A New Story, and Compiling a Novel

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Chekov’s Gun
* A New Short Story
* Compiling a Novel
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“There are at least 2 or 3 more short stories in this bunch and then it will be a novel.” KC Riggs

Chekov’s Gun

Thanks to the few who reminded me after yesterday’s post it’s “Chekov’s Gun” and has nothing to do with the Stanislavski Technique, which has to do with “Method Acting.”

A New Short Story

“Blackwell Ops: Sam Thurston” went live yesterday on my Stanbrough Writes Substack.

To subscribe to Stanbrough Writes, click the link above and then the Subscribe button at the end of the story. You’ll receive a new short story every Friday, and it’s free.

Below the Subscribe button, there are other short stories you can read in most genres. Enjoy!

Compiling a Novel

in which I will ramble a bit.

This topic could as easily have been titled “Ways to Increase Your IP Inventory.”

There’s more than one way to write a novel. And here, I’m talking strictly about content.

Add to that the fact that every novel writes differently, and you have many options. Of course, I always advise you to write what the characters give you. That’s both the easiest and most fun way to write.

But as always, how you arrange that content is up to you, the writer.

Karen Riggs, pen name KC Riggs, in reporting her most recent Bradbury Challenge short story (number 52 in a row without missing, woot!) included one sentence in her email that I used as the Quote of the Day. In doing so, she also handed me the topic for this post. (grin)

When KC has written a few more stories in the series, she will compile them into a novel.

That’s smart. When she eventually publishes the stories, whatever 5-story and-or 10-story collections arise from them, and the novel, she will have increased her IP inventory a great deal.

For example (I don’t know specifics) if there are 15 short stories in the series, she will have increased her inventory by 15 individual stories, up to three 5-story collections, one 10-story colllection, and one novel.

That’s 20 new titles, each with its own cover and branding, and 20 chances for new readers to find her work. That’s quite a jump in IP and in discoverability.

As a few other examples of what you can do,

  • I derived several short stories from my Wes Crowley saga, and I could have derived more.
  • I could also have derived several short stories from my Journey Home SF series. (I haven’t done so yet.)
  • And every major scene (often running across two or three chapters) in my Blackwell Ops series is also (or could easily be) a stand-alone short story. I’ve also written a few dedicated short stories (read “stories that didn’t take off”) from the BO world. One of those posted yesterday on StanbroughWrites. Finally, I’ve also derived a few short stories from that series.

Different writers write in different ways.

Karen has written novels that were novels from the beginning. Now she’s written a series of short stories that—possibly with a few minor tweaks, like writing brief transition scenes—she will compile into a novel.

I almost always write my whole novels as a series of interconnected short stories.

One time, patterning myself after Isabel Allende and her The Stories of Eva Luna, I published a long collection of interconnected short stories as both a collection and a novel. (I forget the title.) There were no separate transitions between the stories, but the flow was good without transitions.

So the point is, although it’s perfectly fine to write only short stories and publish them both individually and in collections, you also have alternatives:

  • If you write a short story and “feel” that it wants to run, publish it as a short story and maybe in a themed collection, but later return to it, let it run, and go with it. It might become a novella or novel
  • If you write a series of short stories because the characters and-or situations keep coming back, consider compiling those into a novel when you’ve finished.
  • If you write a novel as a novel (or part of a novel series), consider pulling short stories out of it to be published on their own and-or in collections.
  • And there are other possibilities. Explore them.

In the second point above, I mentioned “characters and-or situations.” I’ve seen at least one novel (that was obviously a compilation of short stories) in which only one big central event happened. Then each chapter in the novel was written from the POV of a different character and his/her reaction to that event. (Again, I forget the title.)

Explore these options. Some will be “right” for you and others won’t.

But remember the key. No matter how you choose to write, Have Fun.

The Novel

I thought my own current novel was going to wrap day before yesterday, but it didn’t. (That might’ve been me wanting to get to the next story, which probably will not be in the Blackwell Ops world.)

In fact, two of the main characters threw a new twist into the story that caused me to cycle back over the whole thing yesterday. Over the first few hours of my writing time, I deleted a lot and added only about 800 new words to the story.

As I keep saying, every novel writes differently. You just have to be patient, listen to the characters, and go with it. I suspect this one will run at least another 10,000 words. And maybe a lot more.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

You May Be as Annoyingly Picky as I Am, as a Writer

Regarding Audible

Emotional Intimacy Between Characters Isn’t Just for Romance Novels

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 900

Writing of Blackwell Ops 21: Johnny Mercer

Day 9…… 4743 words. To date…… 27909
Day 10…. 2221 words. To date…… 30130
Day 11…. 4131 words. To date…… 34261

Fiction for March…………………….…. 27472
Fiction for 2024…………………………. 192064
Fiction since October 1………………… 495120
Nonfiction for March…………………… 17230
Nonfiction for 2024……………………… 116420
2024 consumable words……………… 308484

2024 Novels to Date……………………… 4
2024 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2024 Short Stories to Date……………… 1
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 86
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 239
Short story collections………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

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