader with pretentious dialog (like the exchanges immediately following this paragraph):
" \"Vicky!\" Tommy shouted. \"Let me drive, man! Let me drive!\" He tried to snatch the keys out of her hand. She jerked them away and clutched them against her chest.
\"No!\" Vicky screamed through laughter. Tommy grabbed her hands. He began to fumble with her fingers, trying to knock her keys loose. \"Tommy! She's gonna get us, Tommy!\"
\"Come on, just let me drive, man,\" Tommy begged. \"Come on!\"
\"Tommy!\" Vicky yelled. \"Guys, help me!\"
Paul hopped on top of Vicky's Station Cruiser and threw his fists on his hips. \"I'll save you, my dear!\" he valiantly shouted. He dropped to the opposite side of the car. Then, he jogged up and grabbed Tommy in a chokehold. Tommy released his grip and tried to stand up."
There's some silliness going on here-- but it's highly annoying. There's some teenage hijinks-- but, they are extremely irritating. We get a hint of romantic interest between Paul and Vicky (but, I mean-- not properly demonstrated due to poorly described actions and dialog that makes a reader wanna vomit rather than continue gobbling language). The elements of a decent narrative are here. They are (simply) not brought to fruition. The entirety of Hailey's Comet feels like one, long winded failure to me. The proper method for proceeding with this project was to simply fill in these missing pieces. And then, allow the story to tell itself (i.e., equip what is (essentially) an outline with the structure of a narrative-- so that it may stand on its own). If only unthoughtful dialog, situational circle jerks, and missing actions were the only faults of Hailey's Comet. smh.
At times, the book dances around its more terrifying situations. I suppose this allows Hailey's Comet to remain in a "safe space" (and hopefully appeal to a wider audience). But, the truth is-- playing it safe comes at the expense of credibility. During the course of the story, Hailey and her friends engage in some extremely disturbing behavior. However-- none of Hailey, Wednesday, or Lloyd's reactions feel authentic due to Hailey's Comet's childish treatment of mature content. A reader is left questioning Hailey and her friends' antics-- not encouraging them. There (simply) is no content described that is horrifying to the degree that the girls (and Lloyd) are pushed to their breaking points. Some descriptions are skipped entirely-- like Hailey being raped by her mom's on/off boyfriend in chapter three. That is a huge mistake.
The fact is-- many terrifying situations occur in the narrative. However, their shocking nature is glazed over. So, they might as well not happen at all. If a reader analyzes the entirety of Hailey's sexual assault (and he/she experiences Hailey's sheer, adolescent terror), he/she will be screaming at the pages of Hailey's Comet: "Just kill him!" Hailey's rape is a terrifying ordeal that was added to the brutally dissected edition. There are others.
In chapter two (preceeding Hailey's sexual assault), a brief history between Larry and Hailey is described. It feels contrived and forced. It is nothing like the terrifying collection of narratives it fails to describe. It seems pretentious. And (at times), it is quite boring. It's difficult to fathom-- the elements of a terrifying ordeal are outlined. However, they are never properly utilized. On top of that, the actions that are chronicled are not described properly. Tragic narrative elements are portrayed in a manner that seems psychedelic-- even comedic.
I decided to analyze a depiction from Hailey and Larry's "first encounter" (although, there are many others I can also pick on). And, it goes a little something like:
"Larry stepped from behind the door and eased it shut. Even back then, he had that same Hitler mustache and horseshoe shaped bald spot at the front of his head. A gathering of short, black hair stuck out at either side. He looked across the living room and stared at Hailey through a pair of dark, widened eyes. A cold chill slithered down her spine. It was like a nightmare. She felt like jumping up and running away, but she was too petrified to move. Larry's wide eyed stare never faltered. He took a quick sip from a bottle of whiskey then added a toothy smile to the mix. The gesture only added to Hailey's terror. Larry was missing a few teeth. In a way, he began to resemble a Jack-o-lantern."
We'll start with: "Larry stepped from behind the door and eased it shut. Even back then, he had that same Hitler mustache and horseshoe shaped bald spot at the front of his head. A gathering of short, black hair stuck out at either side." At least-- we've got some visual details going on, here. They are pitifully written (yielding minimum effect). But, they are there. But-- what the hell is Larry wearing? *I* (the author) know what he is wearing. But, I guess-- a reader must visualize Larry naked?? This is supposed to be a section of the story that invades a reader's mind with a terrible, visual depiction of this disgusting pig. And, yet-- very little information is actually described. Just the man's mustache and bald head are detailed. How disappointing.
Next, we get some idea of what Larry's terrifying face tends to look like: "He looked across the living room and stared at Hailey through a pair of dark, widened eyes." So-- he's got some dark piercing eyes. And, they're popped wide open. Picture that. Much easier to do when I give the separate descriptions the honor of having their own, independent sentences. The description continues: "A cold chill slithered down her spine." Wait a minute-- a cold chill slithered down whose fucking spine? Also, does a chill slither? lol. This description is fuckin' terrible. I'll keep going: "It was like a nightmare. She felt like jumping up and running away, but she was too petrified to move. Larry's wide eyed stare never faltered." Larry's eyes are poppin' out of his head. Can you see this? It is terrifying. But, the terror is very far removed from what you read. It is a subtle art-- describing what something looks like. It requires well executed nuances. A narrator can't just say (literally): "Oh, well-- the guy's eyes were wide open. And, they be stayin' that way."
Finally, we get to: "He took a quick sip from a bottle of whiskey then added a toothy smile to the mix. The gesture only added to Hailey's terror. Larry was missing a few teeth. In a way, he began to resemble a Jack-o-lantern." And, this hideous paragraph concludes with my eyes rolling to the top of my head and my irritated face shaking side to side. Some details of pure terror are outlined in this paragraph. Larry is a horrifying behemoth with mortifying characteristics. The only thing left to do is-- actually describe what he looks like-- you know, in story format. It feels like the job is only half done, here. It is not enough to list some details about Larry's face. My duty (as an author) is to use Larry's characteristics to terrify a reader. Larry doesn't (in a way) resemble a Jack-o-lantern. He has a face like a Jack-o-lantern. Points of broken teeth poke out of his grinning lips. Much better, right?
I'll continue my analysis of the failure that is Hailey's Comet with:
" \"You want some too, you little bitch?!\" he screamed. Hailey looked up. She glared at him through a pair of wide eyes behind the lenses of her glasses.
\"Fuck you!\" she screeched through a set of clenched teeth. Larry jerked her off the ground by her hair and glared into her eyes.
\"No, Larry!\" Hailey's mother begged from the floor. She squirmed, trying to stand up. \"Don't!\"
\"Fuck /me?\"/ Larry repeated. He turned and tossed Hailey through a glass patio door at the other side of the living room. \"Fuck YOU!\" Hailey ended up in the backyard. She slammed to the ground and rolled through the grass. Larry began to stalk across the living room towards her."
Now (believe it or not), Hailey gets chunked through a glass patio door in the middle of all that mess. Did you catch it? Or, did you glaze right over it? It's okay. It's a not a reader's fault for missing that extremely relevant detail-- which is barely mentioned. A plate glass door is not (exactly) a minor obstruction. Enormous chunks of plate glass ought to be slicing up Hailey's arms, legs, and face-- and probably her clothes. Instead, Hailey magically travels through the patio door and lands in the grass. What a wonderful idea that is-- Larry slinging eleven year old Hailey through a giant pane of plate glass. But, I mean-- the idea (all by itself) is not good enough. An author must bother to describe it. This section annoyed me severely when I read it. I simply couldn't wrap my mind around it-- where did those long, pointed shards of plate glass run off to? Why didn't they slice up poor Hailey's soft, unfortunate flesh?
In chapter three (titled "Aphasia"), Hailey is raped by Larry. At least-- I'm pretty sure that happens. The pitifully written piece of literature spends many paragraphs describing Larry creeping down a hallway. Why-- I have no idea. Hailey's mom is (literally) passed out drunk. Hailey lives in a shitty neighborhood (where people mind their own business). Larry can (basically) have his way with his girlfriend's teenage daughter. He can do anything he wants to her. There's nothing stopping him. Strangely, a reader will spend the majority of chapter three analyzing the procedure of Larry poking down a dark hallway. And, then-- Larry breaks into Hailey's bedroom, sticks his dick in her, and disappears. The entire sexual assault takes like-- three paragraphs (if I remember correctly).
The word "childish" does not begin to describe the erroneous treatment of this section of Hailey's Comet. This chapter of the book is the biggest blown opportunity in the narrative. It is (quite possibly) the largest overlooked moment in the history of literature. Conflict needs to be developed at some point in the story. What better place to do that-- than, say-- when the main protagonist of the narrative is raped?? I don't know. Sounds like a good way to design conflict, to me. A reader should experience at least some part of Hailey's sexual assault by Larry. In my opinion, a reader ought to have the opportunity to read every single detail (which I (pretty much) added to the brutally dissected edition). But, I like to portray realism more like Larry Clark or the Coen brothers than say-- James Cameron.
