When I compiled my short story collection Transmutations out of the individual stories comprising Lore & Logos and Transmutations of Fire and Void, I organized them thematically. The two prominent themes were “Society” and “Aesthetic.” I predicted that these two themes would come to dominate the next phase of my work.
So far, I have managed to prove out that anticipation. A particular event yesterday left me somewhat shaken, and I decided to put a hold on Feles Daemonica and channel that experience into the short story I wrote today. The first draft is just over 2,200 words long, and I have a feeling it needs some tidying up, especially the conclusion, but I don’t feel as though it has any major hurdles to overcome. After editing, it will probably land in the 2,500-2,800 word range. This one is basically good to go as a standalone.
Except for the title. I don’t have that yet. I think the universe is getting back at me for a comment I left on Serdar Yegulalp’s blog yesterday (before said event), in which I stated: “I typically don't spend a ton of time on [my story titles]. The title generally coalesces somewhere in the first quarter or so of the first draft.” In fact, if it’d been particular about short stories, I probably would have written that I usually go into a short story with a fairly good idea of what its name is. So much for that.
As for the story’s title, I’m sure I’ll figure something out eventually.
As for themes and characters, it’s a brief exploration of thwarted hope. I chose a cyborg for my main character. There’s a particular reason behind that, but elaborating it would constitute a spoiler. Cyborgs are fun characters to write, though (one of my protagonists in Schrödinger’s City is a cyborg), because it allows me to think about how different perception would be, and how much of a struggle it would be interacting with unenhanced humans.
Perhaps I’ll be back to Feles Daemonica next week, perhaps not. There’s another story churning around my brain that I think is a novella. As further punishment for my hubris, I have a title for it in mind, but I don’t quite like it. I may start that next week, perhaps not.
In the meantime, Intersection Thirteen is coming along well. It’s at around 40,000 words, so it’s officially novel length. It feels as though it’s roughly at its midpoint, so I’m still on track for my word count expectation for it.