Monday, October 28, 2013

Post Pier

This was an odd duck of a story. Not one of those things where you finish writing and you high-five your imaginary friend while shouting something rambunctious, like "booyah!"

But it does have a lot going for it, I think. There's a beginning, a middle and a palpable ending. Events go somewhere and a revelation is to be had. That's a step up from most of my shorter pieces.

I like the setting and there's a ton of elements in it that seem to work well. Especially the albino girls, the backstory and the story's themes. I like the parallel I tried to make between the station and a squalid swamp. I could probably play that up a bit more.

I think it could benefit from a longer treatment so I can get more of a building tension going, perhaps have the story echo some more traditional southern gothic fiction. The main problem is that I'd probably have to write dialogue in dialect and I'm not terribly confident in my ability to successfully ape cajun without pissing people off.

Speaking of pissing people off, I nearly had one of those moments here where letter soup can go horribly, terribly wrong. I needed a name for the alien race. I decided to take the time-honored route of taking a word that means something ("nagere", in this case, which means "to swim") and add apostrophes and weird punctuation until it looks alien. Everybody does it. Otherwise you wind up with alien names that all sound the same after a while.

Did I read it out loud right away? Nope. Did I get nearly to the end and have an "oh no!" moment when I did read it out loud? Yep. "N'gre" is a cool-sounding name. If you pronounce the second syllable as "gray". If you read it straight Yeah. Happens to us all, I guess. It sounded particularly heinous in light of the story's subtext. I mean, maliciously so.

In any case, this is one of those stories that I like more and more the more I think about it, but doesn't immediately fire me up. I think if I did it longer, I'd give Njena more to do, give her more action and a bit more of a background and personality. Basically, more of everything.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think the story might make a workable setting for longer fiction. There's something about ye old hoary tales of space-smugglers that screams for subtext about class struggle...

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