Hailey's reaction to her rape (in Hailey's Comet) is verrry strange. In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey reacts in a way that seems much more like a normal human being (to me). She experiences some actual *aphasia* afterwards as well. In the original narrative (oddly), there is no aphasia to speak of. Truthfully, I'm not sure I fully understand the choice of title for chapter three of Hailey's Comet. :\
Chapter four of Hailey's Comet describes Hailey showering the next morning-- like, the whole fucking shower. I'm not sure the words "tit" or "nipple" are mentioned one time, either. I have no idea how I managed to pull *that* off. But, uhh-- no. I did keep the (strangely long winded) shower scene. But (for one thing), I described what Hailey looks like (you know, her little teenage body that she is showering). And, I changed things about her shower habits and her makeup (which (admittedly) I know much more about nowadays than I did when I wrote the narrative). The ridiculously over-complicated how-to section now keeps a reader's interest well enough so that it does not bore him/her to tears. Then, there's some powerful descriptions of thunderstorms and Martin's "twisted trees" and Hailey wandering around. And, I punched them all up quite nicely. Then, Hailey and Wednesday sit together near the edge of Glory High's parking lot and exchange some (very pretentious) dialog that just-- had to be changed. Wednesday never notices Hailey's knuckles are fucked up-- even though the girls touch each other's hands several times. I found that detail very strange. So, I changed it.
Then, we catch up with Paul and Vicky and Joe and-- dumbass Tommy. And, fuckk-- *this* dumb shit is a joke to read. I skimmed it like French fries in a deep fryer. This section of chapter four presented some of the biggest headaches I encountered re-telling Hailey's Comet. Again, the details of a visually stunning narrative are there. They are not properly utilized. So, the story reads more like an outline than a finished product. And then, there are pretentious characters doing pretentious things that seem like-- random crap to fill space. But really, a reader is supposed to be witnessing character driven actions that tell a story within a story.
A reader is supposed to get that Tommy is a good friend of Paul's. And, he is trying to get him to, like-- "play" with him and Vicky. He does this because-- he knows Vicky and Paul really like each other. But, there is adolescent tension between Paul and Vicky that can be cut with a knife. Paul's kind of a stiff. And, Vicky's too sweet to say anything. Now-- you get all that from reading the character interactions between Vicky, Paul, Joe, and Tommy in chapter four, right?? I seriously doubt it. In the brutally dissected edition of Hailey's Comet, I literally have Tommy-- laying this all out for Paul-- like the good friend that he actually is. A reader will be much more satisfied with the new, "improved" version of this incredibly annoying chapter.
Then, narcissistic Travis and Jennifer show up with Gary and Tatum. And well-- this shit ain't so great, either. I did some clever dancing to keep as much of chapter four's Travis, Jennifer, Gary, Tate, Vicky, Paul, Joe, and Tommy interactions true to the original as I felt I possibly could. And (of course), I modified a lot of interactive language, completely changed some things, and added additional interactions and descriptions that I felt were-- just missing.
In chapter five (titled "Psychology"), Wednesday teases Hailey-- pushing her to talk to Travis in the parking lot before school. Then, she (strangely) tells Hailey how dumb it is when she says "hi" to him. This made absolutely no sense to me when I read it. Wednesday is Hailey's friend. She would never tease her about something so personal. She might warn Hailey that talking to Travis is dumb ('cause, that is like skating on thin ice). Hailey gets upset in class (about being sexually assaulted). She hurries to the bathroom and throws up. Many dialog and character interactions were changed in this chapter as well. Wednesday never seems to notice her friend is acting (somewhat) strangely. I made it clear in the brutally dissected edition of Hailey's Comet that Wednesday (obviously) notices her friend's unusual behavior. Also, I made sure Wednesday seems pretty pissed that Hailey is not being completely honest with her ('cause-- she *should* be somewhat agitated by that).
In the sixth chapter of Hailey's Comet (titled "Kind Words"), Travis and Jennifer are pretty rude to Hailey in the hallway. Then, Jennifer shoves Hailey into a locker. So, Hailey beats Jennifer up. Hailey winds up in the nurse's office. And, her friend Wednesday ditches class to come and make sure she's okay. Hailey is suspended until Monday (the day this chapter takes place is Thursday). I was pretty okay with most of the things in this chapter. However, I did change minor things about Hailey and Jennifer's fight (that seemed weird to me). I also tinkered with chapter six's dialog a bit (big surprise).
In chapter seven of Hailey's Comet (titled "Ice Cold"), Hailey hangs out at Linda Park (across the street from Wednesday's house). She huddles underneath a picnic awning because it is pouring down rain. She acts bored and frustrated. I found this strange-- 'cause Hailey is an intellectual with a back pack full of text books she could be reading. So, I changed that. For some reason this black crow flies under the awning. *That* doesn't make sense ('cause it's raining). So I wrote about a fat, freckled frog instead. lol.
I changed some interactions between Travis and Gary when they are shopping at a Bull's Eye department store (can you guess which department store I had in mind when I came up with that??) After Travis and his friends leave the store, they snatch Hailey from Linda Park. They take her to an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of town (the "Church"). And, they beat the living shit out of her. They pop fluorescent light tubes over Hailey's head. Then, they tear off her shirt and crack tempered glass bulbs on top of Hailey's exposed flesh. So, Hailey bleeds like a stuck pig. Then, Travis and his friends beat Hailey with softball bats. Then, they dangle a noose from an overhead hoist. Travis and his buddies use the hangman's knot to hang Hailey.
I spent a good deal of time thinking about the things Travis and his friends do to Hailey in this chapter. I poked around the commie-net and read about stunts performed by the wrestlers of CZW (which is (most likely) where I got the fluorescent light tube idea). As I suspected, those types of bulbs are manufactured using tempered glass (basically, "break-away" glass). And so, sure-- they can make a person bleed pretty bad. But, they are not exactly deadly. And, sure-- Travis and his friends knock Hailey around with some softball bats. But, it's never really clear if Hailey is mortally wounded. When Paul lifts Hailey off of the floor using a rope tied around her neck, he then lowers her motionless body after a couple of minutes. It *is* (theoretically) possible that Hailey would immediately begin to breathe at that point. Her breathing might be so shallow ('cause Hailey's a tiny, little thing) that no one would even notice.
My conclusion? I believe it is *plausible* that Hailey could've survived this attack. I believe it's possible that she would've sustained only minor injuries. It's just as plausible to assume her injuries are more devastating-- and Hailey might actually die from Travis and his friends' assault. But, not necessarily. So-- I left chapter seven's light tube blood bath pretty much the same. Dialog and character actions were changed for the brutally dissected edition (just like they were in every single chapter of the book). But, this was kept to a minimum. And, the goal of this procedure was only to enhance the original story (which feels more like an outline than a true narrative). Otherwise, the process of events is (more or less) the same.
I'll open my discussion about chapter eight of Hailey's Comet (titled "Grounded") by mentioning how much I looove the thoughtful, introductory paragraphs and the chapter's highly creative title. Yeah-- no way to say it with a straight face. Sorry. I did talk myself into keeping the chapter's original title "Grounded" (although honestly, I struggled with this for a couple of days). But, I mean-- the title does *technically* fit the narrative of chapter eight. And, the goal of this project was to leave as much of the original story intact as possible. The title is not terrible. But, it's one of those titles that's supposed to have duality. And, that (I suppose) is intended to make it somewhat thoughtful. And, mehh-- I guess. I still don't like it.
Travis and his friends lift Hailey's "body" out of Vicky's Station Cruiser before anything else. Apparently, they thought it was a good idea to line the floor of the car with filled garbage bags. And then, they proudly displayed a young girl's carcass on top for all the world to see. lol. Needless to say, that had to change for the brutally dissected edition. There is a confrontation between Vicky and Travis after burying Hailey that I felt was pretty unrealistic. Vicky's mannerisms and the way she speaks to Travis always felt pretty lame (to me). So, I enhanced this section of the chapter quite a bit. Then, Paul and Travis get into it (because, Travis slaps Vicky to the ground). And then, Gary gets popped in the nose (trying to break up Paul and Travis' scuttle). And, I brightened up all of these (pretty pitiful) interactions with a nice, fresh coat of reality.
If you don't mind poking through my disgusting, hideously critical notes, then check them out for more details. If you're *really* interested in contrasting the two books, compare chapter eight of Hailey's Comet to the eighth section of the brutally dissected edition. The changes I made are pretty subtle. This chapter is a good example of one that-- contains some thoughtless plot-holes. And, it simply doesn't impact a reader as intended. A reader will likely find chapter eight of Hailey's Comet to be quite comical. But (really), this section of the story is supposed to introduce conflict and drag a reader to the edge of his/her seat. The details of a decent narrative are outlined. However, they are not properly utilized.
Chapter nine of Hailey's Comet (titled "A Comet") blathers for a couple of paragraphs about the standard astronomy model of comets. And-- blah, blah, blah. Then, Hailey is laying on a row of trash bags underneath a blanket of dirt. And, she digs her way out. At first, she doesn't remember what happened. I was never able to understand why?? So, I changed that. I assume if Hailey woke up (after being unconscious because she was beat up), she would probably remember being attacked right away. Her thoughts would be pretty fresh about the situation because-- she's (basically) been sleeping for several hours. She would likely wake up (somewhat) calm. She would be eager to assess her surroundings and decide what to do.
I don't believe Hailey would be too traumatized about being beat up. After all, she survived. And, she sustained only moderate injuries. Travis and his friends tried to kill Hailey. But, that's not something Hailey is going to trivialize about. She is (likely) very pleased to be alive. And, she is all alone in the middle of nowhere. And-- no one is around. I keep saying-- it is important to paint a picture, clearly. I'm pretty sure that anyone (who spends some time thinking about Hailey's situation) would agree that she is probably pretty excited when she wakes up in this barren field.
