Thursday, June 24, 2010

Building the City, Part I

So... I finally finished writing up the short story about the Ruined City. Except, it's not a short story, exactly. It's more a capsule version of a book - like an outline, but with scenes, if that makes any sense.

This idea of using a short story as an outline is new to me, but I like it. I'm usually not much for outlines; in my youth, I'd just sit down and start writing. Of course, in my youth I had time to sit up writing for a couple of hours every night, so it was easy enough to keep my head in the story. These days I don't have that kind of time - at least, not if I want to see my wife and the boys. (This story/outline is about fourteen pages long, and it took me eight and a half weeks to write it. That's an insanely long time, but it's a direct result of trying to cram the project in around the edges of everything else.)

So I've had to become more organized in order to compensate: make lists of characters, take notes on the setting, outline the story. The problem is, I'm not very good at that sort of organization; it takes time, and makes writing feel more like work and less like fun. This, on the other hand, was actually enjoyable, and didn't rob me of my enthusiasm for the setting.


  1. What a great way of staying connected to the story! Especially because you enjoyed it -- the only possible downside of organizational tools is if they take the fun out of writing, and your discovery sounds like it made the process MORE fun.

    Plus, who might wind up with a whole book of 14-page stories!

  2. Actually, that might be easier - the one book I actually finished (before I had kids, naturally) was the one where I decided to treat the whole thing as a pulp adventure novel, and each chapter as a short story.


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