That sounds weird, doesn’t it? Might be better to say, Rules against Con Fiction.
What that means is—before self publishing and the astoundingly awesome wave of freedom and popcorn kittens writers are experiencing in this decade, there were just certain subjects a writer didn’t write about. And I managed to bump into every one of them on my journey into traditional publishing. Luckily I had great teachers who corrected me and told me “You can’t write about that. Yeah it’s a good story, but that subject is off limits.”
Why? Because no publisher would publish it. Especially in short stories. Which just seemed stupid to me.
The one Don’t Touch That! rule that always bugged the hell out of me was you couldn’t write a story set at a science fiction convention. WTH? Hello—ever been to one of these? I’ve been to several. Dragon Con being the latest. These things are ripe for stories. Fodder. They just beg for some kind of weird science fiction story, or fantasy, or even a mystery set in such a lush, descriptively rich environment.
I had six stories, all set in a science fiction convention, all interlocking, about five people who went to the con for different things, all written. One was a writer (oh no…there’s another one. No one will read a story about a writer—Castle!), one was a high fantasy nerd, a science geek who hated science fiction, a friend who came just to see the bewbs, and a former child star of a long canceled science fiction series. I had a blast writing them, especially how they connected with one another. It was my first attempt at actually interlacing a group of stories together to form a cohesive mystery. I’d even entertained the idea of making a full book out of it with parts.
Until I got that news. It was somewhere around 1999. And I was irritated. Another writer friend who’d read them and loved them, told me to just file off the convention and stick it somewhere else. Some other kind of meeting. And though I tried, it just didn’t have the same ring as it would being set down in the middle of the madness.
So…up until this past weekend, I hadn’t given those short stories a lot of thought. Mostly because in 2009, a man broke into our house and stole my backups, all my computers, printers, and DVD storage and those stories were long gone.
But…watching the MASS O PEOPLE on Labor Day weekend…the costumes…I thought about them. What was stopping me now? I had no intention of trying to sell it to a trad publisher. I could just write it again, have it edited and publish it.
Under MY name.
So today, after taking my allergy medicine (I have a sinus infection which knocked me on my butt for two days!) I sketched out what I remembered, so that when I nab the chance to write this sucker, I’m going to write it the way I want it. Set in a Science Fiction convention. And I’m not going to worry about any unwritten rules.
Pfft…I might even make it my Nanowrimo book. Actually…I’ll be writing that fat fantasy Kime wants…cause I owe her. ;)