Well-- so, Hailey starts sprinting towards the highway. This makes no sense. I mean-- why is she in such a hurry? Then, Hailey stumbles and falls on her face. lol. Again-- there is no reason for all of this. Hailey would (likely) be pretty content wandering around in the rain-- all alone in the dark. So, I changed all of this for the brutally dissected edition. Eventually, Hailey reaches the highway (which travels into town). And, Lloyd picks Hailey up along the side of the road.
Now-- when I began reading Lloyd and Hailey's first encounter, my heart sank. I was devastated by this section of the ninth chapter. It is a total train wreck. It's more hapless than a junkie, overdosing on opiates. It lacks style, substance, and personality. But worst of all, there is not a hint of romance. It should be clear right away that Lloyd and Hailey are (somewhat) interested in each other. And (possibly), they have noticed each other before. Any subtle clue that the two have ever made any consideration for each other would have sufficed. Instead, Hailey is unable to recall Lloyd's name. And, only one detail is ever discussed about Lloyd and Hailey's interactions in their Psychology class (Lloyd briefly mentions "Maslow", a reference Hailey made in class that morning). Then, Lloyd (strangely) hands Hailey his number. Nothing in this section of chapter nine makes *any sense*. I blew this opportunity-- big time.
For the brutally dissected edition of Hailey's Comet, I spent a great deal of time thinking about Lloyd and Hailey's first encounter. I approached it cautiously. I carefully stacked interactions and dialog until I felt comfortable. Then, I continued. The scene I crafted from vigilant language delicately transformed into one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and charming pieces of literature I have ever written. Lloyd and Hailey's first encounter became something so touching, so sweet, and so caring-- well, I've said too much. If you haven't read chapter nine of the brutally dissected edition, you must take time to work it into your schedule. Immediately. And if you *have* read it, hell-- read it again.
So, I immediately made up my mind to change the title of chapter ten (titled "Homecoming"). I hate that stupid title. There *is* no homecoming. Hailey is-- coming home. That's fuckin' stupid. What-- the fuck?? In honor of a trend seen previously in Hailey's Comet (remember-- chapter three is titled "Aphasia"), I decided to name chapter ten after a psychological response to trauma. I quickly pulled the title "Dissociation" out of my ass. And as soon as I did, I immediately knew how I wanted to proceed with my brutal dissection of chapter ten.
Chapter ten of Hailey's Comet is (without a doubt) one of my least favorite chapters in the book. In this section, Hailey comes home to find Larry dismembering her mother's strangled carcass. She responds by sneaking into the kitchen, snatching a knife, and stabbing Larry to death. Larry relieves himself of unrequited guilt by telling Hailey "he's sooo sorryy!!" while she slashes him up. That shit don't make no sense. Larry is a terrifying psychopath. He is also a highly skilled criminal mastermind. The only thing Larry feels guilty about is the fact that he got caught. He *never* apologizes. For anything. Next, Hailey proceeds by hacking up Larry and her mother's corpses. She (coldly) wraps chopped off limbs in garbage bags. And then, she lugs dismembered body parts to her mom's SUV.
Throughout chapter ten-- Hailey is cold, calculating, and rational. Her behavior seems more like Ted Bundy's than the sweet, teenage girl a person has been reading about up until this point. Hailey's reaction to what she does and her mom's death is (basically) non-existent. I'm not sure there is a single thing about chapter ten that is salvageable. Even the manner in which Hailey slices up Larry is ridiculous. She speaks to him coldly while she hacks up Larry's genitals and his blood leaks off of her face. I solved that problem when I renamed chapter ten "Dissociation" (do you see where I'm going with this??)
In the brutally dissected edition of Hailey's Comet, Hailey's reaction when she finds Larry hacking up her mom's dead body is mortifying. She literally watches her own body slip into the kitchen and grab a knife. She stabs Larry in the genitals from behind (much like in the original). Larry reacts in a way that is more fitting of the deranged lunatic he is (which is great). Hailey hears terrified shouting while she watches her fingers grab jet black hair poking out of the rim of Larry's bald head. Hailey watches the digits of her other hand slice Larry's throat. It's around this point that Hailey realizes the horrified screaming is coming from-- her own lips.
Hailey freaks out, closes the front door (which is *still* open!!), and hurries to the bathroom. She vomits horribly (like-- deep from the pits of her bowels, because she hasn't eaten in several hours). For this section of chapter ten, I decided to ditch some unrealistic dry heaving (which is all Hailey does in Hailey's Comet) and replace it with some truly brutal barfing. The result is some of the most gruesome retching I've ever described. It will (literally) make a reader sick. And, it should. 'cause-- Hailey should be pretty torn up at this point in the story. She is mortified by what Larry did to her mother. But, I mean-- she is completely disgusted by what she just watched her own hands and fingers do to Larry. Hailey would not be cold and calculating about any of this.
In Hailey's Comet, it is never really explained why Hailey then leaves the bathroom and starts hacking up Larry and her mom's corpses. I mean-- why doesn't Hailey simply call the police? Her own mother's lying dead in the living room. And (*I* believe), Hailey had every justification to defend herself against her mom's disgusting on/off boyfriend. As far as I know, the only reason Hailey decides to chop up Larry and her mom's bodies is so that she can skip the funeral and keep her secret (meaning, Travis and his friends do not realize that Hailey is still alive). So (oddly), I chose to explain this in the brutally dissected edition-- in plain English.
In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey's reaction when she returns to the living room and lays eyes on her mom's body is absolutely sickening. It makes *me* cry when I read it (even though (ironically) I am the person who wrote it). In the original narrative, Hailey barely reacts to her mother's carcass at all (which makes no sense). Hailey sullenly chops up Larry and her mom's corpses. She soaks up as much blood as she can. And then, she hurries Larry and her mother's body parts to her mom's SUV. Everything that could be wrong with this chapter-- is wrong. Even the manner in which Hailey heards dismembered limbs through her front yard bothers me. In the brutally dissected edition, even the title of the chapter was changed-- an ironic homage to the work I carried out in order to improve the narrative (literally changing almost every single detail).
Chapter eleven by contrast (titled "A Disappearance") didn't need a whole lot of help. Of course, I went through and re-stated many of the actions that take place in the narrative. I also enhanced some pretty pitiful descriptions of Cherry Cemetery. For some reason, Hailey spends forty-five minutes driving through her neighborhood burial ground before she finds an open grave?? I (clearly) had to change that ('cause, that shit don't make no sense). Then, Hailey drives to Glory High and disables the school's security cameras. It is more self explanatory in the brutally dissected edition why Hailey does this (after all-- it is clearly explained that Hailey plans on seeking revenge against Travis and his friends). In the original book, I assume it is quite puzzling why Hailey suddenly switches from burying body parts to dismantling computer equipment??
The first part of chapter twelve (titled "Cleaning House") consists of Hailey ordering and receiving a pizza and (well) cleaning her house. Of course I changed some things. Hailey doesn't react when people at the pizza parlor she calls (Jack Colby's) ask her about her mom. In fact, she is sort of joking about her. That is not consistent behavior. Hailey would still be pretty sensitive when other people bring up her mother. So (in the brutally dissected edition), I changed that. Some dialog between Hailey and Jack Colby's employees was improved as well. Clearly, I enhanced Hailey's actions when cleaning her house. For some strange reason, the delicious pizza Hailey receives-- Hailey picks up a slice and takes a bite. And (somehow), all that happens without a single description of what this oily, delicious, Italian pie looks like. So-- I fuckin' added the most mouth watering, creative, colorful description of Hailey's pizza I could possibly muster. lol.
Then, Paul and Vicky have sex in Paul's bedroom. Descriptions of Paul's room and Paul and Vicky making out were greatly improved. In the original narrative, the two making out is-- just an afterthought. It's not even clear what is going on. Then, Tommy and Joe both interrupt. Joe gives Paul a condom. Chapter twelve in Hailey's Comet ends there. In the brutally dissected edition, well-- I described (in great detail) Paul and Vicky having sex. But first, Vicky reacts the way she really *should*-- by threatening to go have sex with Tommy instead. Paul snatches her up and has his way with her. Honestly, in what other fashion-- *should* this chapter proceed?? The original is pretty fuckin' lame, if you ask me. It's fascinating-- experiencing Paul and Vicky's romance in its pure form. It makes their ending (in chapter twenty-two) feel even more unbearable.
In chapter thirteen (titled "A Bubble Bath") Hailey is, well-- taking a bubble bath. She has decided she does not like the CD Wednesday gave her in chapter one. Uh-- no. That is wrong. That got changed. I also noticed-- Hailey is taking a bath. The word tit-- not mentioned one time. lol. I changed that shit. There is a feeling of intimacy in the brutally dissected edition of chapter thirteen that is-- simply missing from the original. I added some interesting atmospheric elements to this section of the thirteenth chapter. For example, I described the music Hailey is listening to (written by a band called "Walter"). I also added lyrics. If you can understand what band Walter is *supposed* to be and what song is playing, I have a feeling you'll "get it".
Chapter thirteen switches from school schedules Hailey copied when she dropped by Glory High to Tommy and Joe drinking beer on Paul's front porch. Things about this section always drove me nuts. The interaction between Tommy and Joe is-- very strange. It doesn't feel real to me at all. In the brutally dissected edition, I improved this portion of chapter thirteen with more thoughtful dialog. Travis shows up and talks some shit. Jennifer, Gary, and Tate are in Travis' pickup (big surprise). Paul wanders out of his house. Then, Vicky joins him. Travis threatens to kill him and Vicky?? smh.
