Monday, April 27, 2015

Evolution of an Idea

I just don't understand this writing business, the creativity part anyhow.  Here I had a well-planned short story, had my facts in line, had a scene by scene architecture, and some variations of flow, the two protagonists and a limit of 7,500 words or less.  "Piece of cake," I said ..... two years ago.

Then another couple of characters were needed to flesh out some plot details, which led to a few words about them, which meant less words for the flow.  Of course some backstory was needed and that gave me another character sketch.  The "science" part turned out to be really, really interesting so I admitted that this might be a novelette length work and proceeded apace.

Then two sub-plots emerged involving some of the secondary characters and suddenly I had four -FOUR!- protagonists to struggle with.  Oh yeah, and the antagonist that I hadn't yet made flesh - there goes another thousand words plus the final interaction that would press upon the edge of a novella at 17.5 K words.

I took a break to work on other things (don't worry, there's always lots of unfinished crap lying about to take me away from my problems.  Of course, those are also problems that generate more ideas that get added to the pile for later work.  And so it goes..

So, last week, I got back to the incipient novella and found that my muse had solved one of the stumbling blocks and also wanted me to introduce more backstory about the McGuffin - practically an entire short story in and of itself and pushes the piece well into novella territory.  

So be it.  I now have the scent in my nose and the taste on my tongue so there is nothing to do but forge ahead to see where this story is taking me.  At least I now feel that, somewhere down the line, lies resolution, finality, and a completion eagerly awaited.  It should top out around fifty thousand words, I imagined as I closed another scene.  That would surely be enough for a two-part serial or a chapbook.  At least that's what I promised myself as I prepared for bed on Thursday night.

Then, upon awakening to the dawn of a new day I found that my muse, that wickedly inventive, dastardly bitch, now insists I tell a story within the story about discovery that might take the conclusion in an entirely different direction.  How and where this latest bit came from I have no idea and now feat that this will take the tale into novel length.

Too late to turn back.


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