Sunday, January 28, 2007

still writing, still submitting

Let's see.
Realms of Fantasy rejected "Foretold", and Strange Horizons rejected "Bride of the Vampire" (though they liked the writing). I was going to send Bride off to RoF, but after thinking it over for a while, I submitted both of them to Glimmer Train, one as a regular submission, the other as a contest entry. Mark fronted me the contest fee, on the rather sweet grounds that I'd subsidised his career in its early days.
Glimmer Train doesn't do genre. I write genre, mostly fantasy. So was this a bad idea? Well..."Foretold" deals with gods and men, a conflict which has had some long-term mainstream usage, and one plot aspect (men forgetting the gods) is kind of tired in an sff context, but may look fresher to someone without a genre background. It also has a deeply downer ending. (Rocks fall, everybody dies) which seems to be a commonplace of mainstream or litfic.
"Bride of the Vampire" doesn't have a lot of plot. It's more observational, what I think is called 'slice of life' by some. There are some pop-cult refs which will probably sail past someone who only reads litfic, but they also sailed past an sf-reading critiquer, so it's fortunate the minimal plot doesn't depend on them.
"Milk Run", retitled "Chimps on a Blimp", has floated off to its fate, whatever that might be, so I'm back to working on The Willow Knot.

I've had another happy plotty thing happen. Once Myl gets hold of a hatchet, she can make full use of the osier-bed she found at the marsh. I'd sketched in much of what she does, very lightly, and my old fascination with the prehistoric-to-medieval timber trackways through marshland popped up. Causing her to make narrow hurdles (the fence kind, not the jumping kind) and make a secret pathway out into the marsh, along the lines of the Sweet Track.
I don't know yet whether she'll need it herself, but with the addition of a threat to Alard to the plot-mix, and him being (as according to the original text) away hunting while she's giving birth, I'm pretty sure that he's going to need that trackway to escape from the people after his head. Tyl, of course, will be the one to lead him to it, and that will give Tyl more presence in the events, which he needs.
When Myl first finds the osier-bed, she sees it as a troll army, frozen while erupting from the earth, with the stools being their contorted faces, and the osier coppicing a crown of spears on each. So I'm playing about with the idea of having the osiers do something thorough to Alard's pursuers, during the night, so it's all by sound-effects and no one's quite sure what's happening but it sounds nasty. We'll see.

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