This is a weird way to put your novel out - sticking chapters in here and there into a personal blog. But, let me just be clear: I spent five years on this thing and I have got GOT to get it out of my face. Right now it's like a 26 year old kid who's still living at home, sleeping until noon and texting me in the middle of a work day asking me to bring home Cheetos. I love this kid, but I am sick to death of her.
So, I figured if I just put it out there, I would be done with it. This way I can continue telling myself that if only I'd figured out how to start the damn thing right or been a little more aggressive about trying to get it published, maybe I would. But now it is Out In The World, paying its own rent, buying its own Cheetos.
But, I also get this that it might be hard to keep up with what's happening. So every 10 chapters or so, I'll publish a "The Story So Far." I'm 12 chapters behind. Forgive me. I am nothing if not less-than-diligent.
So, here we go:
Brooke Dotry is our main character. She's a self-righteous and ineffective environmental warrior. She's recently graduated from college and was, until recently, living with her sister, Celia, in a Wrigleyville flat.
They have a fairly sad backstory. Their mother died before the girls started high school. Their father collapsed into grief and then met another woman, married her and moved to the suburbs. He left Celia and Brooke living on their own in a Rogers Park apartment through high school. Thus, the girls are very attached to each other.
They live across the hall from a fellow named Gio who began this story with a mad crush on Brooke but who has, since then, entered into a relationship with Celia. Gio and Celia are getting along gangbusters.
Gio has helped Brooke get a job at the bar where he works. The bar is called The March (hence the name). Once there, Brooke met a man named Teddy Causobon. Teddy is a fifty-something guy who's never held a job, instead spending all his days working a compendium of man's environmental neglect and abuse. Teddy is horrible.
Brooke has managed to fall in love with Teddy and has since moved in with him. Because she's naive and kind of dumb. She's completely fallen for this dude and he's horrible. Celia is really unhappy about it. Actually, all our characters think it's pretty messed up.
The March is owned by a fellow named Bulstrode. Bulstrode owns a whole slew of bars. His son, Fred, is something of a dissolute - hitting the bars and living on credit cards because he's not ready to grow up and doesn't really know what he wants to be when he does. His plan is to go to law school in order to appease his father. He's also started doing a little light gambling since he's pretty sure his dad is gonna cut him off at any point.
Fred is in love with Mary, who is in law school because she wants to be. Mary has big plans for her future. As such, she's decided to spare no time to Fred unless he gets his shit together. Mary tends bar during the day at The March where her father, Caleb, works as the general manager. Caleb's a stable guy and is something of a father-figure to his staff.
Bulstrode's daughter is named Rosie. Rosie is super mega- hot and has big plans to be famous in some capacity. She hasn't quite worked out how. She's recently entered into a relationship with Tre Little, who is heading a project for Bulstrode to rebrand and cohere all his holdings. Bulstrode is hoping to dust off some of the seediness of his past. Tre entered the story with a laser-like focus on his work, but is starting to enjoy living the high life with Rosie more than may be financially advisable. Rosie is my favorite character. I really like her.
In the last chapter I published, we meet Will. Will is a Teddy's second cousin. Teddy's mother and her sister owned the schmancy apartment that Teddy now owns (and where Brooke now lives). The sister, Ellinore, had a husband who held one term as an alderman and a daughter named Althea. Althea fled Chicago for reasons which have not yet been established and had Will. Will's just come back to Chicago because he wants to break into politics. So far, he's kind of a jerky cipher but some shit's coming down the pipe with Will and Brooke. It's pretty romantic.
And that's the story so far. :)