This chapter presented me with some real headaches. I finally settled for-- removing the death threats (like, that's conflict that goes wayyy beyond the scope of this story). Instead, Travis and Paul kinda talk some shit back and forth. But, they do this in their own way (i.e., Travis and Paul are two different types of people). Paul and Travis are not *exactly* on the same page when they interact (in case that is not painfully obvious). Tommy acts dumb with Gary's girlfriend ('cause, I mean-- that's how a Tommy do). That shit's pretty annoying to read. So, I changed that up a bit. Travis and his friends leave. Then, Paul and Vicky go inside. Some of the changes made to character interactions are pretty great in this chapter. It's like night and day when contrasted with the original.
The first section of chapter fourteen (titled "Friday") describes some interaction between Wednesday and her mom (at least-- it *pretends* to). Next, an attempt is made to demonstrate how badly Wednesday is concerned about her friend. Both sections fail to live up to the expectations they tout. Some thoughtful reconsiderations about Wednesday and her mother's interactions transformed the first section of chapter fourteen into a clever caricature between a (sorta eccentric) mother and her (well-- high strung) teenage daughter. Careful philosophizing about Wednesday's concerns regarding her friend left the second section somewhat disjoint (though, not terribly so) from the original. Contrary to boring a reader to tears, the second section is now inciteful and fascinating.
There's some spill where-- Wednesday starts naming a bunch of drugs in front of her mom. And, I tried as hard as I could to imagine this. And-- I don't think Wednesday speaks to her mom this way at this moment. I think I was trying to create some humor. But (really), I only manufactured confusion. I think Wednesday and her mother may joke around like this. However, Wednesday's mom is (not exactly) in a joking mood right here. She's like-- trying to kick Wednesday's little butt out of the car and get to work. Wednesday finally gets out of her mom's rice burner, and her mom drives away. Wednesday opens an umbrella above her head (which she has because she got sick of being rained on Thursday) and lights a smoke.
Paul and Martin get wayyy fuckin' stoned in Martin's front yard. Martin surmises Paul and his daughter (Vicky) did the sex to each other. Then, Vicky comes out. And, there is some discussion about this. I added some clever descriptions that help a reader *experience* Martin and Paul's THC effects. I also made thoughtful changes to the dialog and added other descriptions (big surprise).
There is this (very strange) S&M scene involving Travis and Jennifer. Again, it reads more like an outline than a narrative. I could barely stomach reading this section of chapter fourteen. The whole thing is awkward and unrealistic. I wasn't sure what to do with this part of chapter fourteen. I (eventually) decided to keep it. However, I opted to (basically) write a whole new S&M scene from scratch. I *did* keep some of the original ideas. For example, Travis still hogties Jennifer. Other than minor details like these, this entire section is a brand new story. Its dialog and interactions are nothing like the original.
The description of Hailey watching someone else's funeral before school is much more colorful in the brutally dissected edition. Her reaction is more realistic (especially since she had any sort of response to seeing her mom's body, previously). In Hailey's Comet, a scene featuring Hailey crying while her mom's body is covered up seems strange. Hailey doesn't seem to give a fuck that her own mother died. Then suddenly, she is described crying about it. And, the description is not very good (on top of that). Some other thoughtful intricacies are also discussed in this section of the brutally dissected edition.
In chapter fifteen (titled "The Glory High Slasher"), Hailey attacks Travis and his friends during their Chemistry class. The original version of this starts off pretty terribly-- with Hailey grinning at her targets through a classroom door window. Why Hailey would be smiling right here (or sharing any emotion) is beyond me. In the brutally dissected editon, Hailey greets Travis and his friends with a mournful scowl. Then, she kinda-- licks her lips and walks off.
The descriptions of Tommy and Joe being dissected in the boys' room have never been more vivid and concise than they are in the brutally dissected edition. In the original narrative, Hailey's reaction to her work is cold and sadistic-- like that of a psychopath. That doesn't make any sense to me. Hailey is not a cold blooded killer. In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey is angry and violent. She doesn't grin sadistically and act proud of what she does. She becomes agitated and starts shaking. Hailey struggles to carry out her assault on the boys. She doesn't cackle like a lunatic. She shoves knives in people's faces and pushes herself to carry on.
Originally, Tatum and Gary's reactions to their friends' hacked up bodies were laughable at best. I embellished Tate's reaction to the point that she is on the verge of a breakdown. Gary's reaction was improved to be more realistic as well. When Tate comes to and finds Hailey about to tie her up-- she freaks out, starts slinging her around, and screams in her face. In Hailey's Comet, Tatum starts acting sadistically and taunting Hailey. I mean-- for what reason?? She's just found out her friends were slashed to pieces. The person who did it is-- right there. Do something!
When Hailey barbecues Tatum in the bathroom, the descriptive detail in the brutally dissected edition will make a reader sick to his/her stomach. It is absolutely disgusting. I left no section of Tatum's scorched face and limbs undescribed. The original description left a reader puzzling over-- what the hell even happened. Gary's reaction to Hailey's assault on his girlfriend is pretty sickening in the brutally dissected edition, too. In the original, like-- his reaction slightly hints at horror. I found the original narrative's treatment of Hailey murdering Ms. Goodwin to be pretty lame. I improved it by describing more precise details in the scene. And, the brutally dissected edition's version contains-- actual depictions of Hailey stabbing Ms. Goodwin. Originally, like-- there were none to speak of. Again, the "book" feels like an outline rather than a finished narrative.
Wednesday follows Hailey out. In Hailey's Comet, Wednesday has very little reaction to what Hailey did. In the brutally dissected edition-- Wednesday comes stumbling out, white as a ghost. She trips over Ms. Goodwin's body. Then, she totally freaks out. Wednesday's panicked thoughts are haplessly assessed. And, Wednesday chases after her friend in a devastated rage. Many things in this chapter seemed hustled or unfinished to me. I spent a great deal of time reasoning out the narrative of the fifteenth chapter and filling in missing details. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out.
In chapter sixteen (titled "The Blame Game"), Hailey stops for water in front of Martin's house. Wednesday comes sprinting down the sidewalk and tackles her friend. That's all pretty sensible. The conversation that ensues is just-- lame. Any person who spends any small period of time considering how the girls would react to each other can see-- many, many things are wrong with this section of chapter sixteen. Any faith a reader would have in the narrative of Hailey's Comet is (definitively) lost in the opening dialog of the sixteenth chapter.
Wednesday opens up by shouting: " \"What did you do?!\" " Hailey responds with: " \"They tried to kill me!\" " This may be Hailey's dumbest moment in the narrative. I mean, the most obvious response is something more like-- a crinkly eyed stare-- followed by: "You *know* what I did, dummy." Next, Hailey starts crying about that. Uhh-- why?? She just killed five people. She's not (exactly) traumatized by what happened to her. She's just trying to get even. In Hailey's Comet, Hailey quickly reveals she was raped by Larry. Then, she spits out something about Larry killing her mom. Finally, she dicloses she killed Larry. Wednesday barely reacts to this. Then, the girls quickly hide behind some bushes. smh (again).
I changed this conversation so significantly, it's difficult to fathom how I managed to turn it back to its original conclusion. This section transformed from pitiful phrases that are barely coherent-- and became intelligent interaction that tears both characters apart and brings a reader to his/her knees. If you are not weeping after you read the brutally dissected version of this conversation, then you are not capable of experiencing emotion.
Anyway, so-- Travis' truck approaches, and Hailey and Wednesday hide behind Martin's neighbor's bushes. In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey has to (basically) drag her traumatized friend away from the sidewalk. Travis and Jennifer stand alone on Martin's porch. I enhanced the brutally dissected edition with some casual conversation between Travis and Jennifer while they are alone near Martin's front door. They don't speak about their friends dying. They only scheme to get Hailey back. The two are (clearly) sadistic, self centered narcissists.
In the original book, Vicky seems frustrated with Travis and Jennifer. However, she is never (reasonably) upset or regretful. In the brutally dissected edition, Vicky nearly crashes her Station Cruiser into the edge of her dad's house. She tumbles out of her car's driver's seat, bawling. Paul hops out. He hobbles Vicky to the front porch. And then, Vicky screams horrified accusations at Travis and his girlfriend. Travis kinda smirks. He gets pissed 'cause-- how is what happened supposed to be *his* fault?? Travis slaps Vicky. Then, Paul and Travis get into a fight. All of these things are poorly executed in the original story. In the brutally dissected edition, they are cleverly crafted. Descriptions were enhanced. Details were reconsidered.
In the original narrative, Martin walks up and kinda-- makes fun of Travis and his friends for not being able to handle tiny, little Hailey. What a bunch of bullshit. Martin should be just as mortified as Travis and his friends. After all, Tommy, Joe, Gary, and Tate clearly meant something to Martin as well. In the brutally dissected edition, Martin stumbles to the top of his porch in a fit of rage. He begins stomping on Travis. Then, he slaps his girlfriend around. Next, he chews everyone out for acting like a bunch of irresponsible dick-heads. Then, he demands an explanation. When Travis back talks him-- Martin stomps on that little, narcissistic punk again.
This section of chapter sixteen matured significantly. It transformed from questionable antics that seem like filler material and became a fascinating narrative. The sixteenth chapter's porch scene shocks a reader with high level drama, intrigues a patron with inciteful interaction, and keeps a reader glued to his/her seat. In other words, it lives up to the terrifying reality that preceeds it. Wednesday remains infuriated with her friend while the girls observe Travis and his friends, serruptitiously. Vicky parks her Station Cruiser in her dad's garage. And, Travis and his friends leave.
