I've done Story A Day May for five years, now. Last year, I intended every story to feed into a collection of various previously established characters of mine. The ones based in the SAGE world, I collected, along with some others, into SHIFTY. But, in 2014, I wrote one called Salali and Vernando. That also ended up in SHIFTY, but not quite in the form I had thought.
you follow the link and read the entry, you'll see that what I have is a
bare-bones tale, with a segment in the middle that merely catalogs
action. I also had a notion that everything I wrote would be only the
first part of an adventure tale.
When I started expanding the
story, I front-loaded A LOT of explication, backstory, and
world-building into the running-away section. I tend to do that, damn my
eyes. I put so much on the story's head, it falls over backward and
can't get up off the floor. But, because I had written all that detail, I
was able to cut almost all of it out and merely touch on it, using
telling details in place of elaborate paragraphs. While I was at it, I
added an encounter that turned out fortuitous, as such encounters so
often are in fairy tales.
I was wrong about the continuation. The
longer section of the story stub turned out to be the only adventure in
it. In a way, that's too bad, because I do like a tale that goes on and
on, with chases and narrow escapes and magic combs and such. This one
ended up as sort of a locked-room adventure, I guess.
THE POINT IS, I've turned quite a few flash fiction pieces into longer stories, and stories into novels.
the story apart. Each thing that happens is a plot point. Each plot
point can be expanded and/or bracketed by rests between the beats. Room
can be made for subplots. And this can all be done formally, with Roman
Numerals and Capital Letters, or informally, by the seat of the pants,
with the short version serving as a series of torches to show the way.
Marian Allen, Author Lady
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