March 13, 2013

When A Story Grows

I promised a short story if the crowdfunding campaign for Fireside Magazine Year 2 went through, and it did. True to my word, I immediately (literally, since I pushed the magazine over the edge with my bourbon-infused donation) started writing.

The story I promised had just one theme: A guy with a sword. I blame that one on Twitter, it is simple enough to fit in 140 characters or less.

Other than that, I had no ideas.

Then I wrote the first sentence to infuse the brain of writing awesomeness, and the whole thing sort of wrote itself. Which isn’t true of course, nothing ever writes itself, but the characters came to life and the plot matured. Playing around with the words soon left me with the story I would write. The outline was in my head, and I had a firm idea of how the story would come to an end.

I reached that ending three days ago, some 4,500 words later. The idea was to let the story sit for a day or two, then make a pass on it, and then give it to a select few to read. Based on their notes I’d go through the story again, and then send it to my editor, because all stories worth a damn deserve a professional editor’s eyeballs.

Yesterday I was getting ready to sit down and do said first pass, and then I promptly realized that this story wasn’t done yet. This was just the first part, and it needed a second one as well. It all fell into place, you see, and thus I did not edit yesterday. I cranked out another 1,500 words instead, delaying dinner for an hour at great personal expense, and decided where the story would go from there.

The story grew, and it will continue to grow up until 10,000 words or so. I don’t want my short story to be longer than that, and it fits in a serial ebook concept I want to try out. 10,000 words takes about an hour to read, which might or might not be the sweet spot, I don’t really know. I’m going with my gut on this one.

So my story grew, the one about the guy with the sword, and it will grow to 10,000 words or so. The story will still be free, for a time at least, and I’ll make sure the download link get spread around so that no one who wants it misses out.

The only thing left to do is to wrap up this story, writing and editing and all. Then I’ll map out a more elaborate plot for two more stories. They’re three, there is always three, in this little serial concept of mine. Like little piggies getting ready for the slaughterhouse, or something.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.