Old pitch update

©2023 michael raven

In reworking the story I am resurrecting from the grave of 2017 yesterday, I decided to modify the motivations of both a secondary and tertiary character, as I felt the overall motivation for one of the plotlines was weak and needed an overhaul.

I loath the tertiary character now. Before, I felt an element of pity for the man, even though he was by no means a very likable character. But now, he has revealed his darker side and he’s just “icky”. He deserves anything bad that happens to him, however pitiful he ultimately has ended up being. He chose the darker path, knowing it was a darker path and selfishly kept pursuing it. I actually find him disgusting now instead of merely “pathetic”.

The secondary character is no-one to admire, but she’s a victim instead of a heartless, cruel creature. Her motives are a bit more understandable now, even going down to the fact that some of her actions are “just part of her nature”. As I said, though, no one would admire this character. They’re no paragon of virtue. Just someone a reader might find more sympathy for.

It’s been interesting to revisit some of this tale with a new eye. By changing the venue, I have uncovered some elements that should really be rethought, not because the location change made those elements weaker, but that those elements were lacking a bit.

I also recently found some old pulpy cyberpunk that I used as eyecandy when I was in my 20s, republished for Kindle and relatively cheap per book. While I admit that the overall quality is more pulp than anything, rereading some of these stories has really given me an idea about pacing, plot and content for my own project, which is not cyberpunk. I am reminded of some qualities that made these books enjoyable to read and that my own project isn’t ever going to be high literature, so why try to paint it as anything but pulp.

Yes, I’ve rebuilding the whole shebang from the bottom up. I’m keeping most of the thematic elements, but I have better vision than I previously had. Let’s see if I can wrangle it into something good to read.

A pitch to the aether 04jan23

©2023 michael raven

Genre: weird pulp w/elements of gaslamp, dieselpunk and/or teslapunk with a hint of grimdark

Proposed: a series of short stories with an over-arcing cross-story plot related to a secret society of occultists who are seeking to quell incursions of cryptids. Nemesis organization has opposite goal, seeing these invasions as a chance to make radical change needed to “save the world from itself”.

Location/Milieu: as above, circa late-19th century alternate Americas; NW Coast and surrounding areas (from San Francisco to Juneau to Bozeman). Streets and skid row to neo-aristocracy (e.g., emergent lumber barons).

I feel a bout of infodumping (probably TMI) itching in me noggin as I ponder which of my many fiction threads to pursue. This is modified from a concept I developed in 2015 or 2016, originally planned for an Old World analogue, but I think works as well either in the Pacific NW or Great Lakes area (although my internal leanings are more towards the NW). One pitfall might be is that I could easily get too clever for my own good and end up campy or disastrous with my plot lines. One positive is embracing the concept of short-fiction with a narrative arc over the novel format — embracing that approach allows for more flexibility and compartmentation of the overall story elements. It may allow me to pull in related ideas from other stories I’ve started or plotted, as each story can be a different facet of the world, as long as it is internally consistent.

Moving forward, I may just toss out the occasional pitch on the off-chance it triggers something for me, or for someone else. No overthinking — just a blood spatter of an idea tossed onto the wall to see if it sticks.