Next, Hailey and Wednesday wander into Martin's neighbor's yard. Hailey begins heading home. Now, this-- this is a stupid idea. Clearly, Travis and his friends are going to go looking for Hailey. Originally, Wednesday questioned this decision (somewhat). In the brutally dissected edition, Wednesday insists that her friend walk with her to *her* house. When Hailey refuses, Wednesday treats her friend like the imbecile she perceives her to be. She shouts at Hailey and tells her how stupid she is being. Hailey kinda-- rolls her eyes and walks off. I'm not sure I could've portrayed this section of chapter sixteen more realistically. After all, Wednesday is pretty set in her ways. And when she is convinced she is right, she is not going to be shy about voicing her concerns. And Hailey, well-- she is not afraid to walk to her house, stare Travis and his friends in their faces, and tell them to go fuck themselves.
Wednesday's reaction in the original narrative completely pissed me off. I couldn't stand it. What a wasted opportunity to characterize the big hearted, high strung, emotional wreck that remains of Hailey's friend-- who is absolutely terrified about her safety. I can't imagine what I must have been thinking when I concluded chapter sixteen-- other than: "Well, let's get this finished up." Hailey heads towards her house. Wednesday watches her friend walking away (in a state of mournfulness). And (of course), Wednesday can't stand it. So, she quickly catches up with her friend, chews her ass out, and walks along beside her. Then, she fishes out a smoke. A fitting farewell to a re-purposed chapter that became-- a foreboding shell of its former self.
I nitpicked other little things about chapter sixteen. Like-- Wednesday asks Hailey (a couple of times) if she can see some of her friend's bruises and cuts. And, Hailey acts like that's a big deal. And, she treats Wednesday like a whining child. Why-- doesn't she just show her friend her battered skin? What is the big deal? The girls are just sitting there. I don't understand why Hailey would not share her injuries with her curious friend. At times, character reactions in the original Hailey's Comet are just-- odd.
The first part of chapter seventeen (titled "Hailey's House") changed pretty radically. I kinda-- wrote a brand new story, here. I mean, there wasn't much to work with. The original narrative described Hailey's living room and kitchen a little. Then, there's some emotionless dialog about how clean it looks. There is even smiling. Ohh-- my god. The girls should be exhausted at this point. Not to mention-- Wednesday is about ready to tear her friend limb from limb. She's not exactly in a joking mood at this moment in the story.
Nobody ever seems to use the bathroom in Hailey's Comet (or most narratives for that matter). So, I took this opportunity to have Wednesday stomp down Hailey's hallway and take a piss. Hailey's Comet hardly addresses a very obvious issue present in this section of chapter seventeen-- the girls would be soaking wet from Glory High's sprinklers. So, I decided Wednesday should be (angrily) ripping some water drenched shoes and socks off of her feet. Then, she probably gets frustrated with a sopping wet stocking-- and Hailey tries to help. And, then-- Wednesday gets all pissed off. And, she's like: "Back off! Don't touch me, freak!" So, yeahh-- I did all that shit in the brutally dissected edition.
I believe the girls go into Hailey's room in Hailey's Comet. Then, there's some shit about Hailey not liking the CD Wednesday gave her (because the disc is sitting next to Hailey's CD player). That's some bullshit. I don't understand it. It's like-- comic relief. Mann-- Hailey is just fine with her friend's music. I have no idea why I tried adding this stupidity, here. Wednesday would not react this way (just 'cause the disc is not actually *in* the music device). Nothing makes sense about any of this. Besides, the girls are exhausted (as I've mentioned). There's no way they're having this-- dumb, dumb, dumb conversation right here. No way.
In the brutally dissected edition, I decided Hailey wanders to her room and plops down on her bed. Wednesday enters very soon after. She feels kinda bad for acting like a little bitch. So, she shyly saunders into Hailey's bedroom and lays across her lap. She helps Hailey take off her shoes and socks. And then, the girls kinda-- pass out from exhaustion. Hailey awakens to the sound of Blades of Sloth playing from her CD player speakers (lol). Wednesday greets her friend with a satisfied smirk. Then, she orders her friend to strip (so she can examine her cuts and bruises).
The original book went in a similar direction. But, it never gave any good descriptive details of Wednesday checking out her friend's body. This is a pretty intimate moment between the two girls who (after all) are very close friends. It deserved some attention to detail. It also begged for detailed depictions of Hailey sliding off garments. And, some mention of violet stains (bruises or scrapes) wrapping the curves of Hailey's limbs and trunk would've been helpful (and intriguing) for a reader. So-- that's exactly what I added to the brutally dissected edition. Wednesday checks out her friend's battered body. Then, she gives her a little shit about how bad her bruises look. And, Hailey tells her friend to fuck off and throws her clothes back on. Afterwards, Hailey begins sharing Larry's last moments with Wednesday. Wednesday kinda freaks out and turns away. Hailey pauses. She decides to start-- more from the beginning.
I didn't hold anything back when I re-worked this part of chapter seventeen. I spent a large amount of time carefully crafting the visual details and actions that I felt were appropriate (given the circumstances). And, you know-- there are moments of humor during the whole thing. I mean (written properly), there is no reason this idea would not be somewhat humorous. But, the humor (unlike the brutally dissected edition's predecessor) feels natural. In Hailey's Comet, there's some-- poorly executed attempts at lifting a reader's spirits. And, they just-- feel forced. They don't work at all. They are simply-- awkward and irritating obstacles that must be gobbled up so that a reader can proceed to something more interesting (which never comes, btw).
Clumsy attempts are made at joking about lesbians during this section (in Hailey's Comet). While I would normally be all for this (I mean-- I can write jokes about lesbians all day long), none of this dumb shit is even slightly funny. Probably because the girls are acting like two dipshits joking around-- even though Hailey just murdered five people, and her friend is totally pissed at her. Also, the girls are (probably) pretty comfortable being somewhat intimate with each other. They are good friends after all. Also-- they're girls. I mean, they're not uptight about their sexuality and calling each other "lesbians". wtf?
The second section of chapter seventeen consists of Travis, Jennifer, Paul, Vicky, and Martin searching Paul's disgusting bedroom. Martin bitches about bad lighting and starts folding clothes and organizing rather than looking for Paul's yearbook (typical old person). The two narcissists (Travis and Jennifer) bitch and moan and waste time. Vicky actually looks for Paul's yearbook. And, Paul grabs beers for everyone.
Travis plays some punk music (using Paul's CD player). And, Martin bitches about it. I changed Martin's reaction a bit because I didn't feel like he acts cool and coy (like a Martin should). Instead, Martin has a really childish reaction in the original story. There's some shit about an old bag of pork rinds that Travis finds. This is referred to like-- ten million times (as if this is supposed to be humorous). It's highly annoying. I left the pork rinds. But, I spent more time discussing things that are-- you know, actually important.
Chapter eighteen (titled "Moth to Flame") begins with Hailey and Wednesday swooping on the swing set in Hailey's back yard. When I started re-working the eighteenth section of Hailey's Comet, it occurred to me that Hailey spent the first part of chapter seventeen explaining to Wednesday everything that happened during the course of the past two days. So (obviously), she mentioned riding home with Lloyd. I realized Wednesday would (most likely) be curious about this. So, I decided to begin the eighteenth chapter with Wednesday probing Hailey for details about her and Lloyd's future. And, Wednesday points out that Lloyd has a car and could (potentially) be useful for dealing with Travis and his friends. This conversation is far more sensible than some-- pretentious filler dialog about St. Augustine grass I found the first time I read Hailey's Comet. omg.
Hailey mentions there's leftover pizza. And, Wednesday drags her friend to the kitchen. In Hailey's Comet, the girls pop slices of pizza in the microwave. In the brutally dissected edition, Wednesday is like: "Mmmicrowave? Bull-shitt!!" And then, Wednesday places slices of pizza in Hailey's oven and sets a timer. I made this change because it is more fitting of Wednesday's personality. Wednesday is warm and loving. She's a little home-maker. She knows her way around a kitchen. She would be disgusted with the idea of ruining perfectly good pizza by re-heating it in a nuke box. lol.
There wasn't much to work with following the pizza section. Pretty much, the original chapter eighteen just says: "Well-- the girls ate. Then, Travis and his friends showed up." Umm-- I'm pretty sure there's some dumb shit about Hailey "trusting" Wednesday with a piece of information. And, it feels like pretentious filler material. And-- I took this opportunity to have Wednesday get all pissy with her friend, again. She probes Hailey about being raped. Wednesday explains that if she was raped, she would immediately ask Hailey for help. Then she asks Hailey, like: "What *else* would there be to think about?" Hailey has no response for this. Wednesday deduces her friend was *already* considering killing Larry at that point (what other reason would there be for Hailey to keep this from her best friend?)
This plays out a bit differently than the trust crap from the original eighteenth chapter. But, it's (basically) the same idea. I simply portrayed this situation in a way that is more fitting of the characters. And, I made sure Hailey and Wednesday reacted appropriately. The situation I presented plays out realistically and never feels pretentious. It ends (predictably) with Wednesday stomping down the hallway to use the bathroom, again. And, Hailey sits alone-- staring into space. And (of course), Wednesday quickly returns and apologizes. Then, the girls eat pizza and listen to rain pelting Hailey's patio door.
