Note: As this whole post deals with a subject which could lead to spoiling a few of the Hope Town short stories, it may ramble and never get to make an actual point. If that sort of thing frustrates you, then I completely understand if you skip it. However, as I’m committed to writing as much about my process and thoughts as about the writing projects themselves, its appropriate for me to document this.
Still with me? Good.
The other day, I talked about the 3 year plan for Hope Town, which I posted about 5 days after completing it. As time had moved on since then, so had my thought process and a potential issue cropped up.
Something major is set to occur within the first year, and following the mapping exercise I now wasn’t happy with the timing.
While my intention is for all of the short stories to work as standalone – to enable a reader to pick one up, read it and be satisfied they have read a complete story – the opportunity to naturally progress through the lives of the characters within this new universe is too good to pass up. As such, some events are seeded in some stories and lead into others where they can stand and shine themselves. Sort of like The Levitz Paradigm which I will summarise in a future post.
So, something happens in one of the stories which has consequences a few stories down the line, which is all fine. Except, there are reasons why the timing may not be so great now that I’ve mapped out the 3 years’ worth of stories and that begins to bug me.
It would be simple enough to push it down the schedule, and then push the resulting story further down but that could put both close to the end of the first year which doesn’t seem to be the best place for them.
I could push the first down to the end of the first year and it could be reworked as a cliffhanger, but that means the other will be in the second year and some characters/events I want to continue to have in the first year have missed that opportunity. In any case, something bigger happens in year two and including this event may make that year top-heavy.
See what I mean about it being a ramble?
Having a dog to walk and time over a long weekend to walk her a few times, I found that I was able to really run through the options in my head and come out with a solution that I am comfortable with for the moment. It could change because of the self contained nature of the short stories, but at some stage – and hopefully well before publication – I do need to get on with it and stick to a plan.
There will be plenty of time for regrets later.