Original fiction project – week of 6/07/2009

More work on the morning pages this week. Not as many words as previous weeks, due to unscheduled brain-deadness. You know, there’s still a part of me that wonders sometimes what it is I am doing every morning, since I’m not, strictly speaking, “writing fiction.” I’m outlining, tossing around ideas, accepting or rejecting them, developing characters, thinking about how things will work, but not doing much that actually counts as “writing fictional prose.”

I have been a bit consternated lately since the story I’m developing is still thin on details of actual scenes and is sort of all broad strokes and general plot points. And those broad strokes and general plot points just keep getting more complicated and convoluted. And it’s consternating because I am struggling at the same time to figure out how to cut half, if not more, of the words out of my old ’93 novel, Dis/Inhibition, and here I am busily developing another story that’s going to be just as long.

The only difference is, I’m catching this fact before even a single word is written, and so I can plan ahead of time to make this not one, but a series of novels, with a natural division point, unlike my old novel.

Last weekend I was sitting in a dark theater watching the new Star Trek movie for the second time, enjoying one of the most complicated, convoluted SFF stories of all time, which is of course, also not one story but dozens, if not hundreds of stories. Star Trek is a story world.

And it occurred to me that that is what I’m doing right now. I’m not “writing my story,” I’m world-building. And that’s as important a step as writing fictional prose or plotting the novel. A good “story world” is a world we will want to visit over and over until all its stories are told.