Travis and his friends show up (surprise, surprise). In the original Hailey's Comet, Hailey is actually-- uhh-- perplexed. Umm.... can't make this shit up. Hailey tells Travis: "How did you find me?" Face palm. So in the brutally dissected edition, I addressed this by changing Hailey's dialog to something like: "Took you dipshits long enough to find us. We've been here all day." lol. Travis and Jennifer step out front. Vicky and Paul tie up Hailey and Wednesday. In Hailey's Comet, Vicky has trouble tying up Hailey. She is mortified by it. Her dad kicks her around a little bit and screams at her to do it. None of that made any sense to me. Vicky is *horrified* by what Hailey did. Even Hailey's own friend is not sure about her. Hell-- Wednesday might be about ready to tie up Hailey, herself.
When I wrote the brutally dissected edition, I realized Vicky would probably be vengeful and-- kinda numb during this section of chapter eighteen. She would be running (more or less) on autopilot. I completely changed the way she subdues Hailey. She coldly throws Hailey's ass on the floor and hogties her. Vicky's dad doesn't have to force his daughter to do shit. That's the way this part of the eighteenth chapter *should've* read, originally. Travis and Jennifer soak Hailey's living room with gasoline. Then, they douse the girls with fossil fuel. Travis stupidly ignites the sleeve of his jacket (apparently, he spilled). The living room goes up in flames. And, Travis and his friends skedaddle. I suppose the purpose of this is so that Hailey and Wednesday have an opportunity to escape. I mean (otherwise), I assume the story would have ended here. D:
In the original Hailey's Comet, Hailey unties herself. For some strange reason, she is aware of the fact that (when hogtied) she can slip her wrists over her insteps, hold a knot binding her forearms in front of her teeth, and untie herself. Is Hailey-- into bondage? Has she been tied up like this-- before?? I mean-- I wouldn't put it past her. But, it seems more likely to me that Hailey would ask Wednesday for help (or, vise versa). I ended up making Wednesday the person who asks for help. She is the more warm hearted character (between the two girls). It appeared sensible that she would be the first to ask for help. So, Hailey wriggles across the carpet and unties her friend's wrists. Wednesday frees her friend. Hailey grabs her back pack (this is necessary because all of Hailey's weapons are in her book bag). And, the girls hurry outside.
Hailey and Wednesday discover Hailey's mom's SUV is engulfed in flames as well. Rather than immediately sprinting down the alley (which doesn't seem necessary since Travis and his friends probably think the girls are dead), I decided Hailey and Wednesday should discuss what to do next. In Hailey's Comet-- the girls stupidly sprint down the alley. Yeah-- doesn't make sense to me, either. Hailey and Wednesday agree Travis and his friends probably think they were burned alive. So, the girls casually make their way to the alley and head for Wednesday's house. In the original book, it is still raining right here. I decided to make the rain stop around the time Travis and his friends show up because-- the house needs to burn down. I don't want Hailey's house to be all wet. I want that bitch to burn to the ground.
Chapter nineteen (titled "Twisted Trees") feels-- like a billion paragraphs of filler material. A reader can (pretty much) skip chapter nineteen and twenty of Hailey's Comet. He/She won't get much from reading them. The two sections were fantastic opportunities to chronicle intimacy, friendship, and comradery shared by two best friends in a dire situation. I'm sad to report-- chapter nineteen and twenty turned out to be complete and utter failures.
When I crafted the brutally dissected version of Hailey and Wednesday's time alone together (during chapter nineteen, twenty, and twenty-one)-- my goal was to tell a warm, intimate story shared between two friends who truly care for each other. I wanted to depict the girls in a way that warms a reader's heart and leaves him/her longing for more-- even after the book is read. In the brutally dissected edition-- I believe the precious moments between Wednesday and Hailey during the last few chapters describe an experience that will stick with a reader long after he/she finishes the narrative. Strangely, I didn't change what happens very much. Like the rest of the book, I tried to tell the same story that was already told. I only enhanced what was already there. An outline of a heart warming story was present. It was just-- very difficult to extract.
The nineteenth chapter begins with the girls heading down Dora Lane (towards Martin's house, ironically). In Hailey's Comet, Hailey's mom's SUV explodes. That's probably what would happen to a burning automobile in a Hollywood film, too. Hailey's Comet is not a high budget film-- designed for the ol' "big screen". It is a portrayal of reality. I took out the crap about the SUV exploding, because-- cars don't explode just because they are on fire. Gasoline stored in a fuel tank won't really explode, per se. Its fumes will slowly burn. And, the fire will-- just wink out. I decided if I was going to go to the trouble of re-writing Hailey's Comet, it would be an injustice if I did not correct this error.
On the other side of the freeway, it is pouring down rain. I (sorta) crafted the city of Malley in the image of my *own* desert hometown (Odessa, Texas). So, yeah-- totally plausible. In the original book, Wednesday and Hailey hurry down the street through heavy precipitation. In the brutally dissected edition, the girls carefully huddle underneath Wednesday's umbrella (which fucking-- makes sense). Hailey and Wednesday decide to rest on a porch across the street from Martin's house. Added details. Improved dialog. You know the process by now.
Oddly, Hailey and Wednesday arrive on a porch across the street from Martin's house before Travis and his friends show up. Hailey finds this odd in the brutally dissected edition. But, nothing else is mentioned about this. I decided not to change that. My reasons are-- top secret. I can assure you, though-- this does not make sense. And, it never occurred to me that this does not make sense when I wrote Hailey's Comet. It is a happy accident. And, I decided to keep this detail the same because it will afford me an opportunity later in the series. You will have to wait for that to play out. While they're resting, the girls strip off soaking wet socks and hang them from Martin's neighbor's porch railing. Hailey and Wednesday discuss going to the mall the next day. Hailey just lost all of her clothes, after all.
Travis and his friends park in front of Martin's yard. Martin goes into the house to take a piss. Paul and Vicky give Travis shit because-- there's no way they can know if Hailey and Wednesday actually died. In the original narrative, Travis and Paul get into another brawl around this time. I decided that-- it's in the best interest of telling the story that the group should discuss this obvious plot-hole a bit. But, they really shouldn't be getting in any more fights at this point. I need them to get along better than this. In a couple more chapters-- they'll be dropping acid together. Why would they do this if they're still at each others' throats?
So, I scrapped the fight scene. Hailey and Wednesday watch Travis and his friends' actions play out like they're enjoying a soap opera. Martin returns to the porch. The group smoke some pot (a "peace pipe"). And, Travis and his buddies disappear into Martin's house. In Hailey's Comet, Wednesday keeps joking about burning down *Martin's* house. I thought the timing and method of Wednesday introducing this idea was all wrong. However-- it seems plausible to me that Wednesday would (at least) mention this thought.
So, I decided that Wednesday should suddenly bring this up when the group wanders through Martin's front door. Then, the girls could discuss that. The logical conclusion (quickly realized by smart-ass Hailey) is that Travis and his friends would quickly evacuate the house much like the girls just did. And then, Hailey and Wednesday's secret (that they are still alive) would be revealed. Hailey and Wednesday decide to continue to Wednesday's house and get some much needed rest, instead. The brutally dissected edition applies this ensuing discussion beautifully. The nineteenth chapter ends with the girls convening underneath Wednesday's umbrella and walking down Dora Lane in the rain.
Chapter twenty (titled "Wednesday's Dwelling"-- a throwback to chapter seventeen's nickname "Hailey's House") is fucking-- unreadable. I cannot (in good conscience) recommend attempting to enjoy the twentieth section of Hailey's Comet. It will only frustrate a reader with predictable let-downs. There is not a thing about the original chapter twenty that I like. The girls' interactions are all wrong. Wednesday and Hailey do not act like run down teenagers, hiding from tyrannical psychopaths who think they're dead. They interact in a way that hints at playfulness and comic relief (which makes no sense). As if that wasn't bad enough, the attempted humor fails-- utterly. The shit ain't funny. At all. It's just dumb.
In the style of my previous work on the brutally dissected project, I decided to stick the girls in the same place as before (Wednesday's bedroom, in their PJs). And, I portrayed a brand new narrative that is comparable to the original. I followed a similar procedure of events to those of Hailey's Comet's twentieth chapter. But, I wrote the brutally dissected version of chapter twenty (basically) from scratch. The basic plot of chapter twenty is-- Wednesday is listening to Blades of Sloth. Hailey gets mad about this (I have no idea why). Wednesday offers to change the music if Hailey agrees to share a cigarette with her (for-- what reason??) Hailey and Wednesday smoke a coffin nail and listen to Walter. Then, the girls go to sleep. A whole chapter-- just to do that. Tell me about it.
Again-- I kept as many elements from the original as I possibly could. Wednesday's bedroom and the girls are described. Hailey and Wednesday listen to Blades of Sloth. Then, they listen to Walter and share a cancer stick. Then, the girls crash in Wednesday's bed. But-- this familiar parable is merely an archive. As I mentioned, I wrote the brutally dissected chapter twenty straight from the tips of my fingers. And, it paints a gorgeous canopy inside a reader's mind.
The narrative picks up with Wednesday offering to play some different music (not Hailey stupidly bitching because her friend feels like sharing music she enjoys with her friend). Hailey asks Wednesday if she has any of Walter's albums. She picks Walter's second album (its album art looks a lot like the cover of a second album by another band; if you happen to know which one, then you have great taste in music). Wednesday offers to share a smoke with her friend. Hailey reveals that she has smoked her mom's cigarettes, before. But, she is not a regular smoker. She finds it strange that Wednesday always wants her to smoke a tobacco stick with her.
