December 18, 2012

The Shortest Story I've Yet Written

I finished a story draft today. The story is called "Mind Locker." The draft came in at 5188 words, which is more than two thousand words shorter than the next shortest story I've ever written. It's stunningly short. If there's any cause of this I can identify, it's that my main character, whose head we are visiting for the duration of the story, is not very reflective.

This is a serious departure for me. Sometimes you need reflection, particularly when you're writing a story that requires some work so readers will come along with you through the world and the plot. "Mind Locker" has the advantage that it takes place in a futuristic version of our own world, which spares me a lot of words on worldbuilding and defeating expectations.

One of the interesting challenges was writing this character who wasn't self-aware. There's a big difference between writing a character who is complex but doesn't think about her own complexity, and a character who is simple. If you can't use internalization and self-reflection on the part of the protagonist, it's easy for the character to lose dimension. I had to use some different techniques to get my protagonist's complexity across, and now that it's off to critique, I'll see how those techniques have worked.

This is the first story I've completed since the completion and delivery of For Love, For Power. It feels good to have done something really new.