Geeks, freaks and wordcounts

If you’ve been following the Twitter feed over on the right at all, you might have seen an occasional wordcount update. HKV (MC2) is born, and even now has risen to the heady length of 18000 words. Given that my first draft target this time around is 120k, that’s an amazing 15% covered already. Whether this 15% is any good or not, only time will tell.

Meanwhile, the first pass through the finished first draft MSS of MC1 has turned up a few provisional problems – not least of which is the pace of the thing. In some respects the end of the book is blink-and-you-miss-it. A bit like going along Gleadless Road and realising at the last moment that you’ve just hit the 1-in-6 downhill without brakes. Not good. Add this to the tweaks and name changes I’ve already identified, and there’s a fair amount of work to do.

And, back in the allegedly real world, we gear up for the release of This Year’s Biggest Blu-Ray (TM). By not having an official plot. That’s right, while we can create graphics and scale-outs at the drop of a hat for any number of dead singers, the actual planned release of something that creates footfall instore gets turned into a Blue Peter exercise. I wonder if that’s anything to do with it having the whiff of genre and thus being uncool – for some reason it appears to be cooler to go through Bob Dylan’s bins than it is to admit to liking Star Wars and SFF.

The conversation went something like this:
Management: “The RM wants us to attract all the freaks and weirdos into the store. People in costumes. Make it an event. You know where these people are.”
“Thanks. I’m a writer, not a freak. Weirdos are people who still think the Beatles are relevant.”

So, instead of a company-wide, top-down driven official effort in bring customers into store, we have to rely on Star Wars fans. In some respects that isn’t a bad thing – people like Matt Ferguson, who has created these prints as competition prizes for the HMV store in Sheffield City Centre, are extremely talented artists and designers. Hell, Mark Ruffalo loves his work so much he asked for a print of the Hulk. And the SFF fans actually outnumber the trend-of-the-week dilettantes in our shop. It’s disappointing, however, that the company can’t – or maybe won’t – get on board.

I won’t rant on too much more, but when was the last time you saw such dedication and skill deployed for Oasis? Or the Libertines? Or any number of identikit Talking Heads rip-off merchants masquerading as the Next Big Thing in ridiculous carrot trews and loafers with no socks? The “freaks and weirdos” are the ones with the talent, see. The ones doing something different.

Looking for the next big thing
Looking for the next big thing

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Epic Fantasist & SFSF Socialist.

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