Wednesday lights a coffin nail and sits next to her friend. She explains that she feels like sharing a habit she enjoys with someone she cares about. The girls take turns stealing puffs from Wednesday's nicotine tube. Hailey asks Wednesday how she gets cigarettes, anyway (a thoughtful question which is never properly addressed in Hailey's Comet). Wednesday's like: "I walk to a grocery store down the road and buy them. wtf?" Hailey finds her friend's response horrifying. She explains-- that is *supposed* to be illegal. She asks what Wednesday does if a cashier asks for her ID. Wednesday explains that she tells nosy register managers she forgot her identification. And then he/she sells Wednesday cigarettes, anyway. lol.
Hailey plops down in Wednesday's bed. Wednesday stubs out her cigarette, reduces the volume of her music device, and turns off her bedroom's main lights (the ceiling of Wednesday's bedroom is surrounded by red Christmas lights). Wednesday slides under her covers and cuddles her friend. She explains she is worried Travis and his friends will come looking for the girls while they are asleep. In the original chapter twenty, Wednesday is worried about the same thing. In Hailey's Comet (sighhh)-- Hailey kinda brushes her friend off. Then, the girls just-- fall asleep. What a cop-out. Hell-- why bring this shit up at all?
In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey addresses her friend's (clearly legitimate) concerns. Now (speaking philosophically), Hailey may not have a second thought about Travis and his buddies coming to visit Wednesday's bedroom while the girls are sleeping. She may (for all intents and purposes) believe this is a stupid idea that deserves no consideration at all. All that may very well be true. However-- Hailey's response to Wednesday's concerns in the original chapter twenty is so cold, it chills me to the bone. And, Wednesday does not respond appropriately. She should be so completely pissed by Hailey's thoughtless response-- she ought to kick Hailey's little, bleach white tucus out of bed.
When I wrote the brutally dissected version, I was determined to make up for this obvious oversight. And, I chose to have Hailey address her friend's fears by offering Wednesday her dad's pistol. I mean-- it's in a compartment sewn along the edge of her back pack, after all. This is such an obvious solution to calm Wednesday's fears about being assaulted in her sleep. It's amazing to me-- the things I overlooked when I wrote Hailey's Comet. Of course Hailey (who cares dearly about her friend, Wednesday) would offer to give her buddy something that would comfort her and allow her to sleep, peacefully-- even if she does (in fact) think Wednesday's worried for no good reason.
Hailey's Comet's twenty-first chapter (titled "Saturday") begins with Hailey slipping out of Wednesday's bed a little before six in the morning. Some details are given about Wednesday's house and kitchen. And then, paragraph after paragraph systematically depict Hailey making scrambled eggs and bacon. I'm serious. It's like-- five hundred paragraphs describing a person cooking bacon and eggs. And-- Wednesday is not even mentioned. Now (philosophically speaking), what is the purpose of this section of Hailey's Comet? To portray Hailey cooking something a seven year old could prepare? Hailey doesn't even make flapjacks. God damn it. I'm pretty sure the purpose of chapter twenty-one's first section is to describe the girls spending a little time together.
So when I wrote the brutally dissected edition, I decided it would be much more interesting if Hailey and Wednesday spent a few moments cooking breakfast together. In typical fashion, I wrote a brand new narrative. I kept things as much the same as I could. I started by having Hailey leave Wednesday's bedroom to use the bathroom (a more typical start to a person's day). Wednesday wakes up a little. And in a dreary rage, Wednesday begs her friend to go back to sleep. Yes-- that's very Wednesday-like. Hailey returns to the living area to find Wednesday stumbling around needing coffee.
The girls wander into Wednesday's kitchen. And, Wednesday instructs Hailey how to make pancakes from scratch-- without proper measurements or anything ('cause, that is how a Wednesday do; I'm tellin' ya). Then, Hailey makes some bacon and eggs-- without a person having to read the color and size of every strip of pork belly. In Hailey's Comet, the girls finish eating and Wednesday tells Hailey to get ready to go to the mall. Hailey showers while Wednesday does dishes. Uhh-- no. Wednesday's coffee hasn't even kicked in, yet. Maybe by cup number three, she will be ready to take a shower. But, she is *not* washing any dishes. Come on.
In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey is eating. And, Wednesday plops down a newspaper above Hailey's plate. Hailey's stunt at school the day before is described on the front page. Wednesday drops on a chair beside her friend in disgust. She angrily chops off edges of flapjacks. She shoves pancake wedges between her teeth and chomps them up without saying anything. lol. Hailey skims information about her hideous crime. Then, she finds an article about her house burning down in another section. Wednesday breaks her silence by asking if the article mentions whether the girls' bodies were found dead.
Eventually, the girls get ready. Some details of Wednesday's front yard are described. And, Hailey and Wednesday head for the mall. In the original narrative, Hailey finds Wednesday's newspaper on the way out. She quickly scans the folded article for information. And then, the girls leave. The reason I changed the bit with the newspaper is that-- I figure little, miss home-maker (Wednesday) probably has a habit of reading the local newspaper in the morning while she enjoys her coffee. Wednesday is much more likely to be interested in her community than Hailey.
Hailey gives Wednesday some shit about smoking while the girls walk to the mall. And, some other pretentious things inevitably follow (like-- tickling). wtf? I changed this dumb shit. In the brutally dissected edition, Wednesday (instead) comments about Hailey's butt looking pretty good in some jeans she loaned her. Hailey responds like: "Uhh-- seriously? You're checking out mah butt right now?" And then, well-- Hailey checks her friend's little tush to see what's going on back there.
At the mall, Wednesday has to grab some clothes and beg her friend to try them on (I like *this*; this is how a Hailey do). I changed some of the clothes ('cause the ones I originally chose seemed kinda weird to me). And, I changed Wednesday's reactions to her friend's outfits. Originally, Wednesday is not very helpful. She just kinda-- hurries Hailey along. And, Wednesday gives few specifics about what looks good and what does not.
Next, Wednesday drags Hailey behind a clothes rack. The girls spy on Travis, Jennifer, Paul, and Vicky behind a row of black dresses. Travis and his friends reveal they are going to drop acid at the Church that evening. And then, the group leaves to check out "some new store". I (of course) tore Travis and his friends' conversation to shreds and re-purposed it quite a bit. Next, Hailey and Wednesday come out of hiding. And, Hailey tells Wednesday it's time to call Lloyd.
One detail about chapter twenty-two (titled "The Church") bothered me right away. It simply-- picks up with Wednesday and Hailey sitting in Wednesday's living room. And, it's after six. Like-- at night. What the hell have the girls been doing all day? I decided I would mention the girls returning from the mall, eating lunch, doing dishes, and washing Hailey's new clothes in the brutally dissected edition. I also mentioned the girls spent a lot of time during the afternoon discussing how to approach Lloyd. Hailey and Wednesday engage in one last discussion about Lloyd. And then, Hailey retrieves Lloyd's number and Wednesday's cordless telephone.
I found the conversation with Lloyd and Hailey on Wednesday's transparent, red plastic phone (yeah-- this some nineties shit) to be just as troubling as Hailey and Lloyd's previous encounter. The dialog just-- didn't seem right to me. The biggest obstacle to overcome during this spill is-- convincing a reader that Lloyd is interested in helping Hailey seek revenge on Travis and his friends. In the original Hailey's Comet, Lloyd believes Travis and his buddies murdered his brother Sal. Sure, this is a motive for Lloyd to help out. But-- why would he be interested in killing people with Hailey and her friend? Romantic interest and similarities in personality (perhaps introduced during a *previous* chapter-- when the opportunity clearly presented itself) could (reasonably) motivate Lloyd to pick up Hailey and Wednesday and drive them to the Church.
The brutally dissected edition of this story has all that going for it already. The original story-- not so much. The conversation that ensues is not convincing, either. It is simply-- hapless stupidity that makes no sense. In the brutally dissected edition, I started by having Lloyd divulge an educated guess as to why Hailey called: "Uhh-- this is the part where you tell me you are in fact the Glory High slasher, Hailey. And you killed five people at school, yesterday." Easy to do when the foundations are already in place. In Hailey's Comet-- such an idea feels like it's a mile away. Hailey and Lloyd's relationship is (as yet) non-existent. It's not clear if the two even think alike-- much less if Lloyd is intelligent or empathetic enough to deduce such a thing.
Some time later, Lloyd picks up the girls. Hailey and Wednesday barely greet Lloyd. And, they just kinda-- pile into his Cammy. Seems dumb to me-- for the girls and for Lloyd. Neither party knows if they can trust the other. In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey dashes across Wednesday's yard and throws her arms around Lloyd-- like he's an old friend. A reader *knows* the two are compatible. It is obvious Lloyd cares about Hailey. And (consequently), he will welcome Hailey's best friend with open arms. Lloyd trusts Hailey and Wednesday. And, the girls trust Lloyd.
Lloyd asks to see Hailey's neck right away in the brutally dissected version (since Lloyd noticing Hailey's rope bruised trachea was added to Hailey and Lloyd's first encounter in the brutally dissected edition). Hailey kindly shows Lloyd her throat. Lloyd slides the tips of his fingers along Hailey's bruised flesh. You know-- he demonstrates he is genuinely concerned about Hailey's well being. In the original narrative, I believe Wednesday gives Hailey some shit about her and Lloyd's relationship. She is sure to speak in such a way that it-- totally embarrasses her friend. I'm not sure what the purpose of this is supposed to be (aside from attempted comic relief). But, Wednesday is Hailey's friend. I don't understand why she would purposely try to intimidate or embarrass her.
