The challenge is to write four novels in one month.
Today is July 1st, so started up today, even though I am totally exhausted from just moving four days ago and I have a ton of stuff to do still. In fact, today, I brought in some more stuff for my office from my old office and will do even more tomorrow. So writing while still putting things in here from moving.
And having mouse issues with my computer. Very annoying.
But I knew was that as tired as I am, if I didn’t get started, I wouldn’t start for a long time. Besides, writing is great fun and actually gives me energy once I get rolling.
How It Went…
Today I headed out with Kris after doing some moving and while she was at the gym (I will be there with her next week) I ran some errands, like taking a large donation to the cat shelter we found Angel at, and doing grocery shopping.
While doing that I was sort of mulling over the book. I really wanted to write a Pakhet Jones novel, and what kept swirling in my mind was a short story I wrote about a big orange tom cat running the area of Las Vegas. The short story didn’t finish even introducing this special cat.
I kind of wanted to tell his full story. Couldn’t get it out of my mind. No plan or plotting, just a nagging desire.
The short story had been published in volume #11 of the Year of the Cat, but no where else yet. So I went back and looked at it.
The story worked great as a 3,400 word short story, but it wasn’t structured quite right for a novel opening, so I started playing around and adding more and more depth from the beginning and changing the structure some and pretty soon it was 5,000 words and a great novel opening. And I was hooked on the orange tabby tom cat, even though I have no idea where the book is going.
I kept going for another 500 words as things continued with Pakhet and the cat and her cat Thomas as well. Then decided I was tired enough to go watch some television and get to bed early for a full night’s sleep.
So I worked 4.5 hours total (slower than my normal writing pace because this was an opening and needed to be changed to fit an opening).
Book #1… 4.5 hours. 5,460 words.
Over the years I have started my share of novels by jumping from a short story. In fact, both Kris and I do this a great deal and I have talked in workshops about how it is a great way to explore world building and characters and other things. Kris has done it and still does it in her Diving Universe. In fact, she wrote a novella called “Diving into the Wreck” that won all kinds of awards, including Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award before she ever decided to move it into the opening of a novel.
I think that about 25% of my novels start or jump from an already-written short story. I have already done a lot of world building and character building in those.
In this story, I had to do a lot of changing of the short story because of the structure, but the start of the story really gave me a great base in introducing the main few characters and the big orange tom cat.
In my Seeder’s Universe, I was given the opportunity to write a short story based off a lyrics of a song by Janis Ian. I had her permission and she did the introduction to the collection of stories we all did from her songs. Great fun.
I kind of liked the story idea, so after the book was published, I got her permission to continue on and use the lyrics in the opening and she agreed, so I wrote a novel from the short story called “Dust in the City.”
Then a year or so later, I jumped from that into writing my novels for my Seeder’s Universe and there are a bunch of those novels now. All from a short story originally.
So as I have said numbers of times, one of the best ways to world build is just write short stories. And a great way to jump into novels as well.
So I am up and running with this first book, with some world-building I had done earlier. Total win.
So if you love writing short fiction and have fun doing them, just let them fly. You just never know when one of the stories might lead you into a brand new series.