Mrs Darcy, Episode Sixty-Four

Today’s episode is a reflective interlude which seeks to explain what actually happened at the Mission. I’ve just realised that we are almost two-thirds of the way through this thing, which is a long way further than I’ve previously managed with a novel – so if nothing else, I’ve proved to myself that I can keep going for over 40K words …

Now here’s a question for you people out there. In the course of trying to sell this thing to a publisher, it keeps coming up against the problem that it looks like another bloody mash-up – and of course the market for that kind of thing has long moved on (P&P&Z sold zillions, but most of the other wannabes have apparently sold poorly, at least in the UK).

My problem with this is that I never intended to write a mash-up as such. Sure, my starting point was that I thought it might be amusing to take the characters from “Pride and Prejudice” and use them in an entirely different context, but the story very soon took on a life of its own, bringing in a whole load of other stuff that I hadn’t anticipated at all. But how do you differentiate that from a mash-up? Or is there no difference at all? Are Jasper fforde’s books (for example) just mash-ups, then?

I’m thinking aloud here, which is a dangerous thing to do on a blog. But I really would be interested to know what anyone else thinks. The floor is yours.

6 thoughts on “Mrs Darcy, Episode Sixty-Four

  1. If the story will work without using someone else’s characters it’s not a mash-up. If you’re relying on the reader’s knowledge of the other book then it is. That’s my opinion and I’m sure there are a thousand others.

  2. Interesting distinction. I’d like to think in the case of Mrs Darcy that it would sort of work without those particular characters, but that it works better with them.

    I know that at least one reader who has enjoyed it absolutely loathes Jane Austen, and I certainly don’t see that myself as a barrier. In fact, I’m not even sure that I see hardcore Jane Austen fans as its target market. Which is odd, because those are the kind of followers that it’s picked up on Twitter and Facebook.

    I find it all very confusing.

  3. I haven’t read all the episodes, I tend to dip in and out, but it’s great fun. For me, as a fairly keen Janeite, it’s knowing the books that makes it even more amusing, so I’m not surprised there are some hard-core JA fans of this. As for potential publication, it’s much more to my taste than the zombie one or the sea monster, neither of which did a thing for me. Didn’t even get to chapter 2.

    But what I’m waiting for is another Youtube trailer please, Jonathan. And I think this novel would lend itself to being dramatised: Mrs D and the Aliens: The Musical?

  4. Many thanks for that, Nicky – much appreciated. Funnily enough, you’re not the first one to have asked about another YouTuberance recently – I’ll see what I can do 🙂 I have grave doubts about musicals, although I’m almost tempted to see what could be done in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan. I said almost.

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