In order to keep things similar to the original story, I did include a discussion about Hailey and Lloyd's relationship (that Wednesday brings up). I also made a reference to the previous chapter (when Wednesday comments about Hailey's butt in her jeans). And-- Wednesday flat out asks Lloyd something like: "Doesn't her ass look great in those britches??" And, Hailey's like: "Youu-- what the hell??!!" And, Lloyd just kinda tilts his head and responds: "Well now that you mention it, sure-- her ass is looking pretty good in those." lol. This is how regular people have a conversation about relationships and where they're going. You know-- people who are not completely uptight dick-heads.
Lloyd parks his car a good distance from the Church. And, he and the girls collect weapons from the Cammy's trunk. Lloyd reveals a wooden bat decorated with points of long wood screws. Yikes. I realized that Hailey would probably take advantage of the time she and her friends spend walking to the Church. I decided to make this the moment when Hailey and Lloyd first kiss. I mean after all-- they may never have another chance. Then I described Hailey giving her friend Wednesday a big, warm hug just in case things go horribly. In the original book, I guess Hailey and her friends are narcissistic idiots-- who assume they will have no trouble overpowering four drug fueled teenagers and one stout, middle aged man. Uhh-- I'm pretty sure my protagonists have a little more humility.
I enhanced descriptions of Travis, Jennifer, Paul, and Vicky tripping on acid. And then, Martin leaves the building to take a piss. Wednesday smacks Martin with a claw hammer. The brutally dissected descriptions of Hailey attacking Martin with a staple gun are priceless. Then, Lloyd caves in Martin's skull with his ball bat. Hailey and her friends draw out Travis and Jennifer by banging on the door to the Church. And (of course), I added a colorfully re-worked version of Lloyd swinging his bat into the edge of Jennifer's dome like he's teeing off.
In the brutally dissected edition, Hailey goes ape shit-- torching Travis with a bottle of lighter fluid. Lloyd has to shout Hailey's name a couple of times before she snaps out of a homicidal daze. The descriptions of Travis' hair, flesh, and clothes burning are absolutely sickening. The original story-- I mean, I'm pretty sure these same things happen. But, it's pretty hard to tell. The details are there. But, a reader has to dig for them.
I made sure that Vicky seems like she's at the end of her rope when she accidentally shoots Paul with Hailey's gun. She totally freaks out in the brutally dissected edition. I added insult to the situation by describing Paul (whacked out on LSD) interrogating Vicky for popping a cap in his chest. He keeps screaming in Vicky's face: "It's my eyes-- isn't it?? You can't stand them!" Shit like that. And, Vicky's like: "No, Paul! Noo!!" I mean-- they're on acid. Paul and Vicky's reactions should be exaggerated and completely ridiculous. Paul kicks off. Then (just like the original story dictates), Vicky blows her brains out. Of course (in the brutally dissected edition), this actually makes sense. The result follows the behavior. I'm not convinced the original book creates a proper scenario for this conclusion.
Chapter twenty-three (titled "Ceasefire") starts out dumb. Then, it gets dumber. First, Hailey suggests manufacturing thermite from cans of rust and aluminum powder. Then she, Wednesday, and Lloyd stupidly begin mixing large quantities of rocket fuel without even testing it. Next, Hailey, Wednesday, and Lloyd begin walking back to Lloyd's car-- wait a minute. They begin walking back-- to the Cammy. Yep, I read that right. I had to re-read the twenty-third chapter halfway in. Because, I thought Travis' truck and Martin's Cutler were-- *right there in the Church*!! I was right. Lloyd and the girls were still at the Church. Travis and Martin's vehicles were still parked there. wtf??
I decided to start chapter twenty-three in a different way for the brutally dissected edition. The new version begins with Hailey driving Lloyd and Wednesday in Martin's Cutler. That-- That makes much more sense. Yeah. Hailey parks beside the edge of the road near Lloyd's Cammy. Lloyd rides with Hailey in the front seat in order to get a feel for her ability to operate an automobile. After all-- Hailey doesn't even have a driver's license, yet. Lloyd instructs Hailey to drive off the edge of the road and coast down the road base. Hailey and Lloyd make out (again). Wednesday hops into the front seat. And, the girls follow Lloyd back to the Church.
Then, yeah-- Hailey theorizes she can mix thermite from cans of powdered metal stored in containers inside the building. Hailey explains that thermite cannot be ignited without something burning at a certain ignition temperature or higher. Then, she discovers Travis and his friends were playing with sparklers. So, Hailey and Lloyd *test* Hailey's hypothesis. They shuffle together a small quantity of aluminum and iron oxide. And, they try setting it on fire with Lloyd's cigarette lighter. It doesn't work. So Lloyd fires up a sparkler, drizzles molten metal onto a patch of rocket fuel, and the mixture reacts violently.
Afterwards Hailey and her friends stack bodies on top of a mountain of thermite and park vehicles on mangled carcasses. The group removes license plates and VIN numbers from Travis and Martin's automobiles. Wednesday, Hailey, and Lloyd sink damning motor vehicle identifications into the tower of rocket fuel. Then they ignite sparklers, sprinkle molten metal along edges of a thermite boulder, and skedaddle. I had to (obviously) add the car driving bit and a scene where Hailey and Lloyd test lighting rocket fuel. After all that, it seemed strange to me that Hailey should be the only person lighting thermite on fire (which is how chapter twenty-three ends in Hailey's Comet). Otherwise, this chapter didn't change a whole lot.
Chapter twenty-four (titled "Sunday") wasn't a huge ordeal. Detective Moore parks beside the remains of Hailey's house. He wanders inside and rambles about some speculations he has. And (like the rest), I modified the twenty-fourth section's dialog and enhanced its visual details. Moore is not described at all. So, I added descriptions of his thoughtful face and typical clothing. Lloyd parks his Cammy across the street from Detective Moore's Cutler. He and Wednesday drag Hailey out of the car and nudge her towards her house (for some-- strange reason). My attempt at humor I suppose? I dunno. I changed that. I mean-- Hailey's like: "I'm not sure I wanna go in there while these coppers are here." And, her friends are like: "Well, that's up to you." And, Hailey ponders that-- and then goes inside.
Moore asks Hailey some very thoughtful questions. I was amazed by the analysis Detective Moore carries out when he speaks to Hailey and her friends. Also, Hailey informs Detective Moore she will be staying with Wednesday. I changed this and that. I didn't read many descriptive details about Hailey's house remnants-- creaky floors, furniture reduced to ash, scorched rafters, and whatnot. So, I added visual descriptions and enhanced existing ones.
Hailey and her friends carefully saunder into Hailey's old bedroom. They look around. I found the original book's treatment of this moment to be pretty strange. It's like-- Wednesday, Hailey, and Lloyd look around real quick, shrug, and then leave. I decided Hailey needed to become really frustrated before she would just-- go stomping out. So, I made sure to create some devastating irritations for her to find. The twenty-fourth chapter ends (of course) with Moore assuring Hailey he will talk with her again, later. ;)
Chapter twenty-five (titled "Monday") opens with Wednesday and Hailey hopping out of Wednesday's mom's car. Mrs. Williams expresses frustration about some "maniac" running around Glory High, killing the childrens. If only she knew. lol. I never felt like Wednesday's mom was very sincere when she says good-bye to Hailey. I added some fascinating dialog between the two characters. I was sure to describe a verrry disgusted look on Wednesday's face when she hears Hailey lying to Mrs. Williams about her *own* mom.
The next section consists of Hailey and Wednesday hanging out before school. Lloyd (very presumptuously) interrupts the girls. He sorta-- asks Hailey out. But, I mean-- this whole scene sucks. The dialog sucks. And-- Lloyd's behavior is fuckin' stupid. I gotta be honest. There's some other horsing around after this. And then, Wednesday remembers she didn't do her psychology homework (yet again). And, Hailey still has her binder in her back pack (which-- she did not take to school, Friday; therefore, it was lost in the fire). And, well-- this whole bit had to change.
As usual, I used the main details of this part of chapter twenty-five for archival purposes. And, I typed a brand new scene from scratch. Lloyd asks politely if he can join the girls. Wednesday is bawling when Lloyd shows up (in the brutally dissected edition, Wednesday does that from time to time; weird, I know). Lloyd waits for the right moment. Then, he asks Wednesday if she's gonna be alright. Lloyd (very romantically) asks Hailey out on a date after school. The two exchange some intimacy-- like normal people (instead of acting like institutionalized psychopaths). Then, they kiss. Then, Wednesday announces she forgot to do her homework. And, Hailey reveals she borrowed Wednesday's psychology text book and re-answered the questions she lost in the fire.
Hailey and Lloyd help Wednesday finish her homework. Then, Hailey and her friends head to class. They sit near the back of the room. Wednesday proudly hands her finished homework to her psychology teacher (Mr. Tinney) on her way into class. I added details (of course) and somewhat changed the dialog between Mr. Tinney and Wednesday ('cause I thought the original language was pretentious as Hell). Hailey answers a question in class. Gwen turns around and flips her off (for no *apparent* reason). More dialog changes (between Hailey and her friends). Yada, yada.
Well-- it only took 154 paragraphs to explain the changes I made to Hailey's Comet. I hope people enjoy reading about them. This is the most comprehensive analysis I have ever attempted regarding my own work. And, reading it is (hopefully) more convenient and interesting than manually comparing the original Hailey's Comet to the brutally dissected edition. Remember, you can also poke through my notes about Hailey's Comet if you have additional interests in the changes I made. Remember not to take my crude dictations too seriously. And, no one body of work can possibly cover all of the modifications I made. Simply read both versions-- if you *really* want to examine the differences between the two.
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