The Let's Play Archive

The Novelist

by ThatPazuzu

Part 17: The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead: The summer came to an end and Dan fa

Just like the last ghost journal said: we can’t look back, only focus on the road ahead. That’s why this chapter is about deciding the future of the Kaplan family. Our previous decisions still matter but this time voting will cause very significant changes.

The Kaplans are packing up and ready to leave our haunted house. This is our last chance to spook them and probe their minds.

Linda has put a picture of Grandma Jo next to her bed to honor her memory. Not as cool as the Tynan picture in my opinion but not bad.

So I was wrong about the underwater hand thing, even though that’s genuinely I thought when I first saw the half-completed painting. I’ll allow you to make your own conclusions about the meaning of this painting.

Oh, also the weekly menu changed. It’s still too hot for anything but lentil soup.


The book has been sent off and we can no longer influence its quality. Hopefully we did enough in the first eight chapters. So we’re going to finally do something not book related for Dan this chapter.

You finally finish paying off your student loans and then they hound you for donations, amiright?

It turns out that Dan applied for a job at a university and was hired! This—this kinda out of the blue but SOMETHING had to happen to him this chapter. I gotta say though, I’ve been inside his head and I would not hire this man.

Of course it loops back around into being about his books and him getting more time to write. While this would be a great for Dan and provide a steady source of decent income, it would require uprooting his entire family. Is it worth it?

Yeah, I said that already.

How long is the drive?-Linda
Two hours. We’d have to move.-Dan

NOTE: Dan actually shaved and is dramatically frowning about this whole thing.

At least the compromise last chapter seemed to end well for him. If this book is a bestseller he might not need to take the job after all.

Either way, the decision is for us to make.


Linda’s relationship with Dan is still up in the air, but she’s decided to go back to painting even though we made a lot of anti-art votes previously. Still, it’s a thing she’s passionate about.

Even though the co-op and gallery were failure, it looks like we have another chance. Linda’s been accepted into her town’s art program which will let her get better and sell her paintings. Hearing about the program, it seems like it does a lot of good too. However, if Dan takes the job at the Harvard Harvesty she won’t be able to do join.

Sorry Linda, the Novelist doesn’t like anything to be simple. So if Dan takes the job, Linda doesn’t get to join Art for All and Tommy will have to change schools. Alternatively, if Linda takes joins, Dan will have to get a day job and Tommy won’t get the tutoring he needs. It’s like rock-paper-scissors but with people’s lives. A real catch-22.

I can even go full time if…-Linda
Say it: if I get a real job.-Dan

Like I said earlier, Dan doesn’t have a mustache. This is just another huge frown at the thought of working a 9 to 5. But who can blame him?

Turns out that Dan got in more trouble than he let on. At least he did it for a good reason though.

So that’s Linda’s path. It would support her art and guarantee some stability, at least, but sacrifice Tommy’s tutoring and Dan’s happiness. Life's hard.


So this is why spending time with Tommy is so important: he needs additional tutoring, ideally from Dan. I don’t why Tommy is so obsessed with Dan, though. I mean, I get that he’s his dad but… it’s Dan.

Aww, okay, this is definitely The Cute Option.

Tommy dreams of going to his 4 foot tall, socialist red-flag school and meeting up with Orange Shirt Joey and Constantly Falling Backward Mickey.

Yeah, I totally owned this fictional five year old’s art.

So not tutoring Tommy also means he’ll hate school. Ugh, they are not going to let this be an easy decision, are they?

What about my friends?-Tommy
You’d make new ones, buddy.-Dan

Dan does make a good point. If you’re going to start over, do it when you’re in, like, 1st grade.

Choosing to go to a family member’s funeral and not the Not Blue Angels was the last straw for Tommy. His relationship with Dan has significantly deteriorated.

So Tommy’s option is to receive additional help in school, but causing both parents to sacrifice their time, happiness and career. Which, I mean, is exactly what good parents do, but still.

This is the final voting session. The entire thread has been leading up to this, you guys, so I’m going to leave voting open longer than normal so everyone gets to vote.