So you want to be a writer? Pro-tip: Always Expect the Unexpected.

Relative to my wail of angst yesterday I am taking another look at a project I started and abandoned last year.*

It’s a short story about a city undergoing a change between magic and the ascendency of science, and meanwhile there are are very terrible Jack the Ripper-type murders being committed. I didn’t want this to be another JTR pastiche so I came up with what I hope is a (at least to the murderer) valid reason behind the slayings.

Not that the victims would agree, of course.I am working on a Jack the Ripper story set in a dark fantasy world where magic is waning and science is on the rise....

So many things can go wrong with a story like this. It’s not like it hasn’t been done. At least as far as the basic concept of JTR shoehorned in any setting. I hope the background of magic waning and science on the rise is a foundation that can work.

But I don’t want it to become Fantasy CSI, or Middle-Earth Bat-Man, or “Oh, Gee, yet another Jack the Ripper yarn masquerading as another Jack the Ripper yawn…I mean yarn.” It would be so easy to mess this up completely. Well within my wheelhouse.

But, darn it, I like the story idea. It keeps pulling me in.

Stories dictate when they are going to be written. Not the writer. I know that. It’s just coming home with a vengeance right now and all I can do is hang on.

So there is no little difficulty involved with this. Which is fine. It’s something for me to fiddle with until I get the main character, Mankin Sodder, in the upcoming hobo novel straight. He’s kind of fuzzy and inchoate, and I need a better grasp on his motivations.

I need a better grasp on him. That’s the key to the hobo novel and I have yet to understand how to unlock it.

Anyway, as far as this new story is concerned I am using the working title of “City of Sunless Years” so we will see how it all shakes out.

Label it dark fantasy/horror. Wish me luck.


*Meanwhile, tomorrow I head for New Orleans because I plan to attend the World Horror Convention.

4 Replies to “So you want to be a writer? Pro-tip: Always Expect the Unexpected.”

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