In this newsletter:
- The meaning of life — well, short stories, anyway.
- A sale.
- Free stories.
On life and short stories:
Short stories were not on my radar. Writing was all about novels. In my view, stories are about life, and life is long. It took an unexpected idea to show me that short stories are far closer to real life than novels.
Along came a random phrase that sparked Never Blackmail a Thought-Reader. A dozen pages that cover a pivotal hour in Tracy’s life. I wrote it for fun, never intending to build on it. But build, it did. All sorts of adventures came into my mind for Tracy and Vigard. Soon, I had the full character and plot arcs for Agents of Rivelt – A Novel in Short Stories.
But here is where the writing process diverged. In a novel, the author finishes the first draft according to some preconceived plan. We may do a lot of planning or a little, but the end is never exactly as envisioned. Then, we go back and fix whatever doesn’t fit properly. Not so with a series!
I published each short story as I wrote it. I couldn’t go back and change anything. The climax story, Ensnared, does not play out as I planned at the beginning. By the time I wrote it, some aspects of Tracy and Vigard had changed. The villain, too. Instead, I drew from the earlier stories to achieve the overall purpose in a different way. It actually worked better than I had planned.
If that’s not like life, I don’t know what is. Some of us plan a lot, some a little, but we all have a concept of what life should be. Then, a great many circumstances happen, expected or otherwise. We choose as best we can, based only on what we know at that moment. There’s no going back. Events and people change our plans, detour us this way and that. But our purpose remains. It may not look like we thought it would. We may approach it from a different angle or use experiences in surprising ways. But still, the events and decisions come back around, feeding into the purposes of our life.
Here’s hoping that the unexpected segments of your life turn out better in the long run than you ever could have planned.
I bet you’ve had detours, as well. I’d love to hear about them.
My latest sale:
I promised to tell you about sales, so here we go. Agents of Rivelt – A Novel in Short Stories and Diverse Similarity e-book versions are on sale for $2.99 USD (Comparably priced in other currencies.) That’s 40% off. Click the covers to see more details and purchasing options.
Here is a link for some free science fiction: Lights, Lasers, Action! Just to make sure you’re getting plenty of variety, this month’s freebies are hosted through BookFunnel instead of Book Cave. Forty-eight titles to choose from. Don’t delay. This offer is only available until May 31, 2019.