East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Oh, damn!

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So I spent most of last night listening to some music (I’m currently on a Shiina Ringo/Tokyo Incidents bender) and fitting together the little pieces of a short story based on the guidelines I posted yesterday.
You know, the one about the wrong sort of leading lady.

It was not easy, it required a lot of staring at the screen and playing solitaire and what not.
But finally, I got all the bits and pieces in place, and the mechanism worked like, well, clockwork, while still leaving me enough margin to improvise and keep the narrative lively.


I had the setting – Paris at the turn of the 20th century.
I had the bad guy – a sinister mastermind of the Teutonic persuasion.
I had the character – a middle-aged spinster working as a chaperone for a bright young thing on her Grand Tour of the European capitals.

Plus a nice amount of steampunkish, Verne-esque technology, a wink at Murnau and one at Leblanc, and a tongue firmly in cheek.
5000 words, based on the general outline.

I was quite happy.
So I checked the submission guidelines again, and a sinister thought crept in.
A hint.
A suspicion.
So I checked.

Wrong genre.
The publisher is looking for straight fantasy.

So here I am with a perfectly good character and a perfectly fine outline, and I need to start all over again.

Not a problem, really – I can dream up another idea or three, and make it in time for the deadline, but…
What of the writing session I had planned for tomorrow night, to get me a first draft in one single sitting?
Well, I think I’ll do it anyway. I can always look for another place to sell my story.
Now that I don’t have a target, the story will change and grow and – hopefully – improve.

And in the meantime, I think I’ll post the character’s profile for my Patrons.
They like to get a little behind-the-scenes, and it’s good to be my Patrons.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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