Tyranny of the New, Part 1

New projects are dangerous for me. The risk is distraction from current projects, work I ought to be finishing. Sometimes the lure is too much.


A while back I came across a call for submissions by Nick Mamatas. The anthology, Haunted Legends, will contain retellings of regional ghost stories. It is co-edited by Ellen Datlow.


If it were just ghost stories, I'd probably have moved on. Not really my cup of tea. A retelling of a story could be an interesting challenge. It would depend on the right story to inspire me.


The anthology stuck in my mind for a while. I'd search on the web for ideas, finding little. One day I came across an entry in Wikipedia for The Castle of Otranto, the first gothic novel. I realized I had read it before, back in a college for an 18th century English lit class. Here was something that might work.


The local library network had a copy. Reading it again, I remembered my confusion back in college.


The formatting alone is terrible with dialog not always attributed to a particular person. The author, Horace Walpole, was influenced by Shakespeare. The Castle of Otranto reads like a tragic-comedy: misunderstandings of speech, mistaken identities, warnings from ghosts, prideful princes, dead princesses. It is, by modern standards, a nightmare to read.


Nevermind retelling. Besides, it wasn't really a local legend. And time was running out to write the damn thing. I decided to give up on the project. Until yesterday.


To be continued ...


"The risk is distraction from

"The risk is distraction from current projects, work I ought to be finishing. Sometimes the lure is too much."

Can I get an "Amen"?

Amen, brother, sign it out!!!

"sign it out." Ha! Of course,

"sign it out."

Ha! Of course, I meant, "sing it out." Although now I have the image of a S. Baptist Gospel Choir doing ASL, really, really joyfully.


Story ADD

At least you reined yourself in before you wandered too far down the path. Although I've done short stories, I've often wondered if it gives a writer some form of story ADD. I'd be constantly wooed by announcements of contests and submission calls.

Too Late

I guess I was being too subtle as I did get re-inspired to write something for the anthology. More to come ...

Very good post, thanks a lot.

Very good post, thanks a lot.

You're welcome. I suspect

You're welcome. I suspect this is a bot post, but since it is more clever than most and doesn't mention Viagra at all, I shall allow it. Nice work, India.com.

Post new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.