Grampy’s Dance

I wrote a thousand words this morning, the start of a new short, Grampy’s Dance.

It’s something new for me. Old fashioned science fiction, with a starship filled with colonists bound for another world. I’m pleased with what I got down so far.

Most often, I start with a title or an image or an idea and I write from there, shaping and reworking as I move forward and the story is revealed to me. On this one, I tried plotting an outline.

For writers who are big outline freaks, what I have probably looks like scribble on a greasy napkin, but it is so much more than I usually start with.

I have a beginning point, with fleshed-out characters and a chain of events along the plotline. Most importantly, I have an end.

Jack Leggett, an old copy desk editor that was a mentor to me when I was working as a newspaper reporter, used to say, “If you got a start and a finish, you got a story. All the rest is detail.”

We’ll see. When I get a bit more written, I’ll give you a sneak.

2 thoughts on “Grampy’s Dance

  1. I’m finding that if the story is more than about 1,500 words, I have to have an outline. At the very least, a timeline of what happens when and a summary. Otherwise I just flounder.

  2. Outlining is a tricky thing. It works different for everyone. I’ve found I can keep stuff straight in my head up to about six thousand words.

    I got lost when I wrote my novel; had to stop about a third of the way through and do an outline. Even then, it wasn’t much more than, “Chapter 53: Michael goes to jail and has long talk with Driscoll about Driscoll’s past.”

    Some people go bananas. I took a writing class from Ridley Pierson and he said when he outlines one of his novels he covered an entire wall in his office with three x five cards.

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