So yesterday, I finished “The Gift of Music,” for Andy LaPierre, who y’all will have the pleasure of meeting next year some time. I seriously have no idea what to do with the story, and said so to Steve, after he read it last night.
“Why not try to sell it?” he asked.
Which is — wow. What an idea. I don’t remember the last time I submitted a story, cold. Somewhere in the last decade or more it became clear that I wasn’t writing commercially viable short fiction and I just stopped submitting stories. I didn’t stop writing stories, because…well. But I did stop submitting.
We did the chapbooks, and of course there’s Splinter Universe (which I fear may not be a viable “market” for this story until sometime next year).
Anyhow, I’ll think about that. . .a little later. Today, I have a pile of chores before me, having chosen to devote yesterday to getting Andy out of my head. I also have a full-blown summer cold, and all I really want to do is lie on the couch and watch endless episodes of “Maverick.”
Or maybe not.
Before I vanish into the Land of Chores, though…I don’t know how many of you follow Ursula Vernon’s blog, where, a couple days ago, she was ruminating on the lack of less-than-bright protagonists in fiction. Here’s the post. Which I read with interest. Ursula identifies three “stupid” leads in her post — Buttercup from The Princess Bride, Bertie Wooster from the Jeeves and Wooster novels, and Freddy, from Cotillion — and wonders why there are no others.
Now, after ‘way too much thought, it occurred to me that all three of the characters Ursula identifies are comic characters — The Princess Bride is, after all, a farce; the Jeeves books never pretend to be anything but broad comedy; and Cotillion is definitely one of Heyer’s lighter works (though I must go on record as being at Freddy’s feet).
So, here are my questions: (1) Can you (yes, you) think of any non-comic novels in which the main character is not extremely bright, or gifted in some manner that makes intelligence into a non-issue? (2) Do you feel a lack of, in Ursula’s phrase, “good stupid characters” in fiction?
Have at it.