This is just a quick update, to let everyone know that I have a new short story coming in the next few days. I finally finished the first draft, and it now needs some review and polishing. It was quite the journey getting here, though.
A Start Without Structure
The story I just finished isn’t the one I started. My first was an attempt to write without pre-planning the major plot points. I usually like to create a simple outline of the key events in the story, even though they can change as I write. But I like to have a rough roadmap first, and if I’m deviating, I’m doing it because I’ve found a better story. That’s me. Not everyone likes to work that way, and I get that. This time around, I thought I’d try a different approach.
Needless to say, for me, it didn’t really work. The story was wandering off, and even though I’m the one at the keyboard, I couldn’t seem to get it to go anywhere in particular. The thing had a mind of its own. And it wasn’t a very interesting story, at least not to me. I’m going to revisit it in the future. I think there’s an interesting story to tell. I just wasn’t succeeding at telling it.
Round Two, This Time With Structure
So I decided to try a different story, one I had come up with while attempting to write the first one. This time, though, I planned out the basic plot points, and tried to get a sense of the story in advance. Then my job is to fill in those details, and tell the actual story. This time, I ran into two challenges. The first was that the story was much bigger than I thought. Far bigger than a “short story” should reasonably be in my opinion. This was really something big enough for a novella, perhaps an entire novel. Trying to stuff it into a short story wouldn’t do it justice.
The other problem was that I didn’t like how I was telling the story itself. It is a science fiction story, and I wanted to try to tell a story where the speed-of-light delay on high bandwidth communications is an element that impinges on the plot. It wasn’t just that I had a story to explore. I wanted to explore it in the context of some physics limitations, since they would impact how the story unfolded. And the way I started writing this story was going to make it really, really boring. So, a second story started and set aside while I figured out how to tell it properly.
Third Time’s The Charm?
I had a story idea that I have been noodling with for a couple of years now. And I came up with a way that, I think, tells the story, but in a nice, compact form. As written, it is most definitely a short story. Could it be bigger? Perhaps, but I think that it could easily get boring if told the wrong way.
No spoilers. I won’t give away the plot. All I’ll say is that it’s science fiction, and a bit of an experiment in writing at the same time. Stand by, it should be ready shortly.