Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Occasionally, you get it right

As many people know, I'm writing a fantasy novel.  What most people don't know, because it pains me to "admit" it out loud, is that it's a vampire novel.  

Yes, yes, I know.  I promise they don't sparkle.  I can't promise that they're not a little emo, though.  The first vamps I remember well are Anne Rice's after all.  Louis mourning Claudia throughout all time ring any bells for anyone else?  Lestat's torturous, unhappy childhood?  Yeah, thems my early inspiration, followed in short order by the likes of Joss Whedon's Angel and Spike v. 2.0 (not to be confused with the Spike of Buffy Season 2 where he was the scariest thing since since).  I've actually read quite a lot of vampire stories, much of it in the more straightforward vampires-are-EVIL perspective.  I'm the person my other geeky friends run vamp ideas past because I've already done so much "research" on the subject.  This is what you get from a voracious reader with a vivid imagination and a preference for mythology.

Anywho, I digress...severely.  I've just done a Wordle* on my novel, and while the names of my main characters pop up large and in charge, the word "vampire" doesn't even rate.  I'm ecstatic!

And you're going, Why???  Because when I started this novel, oh so many years ago, one of my express goals was to make a vampire novel that was somehow different from everything that I at least knew.  I wanted vampires who thought of themselves differently, who acted differently, who were perceived and perceived themselves differently.  For me that started with the word "vampire" being anathema.  Unfortunately, in this long editorial process, I've had to re-work and re-word a lot...including using "vampire."  

It would seem, though, that at least in one arena I've been successful.  It's very possible that concept-wise I'm still a big stinky failure, but I'm choosing not to believe that.**

*Wordle is an internet based software that takes text and turns it into a pretty wordcloud.  Which words appear in the wordcloud are usually chosen by how frequently they appear in the text.  Similarly, the most frequently used words are shown in the biggest font sizes, while less frequently used words are shown in smaller font sizes.  You can do all sorts of fun manipulations with these wordclouds on Wordle, from changing the color, font, word-direction, etc.  Have a go!
**Anyone who has either talked to me about my novel or seen my facebook posts will know that my love or loathing for my novel varies from day to day.  Usually the emotional swing is, ahem, quite wide.  *head desk*

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