"The Unpeople"…previously Among Others

That’s right. Due to a very popular Sci-fi author publishing a novel of the same name last year, I felt it best to leave “Among Others” behind, admit defeat, and walk away. So, from here on out Among Others shall be titled  “The Unpeople”. 

The obvious reference is to “undead.” But this is but one of the two references in the title. “Unpeople” is a term coined by Noam Chomsky that describes the people erased by the majority. Actually, Chomsky’s “unpeople” is a simplified term for “subaltern”, which I’ve explained before. The dual reference made me excited in a nerdy way. Although, I shall miss the idea of Among Others since the original reason for writing Dr. Collins’ story was the idea the “Internal Other” and the “External Other”. Originally, my story gave the Wretch no name. Hence, Others…

Today I pitched my story in yet another contest. This time the pitch needed to be written in three sentences. Most novel writers I speak to say “That’s impossible. I can’t humanly truncate my whole story into three sentences.” I admit, this is not an easy task. I’ve worked on this story for 8 months. Every scene happens for a reason. Three sentences????? 

But! If you can’t sum up your story in three sentences, you don’t know your story. 

My pitch? 

With a background in Sign Language, Dr. Helen Collins becomes the voice for those no longer able to speak for themselves. However, when authorities conclude Collins is among the infected undead, she is hunted down while she fights for the simple right to exist. Collins searches for humanity in a world rejecting hers.

I could have even deleted the last sentence. Though, once I wrote it, I thought DAMN, that’s an awesome description. UNTIL TONIGHT!

Tonight I received an email comment based on that three sentence pitch. It read as follows:

Holy shit! This sounds fantastic.
Am I deciphering the query correctly?
Issues of identity and acceptance wrapped around the story of lady struggling with her own plight while teaching zombies sign language?
If that’s in, then–girl–you nailed a winner in my eyes!

John Hargis pitched my story back to me better than I pitched it to him! Well played!

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