No Conflict in ‘Malarkey’

Follow up to my last post. The lack of conflict in ‘Malarkey’.

I decided that to make the novel work, my character, Iris, needs to have an apartment she’s trying to rent fall through at the last minute and she needs to lose her deposit, etc because of it. Then, it was time for research.

This is how my brain works when I have a ‘topic’.

First, how can she lose her deposit on a rental apartment, before she even moves in? Through a shady AF sublease, that’s how. I need her not just apartment-less, but it has to have a longer reach – something that will take longer to recover from.

Then, I had to research Iris’ potential income as a barista for four years at a coffee shop just off campus of a major college. Can she even afford an apartment on her own? Would she need to have a roommate to afford a not-terrible apartment?

Then, I needed to research average rent for a studio or one-bedroom apartment near the college she’s attending. Because, again, can she even afford an apartment on her own?

From there, I had to research the legalities of subletting, breaking a sublease, what rights the sublessee has in the event that the sublessor breaks the sublease. Does the rental agency have any responsibility to a sublessee?

You get the picture. Basically, how do I make sure she can’t get this, or any other apartment, right now? Two weeks of research without a word of novel written. Two weeks of three different word documents, two different Excel spreadsheets with I don’t want to talk about how many tabs to track my ‘necessary’ research.

And now? It’s time for edits to the end of Shenanigans. And rewrites. Major, novel-shaking rewrites.


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