I’ve had a concept for a long time in my head, an urban story involving a young man who carries drought with him. That concept alone isn’t enough to carry a story, but I want to combine it with other elements that, in the grand picture, could be a fun story to read.
What I’ve been trying to do with my writing, and particularly with my short fiction, is to focus on getting one thing right at a time. During “The Cellist”, my goal was to follow a character with undesirable traits, but still hopefully in a way so the reader feels empathy for him. This is crucial in order to trigger the right emotions at the end; we can’t feel anything for a guy who is so despicable we don’t want to see him become happy. It was a more difficult balance to maintain.
I learned a lot from writing that story. This next one, I’m thinking about making a longer, sort of novella-length story. I’m going to stick with 17,000 words if I can. The focus, this time, comes from my inexperience writing female protagonists.
My first approach in brainstorming today is to figure out the girl first. I want to make her a three-dimensional, real character; completely separate from the male protagonist. I think I’ve written enough male protagonists that I’ll fall right in to how he thinks and talks without a problem; for her, I’ll need to spend some time getting to know her motivations.
My hope is that by getting her motivations figured out, and really getting her figured out as a person, then I can start discovery writing and see how the pieces fall into place. I might even decide to make her the main viewpoint character, but I’ll make the final decision on that once I’m getting closer to draft time.
I have a good feeling about this story; if for no other reason than how excited it gets me. Wish me luck. =)