26 May 2013

When good ideas just aren't the right fit...

I'm working on a Steampunk novel and I have all the pieces in place to just go to town.  I picked my setting, location, time period, steampunk itmes. It was all ready to go and then I went to RT.  I learned two things:

1) Steampunk is a slow growing readership.

2) Your story needs to stand out.

Learning these two things changed the direction of my story.  Despite the popularity of Steampunk, the readership isn't there...WHAT?  Don't readers know I have a story they will love?  Maybe steampunk fans are a skeptical lot, and don't want to take a chance on a new auther. 

Maybe they like all the books written before they read them.  I had one book plotted not two.  Apparently Steampunk fans need series.  This changed my concept of writing the novel. I always write strong secondary characters in order to create series because I've found that readers like going back to worlds created. However, that being said I watch my sales to see which books are doing better and put books selling better on a faster timetable than those that do not. Clearly if I wrote this novel I would have to change my way of thinking.

I pitched my story and setting to an editor who was clearly confused and realized that my story wasn't unique enough.  I set it in London and it was clearly not standing out enough so I changed the location to Istanbul. I also took the time to plot out all the changes to my altered timeline and came up with a second story idea, which changed my title from "Gunns, Cleaver & Brass Pacaderms" to "The Courtesan of Constantinople"  Here's the two blurbs, tell me which one you like better:

Cleaver, Gunn’s & Brass Pacaderms

Laurel Gunn run’s one of England’s most notorious brothel’s.  Following her husband’s death on the Crimean battle field she was taken away to a desert harem.  There she learned the art of love and men’s desire.

Lt. Aaron March rescued Laurel and brought her back to London.  He never expected her undying love to get in the way of their romance.  He hoped to have her as his wife rather than his mistress.  Yet, Aaron’s love is stronger than death.

Death is around every corner as prostitutes are being killed by a maniac known as “The Cleaver”.  Laurel is drawn into the mystery as one of her girls is found dead. Scotland Yard has a suspect, Dr. Benjamin Gunn.

Ben Gunn returns from the war to find his wife in the arms of another man and accused of killing London’s working girls.  Ben has a secret – he’s no longer human and has moments where he blacks out.

The Cleaver chooses a victim both men love, Laurel.  Can Aaron save her?  Can Ben learn to control his inner beast?  Find out in “Cleaver, Gunn’s & Brass Pacaderms”.

The Courtesan of Constantinople

It has been twelve years since Britain and France lost the Crimean war.  The Holy Alliance has granted the Ottoman Empire continued rule over its lands if it shares the port of Constantinople.   Constantinople is a global city of power, politics and prostitution.

Laurel Gunn runs “All the Queen’s Women” a bordello catering to the elite members of The Embassy - a powerhouse of politicians from all over the globe.  Besides meeting a courtesan for an evening of dalliance, you can also meet fellow politicians for a drink or perhaps some espionage.

Amidst the spys, an impending rebellion looms and a man known as “The Cleaver” is killing prostitutes including the women who work in her establishment.  Laurel must learn who to trust among the men in her life: Lt. Aaron March –the man who saved her from the Sultan’s harem; Inspector Raven Lark – a man with secrets, who craves justice; or Dr. Benjamin Gunn – her husband, a man she watched die, whose arrival following the death of the first girl is suspicious.

Laurel Gunn has survived her overbearing father, The Crimean War and a Sultan’s harem.  She’s not to let “The Cleaver” get away with murder.  After all – who brings a Cleaver to a Gunn fight?

I loved the first story idea but the second one opened up more options for me.  Thank the stars,  I wasn't knee deep into the story....


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