A lot has happened, writing-wise, ham radio-wise, and photography-wise since my last blog post. Not to mention weather-wise!
You may recall that in my last post, I mentioned the following two items:
“I actually already have the first third of the story”
“With Dreamland I’m concerned about two things.
First, it feels odd writing this way because that is how I tend to write my larger stories, the novella and novel size.”
I had no idea, apparently, where I actually was in the story when I wrote the above remarks. I don’t know, right now, if I’m a third the way through, half-way through, or what. Since those statements were made, I’ve upped my word count, and keep in mind it’s a rough draft at this point, to a whopping 7,544 words. That would be all well and good except I’ve not yet even resolved the main crisis. That to me indicates I can’t be much more than half-way through, for various reasons related to the storyline that I’m not going into here.
The story itself is going reasonably well. I’ve had the major issue and the various characters are currently struggling to get out of it. I’ve got my conflict, two of them actually. So just how many words is Dreamland going to be?
I believe this will still be a short story, albeit a longish one. Online resources put the upper limit at 20,000 words for a short story in an anthology. Between 15,000 and 90,000 is novella territory. I doubt I’ll end up with 15,000 words, but it just might be close to that. The rough draft could potentially bust 15,000 but I’m not worried since the inevitable tweaking and reviewing will cut that down. Thus, also by word count, it would support the idea that I’m about half-way through.
Word count aside, the critical thing at this point is…The story should be as long as it needs to be to tell the whole story. That is the overriding rule, and the one I will ultimately abide by.
I had also mentioned in the same previous post that Dreamland was “funny”. It still is, in that even though I had sort of kinda plotted out in my head what was going to happen, the crisis took a wicked bypass. It threw me a curve-ball, to throw in a baseball metaphor for a friend. I don’t know if it was my computer screen backgrounds that triggered my subconscious or what but when I finished writing up the latest bit of writing, two…avatars (for lack of a better word)…had been introduced.
It’s a little bit frustrating when that happens.
Here I was, happily writing, my mind racing along, around, over, under, doing circles, barrel rolls, with my typing frantically trying to keep up. Then just before my fingers rebel my mind decides that’s enough and stops. My typing catches up. I hit save, sit back, relax a moment, then look over what I’ve written. It looks great: the flow of the story, what’s happening, it all looks good. The writing could be tightened up here or there, I see a typo or two. I nod to myself, satisfied.
Then it hits.
I have two new items in this story that my readers are going to want me to describe or at least want to know more about. I can already see the feedback comments. Here I am, finally providing a visual description of the Captain and his crew so people will stop asking me about that and I’ve just added two more unknown personae? Why is Dreamland doing this to me?
Yep, Dreamland is definitely different. That’s good, too. It’s forcing me to stretch as a writer. I believe I’m getting good ideas, doing good writing, and slowly developing my characters over this series of Pa’adhe short stories. Each of these stories adds a little more to everything that’s happening, before or after a particular story, but each also opens up new vistas for what could be. None more so than Dreamland so far. It’s forced me to hit my limits and push through. Looking back with what I’ve got down so far, I’m pleased with it. Looking forward at what it’s going to take to finish Dreamland has me both nervous and excited.
At the same time, I wish it was done with so I could read it!
Note to self: Ramen is OK, but Udon is better! Especially thrown in with Orange Chicken.