Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some guidance for your stories

I'd like to address a few questions I've received pertaining to the Memory Eater.

Regarding specifics:
The device can be modified however you like.  Put stickers on it or paint it pink.  One thing to remember is that this is your world, so even time can be altered.  You can begin your story with the first Memory Eater ever made or jump ahead to when they're as common as vending machines.  The orb-like shape is a guide, but that doesn't mean you can't mold it anyway you like.  Think in terms of reality, like a computer, and how it went from being a one-person operated, stationary, room-sized machine to a portable, pocket-sized communication tool.

Do the Memory Eaters need to be operated by licensed technicians?:
Only if you want.  Technically, when this idea was dreamt up, I filled it in with some details.  The legal way is to go to a licensed technician.  Now if you alter time, or have other plans for the Memory Eater, you can direct this idea wherever you please.  I can see it being used in the black market, or stolen and used for evil, or turned into vending machines.  Truth is, while I set some guidelines, I tried to make it so authors could still have a good amount of freedom.

Do memories need to be deleted by the Memory Eater?:
Yes, because that's what this anthology is about.  That doesn't necessarily mean you have to mention the Memory Eater or even delete a memory.  An example would be paranoia or something pertaining to being conned.

I've received stories where magic, or someone with super powers, or a portal-type thing replaces the Memory Eater.  I've also received stories which have absolutely nothing to do with the concept.  In both cases, if I can't see the connection to the Memory Eater, or the concept is taken too far, I won't be able to consider it for the anthology.

Regarding the Memory Eater’s purpose:
I have had stories where memories aren’t destroyed; they’re stolen and given to others or restored at will.  One person even used the device in a way that it wiped the customer’s existence from the world’s collective memory.  This approach is acceptable, but note two things: 1) the bulk of the stories will consist of wiped memories, so it will be harder to make the cut if you choose this angle, and 2) there is a fine line here, meaning if you take your idea too far, I’ll most likely pass.

What do you want?:
One important thing to remember is that the reader will already be familiar with what the Memory Eater is and how it works, so I'm looking for stories that drop the reader in like they know how to swim. 

Ultimately I'm looking for strong voices and unique takes on the concept.  Show me how this device affects society.  Tell me why a person chose to use it.  And most importantly, punch through your pros and cons.  Is the Memory Eater a good or bad idea?  It all depends on which voice you're using, so take a stance and mold it confidently.

I hope this helps clear up some of your questions, but should you still have some, please feel free to email me at 

I wish everyone the best!

C. P.

1 comment:

  1. Literally just found this via your following my Twitter account! Sounds interesting! I'll try to see if I can work something up in between everything else! Let me think on it!