I'm working on a new short story idea. It's pretty well a seed--a few pages drafted with good imagery that I don't want to abandon. It's also based on the novel I'm shopping to agents. For my genre, selling short stories based on novels is a good way to market and sell the novel.
For the next few posts, I'm going to let you watch my struggle to make this story come to fruition. Hopefully it'll be mildly entertaining and provide a learning experience. But it's also doing me a favor, giving me an excuse to ramble and brainstorm on screen. It also might serve as a bit of a deadline. I work well under deadline.
A basic description of this story, an urban fantasy featuring demons, would be:
Kaelin is ordered to murder the woman he loves in order to save her from a fate worse than death.
Details to follow. This is what I have so far:
I really should learn to write in pencil. We'll see what it looks like after.
Above the line: plot arc. External conflict and plot points, obstacles, and reversals.
Below the line: character arc. Internal conflict and change.
The cross lines signal the major plot points-- a turning point or sometimes a major reversal. The little curly lines are obstacles . If you can read my handwriting more power to you, but don't try too hard. The plot points, obstacles, and reversals could very well be misplaced at this point. I spent about ten minutes sketching this out this am, and of course I'm still not happy with it. It needs more--a lot more. But you will notice one important bit. It reads (with embellishment):
Kaelin is scared of returning to his addiction of violence. He's scared if he kills Ryanne (his love) there will be no reason for him to return to home. He'll be a wanted man, too--which also keeps him from returning home. However, he loves her and he knows he must put her out of her misery.
That's the character's crux and the irony of the story. It's not particularly well laid out yet, but it's a start. Oh, and incidentally, I'm anticipating this story will be in the 4-5K word range. That's something I generally decide up front, too.
I think that's enough for now. Thoughts?