It’s long been a dilemma of mine.
Whilst I’ve written lots of long form (mostly movies), I often find myself with a bunch of stories huddled around my imagination, waiting for me to write the next one in the family.
Problem with that is , this is what the publishers will say ‘ Er..um..we don’t get much call for short stories around here, bub.’ So what do you do, herd all those great stories over the cliff and into the sea?
What has grown upon me, out of that big Mother, necessity,is a way of creating a bunch of short stories, that are all linked. With characters, themes, plot, but each has an individual happening within it, which could be a chapter, or stand tall and proud as its own ‘short story’.
I’m doing this at the moment with my graphic novel. My hero, Luke, has ongoing off-planet (and on-planet) adventures with new star systems, aliens, and even humans. In particular, one human, the heroine, Inca.
They have a love/panic relationship that runs through most of the stories, and there are baddies throughout the universe that they have to fight/avoid/get beaten up by.
With those ingredients, the stories knit themselves into a kind of space-time quilt that makes a novel, so my agent and publisher can go ‘ Well, that’s a novel and..well, that’s a genre novel, and its a big five genre novel, sci-fi or is it fantasy, and we might even make a buck.’
So if you’re brimming with stories, don’t make them orphans, weld them into a chain with links and themes, and a few common, and not so common threads.
In the next blog, one of the alien stories comes slobbering in.