Thursday, September 26, 2013

I Know, It Looks Like I'm Goofing Off...

See, here's the thing. My brain keeps on working, making stories, regardless.

But it doesn't always work on stories I know how to sell, or that the market will treat kindly if I do sell them; and sometimes I find myself returning constantly, obsessing over, a story I know I can tell, but which I also know would be read wrong by half the people who read it and 90% of the people who didn't if it ever actually sold and somehow picked up buzz and folks did in fact read it.

Like the story dealing with how women are socialized into not recognizing that all the sexual power naturally belongs to us, with an extra layer of misleading us into believing (when we discover that fact) that it's the only power we have (and that it's wrong to use it); which is spinning itself out of the Widespot backstory for me -

It'd be a risk to write that, but hey, I can't sell the stuff I know how to sell right now, either, so what am I risking, really? I could tell that story and maybe somebody'd get it and that would be all to the good so who cares if I have to go to new places in the writing to do it, right?

Except that the way it's shaped now almost everyone would think of it as "that story where the girls are dating a father and son." Which, ick, who'd pick that up? Nobody who'd enjoy, understand, and benefit from the story I'd actually write, for sure.

So I'd have to back it right out of the Widespottian origins (which I'd have to do anyway because not only the names holey cheese the names but Penny Weiss, as is, is firmly embedded in the Sims2 alien offspring concept, with mpreg and green skin and the whole nine yards), which leaves me with themes and no characters, which is not a place I can start from. (Diagram that sentence. I dare you.)

And I'm too much a child of the 20th century to feel comfortable writing a book that is front and center about sexual mentorship, which is what the Mary/Valentine story turned into as I played my own version of the hood, and which deeply impacts even what I'm doing with Penny, because Penny and Mary tell each other everything and Rhett (whose bio I'd write differently if I did it now; instead of Rhett believes in male privilege so thoroughly he doesn't even know he believes in it, it'd just read Mommy Issues) is at the beginning of a road Valentine's already been down. So it'd have to be about something else.

And you know, there could be worse B plots than the sexual mentorship one for a story about an alien/human hybrid who regards herself as an anthropologist among the humans, if I could come up with some alternative to Penny's origins which would still leave her with the asexual hermit father and the BFF down the road. And if Penny's actually bi and in love with Mary while experimenting with Rhett (only it can't be Rhett because the father/son angle is too distracting for the audience)...Changeling, fairy child, alien, isolation, the isolation is essential as is Mary's biracial status - hey, that actually ties in with Penny's anomalous birth, too, at a metaphorical level...

So, it's a jungle in here, rampant undisciplined growth threatened by the napalm of self-censorship, the occasional tiger roaming around, beautiful and dangerous and threatening to eat me alive. I'll work it out or I won't. And it's less than a month to the Paleoamerican conference anyway, which could send me spinning in a completely different direction.

Excuse me, I probably need to clean something. Isn't it wonderful how the brain keeps chewing away at this stuff while you're cleaning?

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