Monday, August 12, 2013

Post Partum

Gonzo science fiction is always fun to write, particularly this format. It's my equivalent of soul food, since over-the-top sci-fi is what I grew up reading. This particular format is even better, because I don't really have to worry about plotting so much as just seat-of-the-pants making-fun-things-up. Are those enough hyphens? I think I need more hyphens in this paragraph.

In any case, I tend to average around 1600-1900 words per hour when doing these and hardly ever bother plotting much in advance because the story structure is so defined:

Establish frame
Story 1
Advance frame
Story 2
Advance frame
Story 3
Finish frame.

Easy-peasy. Each story is told from a different viewpoint/narrative voice and tries to one-up/build off of the previous one. The format has a friendly/chatty feel to it so you can use interruptions from the other characters to help break up the exposition a bit. It's more defined than it looks at first. It's basically space haiku.

I don't think I'd write more than a few of these a year, but they're a nice change of pace. I may bundle them together at some point if I ever write enough of them.

The central conceit of these stories (The Multiplicity Of Xen and Down And Out In The Jungle Of Death) is that you never see all these great world-changing events the characters talk about. It's more about a small group of old friends getting together in dodgy bars and trying to one-up each others' stories. You can safely assume it's 90% lies and exaggeration.

The worst part of writing these is having to type "Mary" in quotes every. Damn. Time. It was a throwaway joke I made in the first one and now I'm stuck with it. Next time I write one of these, I'll probably just call her something bizarre in the rough draft and then do a find and replace on whatever word I use. Seriously, "Mary", you're a pain in the butt.

Probably going to be another flash fiction week from Chuck's blog--this coming weekend, which is usually primo writing time for me, is going to be a mess, schedule-wise. Flash fiction is fun and it's a good exercise, but I prefer writing things where I can blast out words at higher speed without having to worry about being concise or staying within an arbitrary limit.

Hm. The random title generator for this week's challenge gave me "Angelo For Corrupt Time". My first instinct is to make it a time travel story gone wrong, but I already did that with Xen's tale. I may have to get weird.

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