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So I wrote a few more pages in the longer story I have been working on thinking that this new stuff would directly follow the stuff that I have already posted. Of course it’s not nearly that simple. I immediately discovered that this new stuff needs something, probably only a couple more pages, to bridge to the previous stuff. Right now it’s all just a bunch of disconnected stuff.
When I was writing the super short 1-5 page stories I could do that pretty easily. I could write a line or a scene that comes in the middle or near the end of the story and then fill in the gaps. I quickly found that I usually didn’t know what those gaps had to be until I had defined their shape with scenes before and after, or even off to the side of them.
It’s probably unsurprising that I tend to think of stories as collections of scenes, since pretty much all of my storytelling experience comes from visual media - stage, film, etc. Because of that I also tend to think about all of it in terms of editing, the film kind not the literary kind. The stories I put together in my head are shot out of order and reassembled in post.
There are probably better ways to write stories, but those are all the tools I have in my box, and until I gather some new ones I think these are the tools I will have to make use of.
I could post up a bunch of disconnected scenes, but I don’t think that would be very entertaining to read. Also, some of the unassembled islands of ‘stuff’ are from very late in the story and that would be pretty spoilery. For me at least, writing non-linearly works well. Reading non-linearly remains a poor experience.
Here is what I think I will do. Every once in a while I will drop very large chunks of story on a separate page that I will link from one of these posts. That way the story can live on its own over there as an incomplete, but readable, piece that you can check in on from time to time. If that is something you are interested in.
This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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