I'm still not entirely convinced that Deep Fat Fryer should be (or dress as) some sort of friar. My friends at Writer's Night have tried to convince me otherwise more than once. I even wrote Fryer Out of Time in order to introduce an otherworld version of Deep Fat Fryer who was a friar. I don't consider that story very successful, but maybe it can be salvaged. In the meantime, I'm still pondering whether to rework the original Deep Fat Fryer.
In any case, today's edit/rewrite project was Dig My Grave, the first story I wrote that included Deep Fat Fryer. This story needed work in a big way. As written, the story basically read like this:
A. Grandpa Anarchy, Deep Fat Fryer, and sidekick Dog Is My Copilot are fighting zombies in the sewers.
B. Deep Fat Fryer tells his origin story.
C. They meet up with his nemesis, Dr. Totengräber. Words are exchanged, and they prepare to do battle.
You may notice a lack of anything resembling a plot. Not that most of my Grandpa Anarchy stories really have plot per se, but at least they have a point, or a twist or joke ending. They're not supposed to just meander until they're done. This story didn't even have a good one-liner to end on -- it had Deep Fat Fryer saying, "Let's light it up!" which is kind of his stock phrase, he says it a lot. Not an interesting ending, or an interesting story.
The main point of the story was to introduce Deep Fat Fryer and tell his back story. I liked Dog Is My Copilot as well, though she didn't do much in the story -- I've since used her in 2-3 other stories. So I came up with an ending that tied more directly to Deep Fat Fryer's backstory, which gives me a good reason to have him tell it. Then I went back and started the story right at the point he begins to tell it. By the time he's done telling it, we encounter the villain, and have the ending which has been set up by the telling of the backstory.
I think that works much better. It may not be one of my best stories, but at least, now, it is a story.
"Did I ever tell you my origin story -- the reason I hate Doctor Totengräber?" Like Grandpa Anarchy, Deep Fat Fryer was a member of the League of Two-Fisted Justice. He was a burly man in bright red pants with golden flames on them, a red beret, and a white shirt with a red and gold crown on the front.Grandpa, dressed in his usual rumpled gray suit and fedora, punched a corpse. It was like hitting uncooked turkey, and had the same effect. The zombie, stitched together from parts of different bodies, swung an arm which the old man easily avoided."Yes," said Grandpa, swinging at the zombie again. "I was there. I don't need to....""Use your gun!" said Fryer. "I told you!"With one clawed paw, the third member of their team tore the zombie's head from its shoulders. She growled softly. Dog Is My Copilot was a young girl with a dog's head. She had gray fur and a bushy tail, and wore a plaid skirt of blue and white and a blue jacket. She was one of the better sidekicks Grandpa had had in years.The three were in a brick-walled tunnel. Mold and slime covered the walls. Putrid green water pooled in the center of the passage. Rusting pipes and valve flow wheels jutted from the walls. Ahead in the gloom, more zombies moaned and shuffled about aimlessly."It all started when I got a job at a King Totengräber Burger joint," said Fryer. A ball if flame appeared in his hands. "Stand back a second...." Grandpa pulled his sidekick, Dog Is My Copilot, behind a large pipe. "Fire in the hole!" Fryer yelled, tossing the fireball. It exploded, shooting flames down the passageway.When the smoke cleared, zombie corpses lay on the ground."Like a Thanksgiving turkey deep-frying disaster," said Grandpa admiringly."Little did I know," said Fryer, "that Totengräber was not just the king of hamburgers filled with mystery meat -- he was the king of zombie manufacturers, working to take over the city with his army of reanimated corpses!""Yes, yes," said Grandpa, "I've heard all of....""The fry cook with the stitches across his forehead should have been a clue," said Fryer. "The way he shuffled and never spoke, only moaned. But I was young and I needed the work. Anyway, there I was, minding my own business -- well, doing my job anyway -- until the day you guys showed up."