Yes, it's the middle of the afternoon. I didn't get up till around ten or ten thirty, because I did successfully stay up till four in the morning to reestablish my good old habits of getting lots done at night.
Today's insight. It's possible The Darkness Club might not be the best choice for the first thing to send out. I've gotten the critiques on it and sized up how much work I'll have to do in order to make it that appealing to a major market like F&SF. That will even slop over and up into what I think of as Category 2 rewriting. It's something all my journalist friends do without thinking, and something that I think of as possible with fiction. That's the 'rewrite to order' level where I'd fine-tune a story to a particular market and do up more than one version of it slanted to different markets. If I want to send that to F&SF then it will have to develop a little more of this and a little less of that, but if because there's a vampire in it, I sent it to a Vampire themed market I would have to rewrite in another direction and emphasize the vampire. It really could go in either direction, well. It's a heartwarming story about a lonely little boy and a good vampire, a sympathetic one who cares about the little boy. There's a market for that. Fang fans know there's a market for it - blud mush is its own particular flavor and vampire readers are a big market.
Anne Rice makes a ton of money doing vampires.
Vampire readers, like romance readers, have expectations and some payoffs have to be there in the story that aren't necessary or even wanted in other genres. It's a strong flavor. Subcategories include Monster Lovers for whom stories with sympathetic vampires 'turkey them out' and 'romantic vampire readers' who are looking to see the poor old fellow find love or at least friendship and joy in living, and well, I've been a diehard vampire fan since Dracula and Barnabas Collins. That comes up in my fiction about a quarter of the time. My vampires are just like they are. Like any other vampire writer, I rewrote the legend and made up the magic and kept it consistent. But I love all the other stories and novels. I read them.
Genre reading itself is something that I know leaves me feeling - kindlier - to a lousier story that has my flavor than an equally lousy story that doesn't. It's like garlic in food. Those that love it will find it improves almost anything, even dessert. Those that hate it will avoid it when it's done by a five star Italian chef. Those in the middle don't judge or even notice whether 'garlic' was among the spices.
Naturally I'd like to get to where I do it so well that I sweep in all but the Hates It crowd. But I will lose something important if I don't also recognize that is a good way to rack up some sales - especially when I'm not likely to wake up in 2005 a completely different guy who's too good to write vampires any more and will still enjoy reading all the others and joke around and play silly games wearing a cape and plastic teeth when those are available.
The one in print is a vampire novel. The big groundbreaking thing I did to the legend has even been done before, just, very cheezily (spelled that way on purpose) in the classic bad movie "Plan 9 from Outer Space" which did involve space vampires. Mine came from Earth and are of Earth and serve among other literary purposes as a historical tie between long forgotten periods of Earth's history and Earth's descendants among the stars. They're ethnic, almost all of my space stories have the Ship's Vampire as either a foreground character or a background assumption. This is published backstory, in Raven Dance the old vampire colonist malcolm Evans was tempted by live human beings to ditch the revolution and just sign on to go to space forever, something that was a pretty heavy temptation since he was a Victorian who loved progress, science and space passionately. Yet I write historical stories too about their ancestors in different periods and indulge all my creative anachronism and history research in the vampire tales! Those are classic...
That means today's rewrite and the first submission prep ought to be Incident at Clermont. This story was rewritten several times last year and I had intended it as keynote of a solo vampire story collection that I'd pitch to vampire fans. But. I signed up for those Rewrite Dares and another pass will not hurt it. I've learned a lot since I wrote it and rewrote it last. It's the triage principle of 'pick the one that needs the least work' because that one will get me over any lingering nervousness - and load the odds in favor of an early acceptance on its first few flights since a lot of sources tell me that it's sometimes easier to sell to specialty markets than general ones. I might even luck on the first try, it would be worth extra points.
So part of the plan for today is a market search specifically to find out whether there are any pro paying vampire themed markets, if not, which of the small press ones pay the most. Then let it bump down till it sticks. That's something that actually has some easier targets than F&SF and I've probably got other stories int here that are good matches for other particular types of markets.
Oh, that and I like it, and I miss the old Frenchman. :) He's fun.
Dare I do my Rewrite today before writing the day's story?
Oh why not. That's the fun of this job. I decide stuff like that and do what I'm in the mood for and stories come up all the time, I've got two good story seeds sitting in files to fiddle with when I'm done finalizing and prepping Incident at Clermont and it would be fun to rack up a Rewrite and maybe a drawing and then go back to Monster Wordcounts. :)
Robert and Ari >^..^<