[writing] “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura” off to market

Spent about two and half hours revising my Green novelette “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura”. Oddly enough, I landed at 14,900 words, out of an originally targeted 15,000 words. Funny how that works out.

I treated this short piece like I treat novel revisions these days, with multiple reading and editing passes, as well as an audio pass. That is very much worth the trouble, though the final rounds of changes tend to be fairly subtle.

It was an interesting story to work on in other ways. For one thing, it’s about an outside context problem. Admittedly, having Green resolve this is a bit of a cheat, since by definition, outside context problems can’t be solved within the cultural framework in which they occur. On the other hand, since her very beginnings as a short story in Aeon magazine, long before there were three novels and half a dozen pieces of short fiction about her, Green has been a master recontextualizer.

For another thing, it’s about Green at around thirty years of age. I had originally stated her age at twenty-five, but that created continuity conflicts with the final scenes of Kalimpura. The age of thirty nicely puts her daughter Marya at the same age as Green herself in the events of Endurance and Kalimpura, creating some strong implied conflict that I touch on only briefly in the course of “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura”, but that I might profitably revisit in future projects. Not to mention the whole “What is this ageing that steals upon me like a sunset shadow” thing that people start to go through when they begin to viscerally comprehend that they’re not going to be young and beautiful forever.

Mostly, though, it was fun to finish a piece. Now “A Stranger Comes to Kalimpura” is off to market. We’ll see what the editor thinks.

Next up, a Sekrit Projekt novella for which there has been substantial pre-gaming with the writing team involved. I’ll announce when I can, but it’s cool as hell, and getting cooler. I probably won’t start laying down new prose today, as I have to do 60,000 or 70,000 words of background reading to refresh continuity before I begin writing, but I’ll get all my pins set. When I emerge from the fog of this coming Friday’s chemo session, I hope to write like a demon.

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