Bedtime Stories is away.
I’ve been tinkering with this thing, off and on, since 2014. At the time I had just started working on Crows. While Crows itself had elements that bubbled in my head for a decade or so and appear on scraps of paper and short stuff, some of which made it to AO3, it was coming down in collected format. And it was terrible.
Way too many people died. It wasn’t driven by ‘art is tragedy’ though that is how I justified it. Nor was it inherently bleak. I was just being lazy.
Character arc I don’t know how to finish? Murder.
Romantic subplot I can’t resolve? Murder.
Personal quest hit a dry spell? Suicide.
History I’m struggling with or national zeitgeist I can’t replicate? Catastrophe.
It was laziness. I was just avoiding resolving issues, and some of that was influenced by something I read a while ago. It might have been The Egypt Game. I read something where a bunch of kids were writing mysteries, and one of the kids had too many murders because she couldn’t resolve her plots. Frankly, that’s what I was doing.
So I thought to myself: Fine. No murders.
None. No killing. No death. No one dies. No good guys die. No bad guys die.
And that lead to Bedtime Stories. And in assuming the constraint, I gained immense freedom. I didn’t have to worry about what was going to happen to Mara, because she was going to make it. I didn’t have to worry about the trolls, because they were going to be fine. And I could raise the stakes beyond reason. There’s an old logic puzzle about Achilles in a race, and he can’t finish because if he runs half the distance to the end, he will never get there. He can only run half the distance. That was my game. I could raise the stakes half-way to death, and halfway again, and halfway again, but no one dies.
There is an asterix, but that’s not necessarily in the story.
And BS is now done. BSFinalFinal1.6.1.docx is gone. It is out. The final draft (version 4+) has been sent.
I’ll get it back, revise, all that, but it’s outside my hands now.
And I’m done. I went final final on 60k words in less than forty hours. I’m oddly drained. My sleep cycle is a catastrophe. But BS is in someone else’s hands for now.
The Bloodharvest physical proof is on my table. I’ve got some stuff to fix, and it will be up on Amazon soon. I’m going with Amazon’s pricing. If you want a hardcopy, they’ll be available shortly.