Original fiction project – week of 6/07/2009

13 Jun

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.

7 Responses to “Original fiction project – week of 6/07/2009”

  1. cornerofmadness June 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    it still sounds like progress to me. World building is very important. If you do it right, you can avoid my u sual issue of coming up with clever ideas laterin the game and having to go back and revise
    Revising is a bitch. I just had to do that for that short story and even with that it’s a struggle.

  2. neshaffer June 13, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    Oh, I know. I’ve had to rewrite entire TD episodes because I discovered after having a full draft that there was a gaping plot hole. It’s no fun, but a distinct possibility in SFF where everything’s made up from the beginning.

  3. cornerofmadness June 14, 2009 at 3:10 am #

    yeah it’s all part of the process i suppose

  4. neshaffer June 14, 2009 at 3:41 am #

    Nice if it could be avoided before hand with a little forethought, but sometimes that sucks all the fun out of it. LOL

  5. cornerofmadness June 14, 2009 at 4:05 am #

    this is also true

  6. sangueuk June 14, 2009 at 6:14 am #

    Totally agree with the story world – one of my main whoops after watching it was, “Yay! Now we get more movies!”
    I’m going to feel a little better about ‘just’ thinking about writing and not ‘doing’. For now.

  7. neshaffer June 14, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Are you thinking and writing but not doing?

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