Just wrapping up writing for the day and thought I’d get back on here for a quick update.
Aside from some pending news, there isn’t much to report.
I’ve spent most of the past two weeks working on transforming a short story into a novel and I’m now at the 50% point for the first draft. It’s going, but more slowly than I thought and that is what I’d like to touch on briefly.
When I wrote the short story (by which I mean the first draft) it was just shy of 10,000 words and I wrote the entire thing in one day. It has since been revised, through several courses (including the thesis class) at Johns Hopkins and on my own. When it was accepted for publication in an anthology earlier this year, the story was roughly 10,500 words.
The decision to break the story apart and turn it into a novel was, in retrospect, harder than it should have been. I have a few copies that students and staff annotated while I was at JHU that all said the same thing…Give us more.
And therein is the wall I’ve run into.
I wrote my first full manuscript (a 120,000 word military thriller along the lines of a Clancy or Wouk story) in less than 100 days and didn’t really stress over much of the creation.
This is a different monster. I find that I’m sweating the details on this project. Where to break the story up? Where to add and what to add? Where to tie in past and present?
I’ve also noticed that breaking up a story like this also generates quite a bit of second-guessing and doubt. Did I pick the wrong moment here? Is this the wrong transition? Is this too much?
Given what I know now, I’m not sure I’d choose to ever make this conversion with another short story. It is much more complicated than I bargained for.