Blog 2017

Long-term Planning for Short-term Projects

It is a curious thing how stories age and mature.  I am working right now to resurrect my serials, here on Teach The Sky.  As long-time fans know, I’ve attempted this multiple times and failed each.  I don’t regret those false starts but I do lament that my stories are not available.

I considered just re-posting the original versions but that isn’t viable because A) they are in file types that would require massive reformatting and B) they are terribly dated stories.  When I say dated, they are stories that hinge on a world without broadband internet, powerful search engines, cell phones and social media as ubiquitous as a birth date.  Whole swaths of the stories that made sense a decade and a half ago would now be gapping plot holes, rendered completely moot by simply asking ‘why not just run a Google search’?  Likewise, what was at one time revolutionary is now commonplace.  Neo-Romance climaxed with a symphony orchestra performing a video game soundtrack, which at the time had never been done before.  Now, ‘video game concerts’ are a part of most municipal orchestra’s annual schedule.

But there’s more than the trappings of the stories that need to be updated.  They are dated in terms of who I am, and my relationship to these characters.  Stories and characters are like children.  Releasing a tale might be like taking a photo or video and posting it online but the child continues to grow, as does your relationship and understanding of that character.  While it’s been ages since we’ve seen Marilyn Johnston or Sam Helms or Mark Prescott, that doesn’t mean that the characters haven’t continued to grow and evolve, and their stories change.

Having written those stories so long ago and viewing them now, I also have to consider the growth of them and myself moving forward.  If I start writing the serials today, I won’t finish the entire saga for a decade, maybe longer.  A daunting task, that.  And it includes writing multiple thousands of words per day.  Miss a day and the whole schedule can get thrown a bit.  It requires careful consideration.  Not just in scheduling but also in allowance in the narrative for personal growth.  I was a very different person when I imagined these stories so long ago.  A very different person from who I am now.  I’ll need to make allowances for who I’ll be when the stories are nearing completion.

Writing as an art form is a glorious and wonderful thing and I love doing, but it’s a lot harder than many would think.  You know hard days are ahead and you have to plan for them, or otherwise the story won’t get told.  And there is nothing more tragic to a writer than a story that ends up not being told.

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