July 30th, 2009

eliot

Vampires, Man, Vampires

So I'm writing this YA vampire story.

Don't all groan at once.

It's for an anthology edited by awesome people, and they pay super well. And I like challenges where I have to make something good and new out of a worn out idea. It's kind of fun. Though I did vampires once before years ago and I was pretty sure that was about all I had in me for the dark ones.

But I was organizing my deadlines the other night, and started thinking about this one again. It's not till December and I had no intention of working on it that night. I just started at it in my To Do list and went ARRRRRGGH! There is nothing new to say about vampires! I even IM'd

rosefox  and yagathai  to share my rage, because I knew they'd feel me.

(It's not that every story has to do something completely new. It's that I can't live with myself if I pick up an old story and don't deal with it in some new way. I can't just vamp it up for no reason.)

But it was just one of those things. The fast chain of storymaking where my brain runs way ahead of me. It went something like this:

I should definitely not write it in the voice of a 16 year old girl. Like, with whatever and stuff and I was all oh my god you did not. That's a bad idea.

 

justbeast: That's a terrible idea. Please don't.

Ok, so that's a bad idea. *researches vampire folklore, cracks up laughing* I yell upstairs to justbeast : Dude, in Slavic culture? Like literally everything will turn you into a vampire. Even being born on the wrong day. Or having red hair. Or eating improperly killed meat.

And I started writing. I'd already done 5700 words on Fairyland that day, and I was resting, knitting, chatting online. Taking a damn break. I did not need or want to knock out another 1200 after midnight without even blinking, because for some reason this girl was taking shape in my head. Not me as a teenager, nothing like me. Not Buffy, either, for all the oh my god whatevers. Trying very hard to not do that. In a fit of perversity, I named her after the actual queen bitch in my old high school.

These days, pretty much anything will turn you into a vampire...


I'm still not finished with the story, despite staying up all night working on it. (Part of that was finding a title. My original thought was: what is more perfect for this than finding some overwrought goth/metal lyric? Indulgent teenagers love indulgent lyrics! Reader, I was not prepared for the level of bad that wading through The Cure, Marilyn Manson, Bauhaus, Morrissey, and fucking My Chemical Romance for two hours held in store. Holy shit that stuff is bad. Morrissey is by far the most tolerable, and I eventually found something I kind of like there, but still. MCR is like the worst ever: BLOOD BLOOD DEATH BITCH YOU BROKE UP WITH ME RED ROSES AND BLOOD. LOLZ.)

Anyway, it's been a really long time since I was ridden by a story like this, since I thought about it day and night, even when I really wanted to be thinking about other things. And yet, I have no idea if it's any good or not. No idea at all. (Though justbeast 's jaw dropped when I read the first bit to him and he says he can't stop thinking about it either.) I'm pretty sure the anthology editors will hate it. And for some reason that's kind of exciting. I usually don't get as worked up about my short stories as I do about my novels while I'm writing them. When they're done I love them like a big fuzzy thing, but while writing, I don't usually feel compelled to stay up til 6 to deal with this weird, fucked up kid I invented. Because it's her, somehow, not the worldbuilding or the plot, that I'm so terribly interested in.

Is it new? Sort of. There are new parts. I don't know. I don't know if it's new enough. I'm trying to be brave enough to go where I want to go with the story, which is nowhere in particular, because I hate the normal arc of the teenage vampire story, the Great Love Affair. But I've been hit on the head so often with: Cat, you must plot thrillingly. Why do you hate freedom? And if I don't fill it with shocking plot, is the voice strong enough?

I don't know. I have to keep writing it. It's a fucking I was a teenage vampire story and I have to keep writing it.

Oh, and the title? At least for now? There Is A Light And It Never Goes Out. Yay Morrissey, you dreary bastard.
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