I was hoping to write something each week here about how my Nanowrimo project is progressing.
I’m a few days past the end of the first week, and I apologize if this is rather stream of consciousness, but although the project is moving along at the correct pace, I have also been doing a lot of thinking about it.
To review, I am ostensibly working on a collection of connected short stories related to the novella I recently finished.
The novella is about people who harvest uranium snowflakes from the interiors of white dwarf stars and live in a Dyson sphere-like structure.
This current Nanowrimo project is about the people who built that structure and the stories are all set well before the events in the novella.
While I have been saying it’s a collection of short stories, I am starting to wonder about that.
I began November with 15 very short story outlines/beginnings/proto-stories (around 750 words each), with the intention of expanding each to 2000 words to begin with (so that would cover November 1-15).
I am on track with that. Today is the 11th and I finished the 11th one today.
For the other 15 days of the month, I was planning on going back to each of the now-2000 word stories and editing them. Not necessarily editing to completion, but definitely getting them in better shape.
The more I write, the more I see what I am doing as not so much a series of discrete though connected stories, but rather, as scenes from a novel or even a series. (There is a lot going on and these people are all-but-immortal.)
Or maybe it isn’t that, either.
Perhaps it is more like a series of encyclopedia entries about the all-but-immortal people or a selection of different documents from the construction of the Dyson sphere. Maybe it is both of those and they are different stories!
I want to explore all the many facets of this world that I’ve imagined and this all amounts to how to best accomplish that.
I am definitely interested in using different forms to explore narrative and this specific context seems like a good one to do that within. I had been thinking of this with regards to the novella (which does a few excerpts from documents in it), but it didn’t seem the right match.
But then, there is also the question of what story exactly am I trying to tell? Because the more I think of all these different things, the more they seem to split off into many possibilities.
That’s a long way of saying that I’m not going to be editing these stories after the 15th.
I’ve decided that, instead, I am going to go through the 15 stories and extract the worldbuilding details and collect them into encyclopedia-ish entries. As I’ve written, I’ve thrown in off the cuff remarks that, at times, are not consistent with other elements. So, at the very least, I need to clean those up and figure out what the canon interpretation should be.
There are also some areas and themes that I’ve noted as I’ve worked that I haven’t fully explored. So, if I have time, I will work on developing those, too (not as stories, but as more of those entries on specific topics).
So that’s where I am.