Monday, January 07, 2008

No good can come of this

I've been thinking. A dangerous proposition, I know. But when writing fiction, I invariably have a conclusion, a finale, a resolution firmly pictured at the start. An endpoint toward which I strive for, as it were. I don't know the terrain that lies between my start and endpoints, but the direction is always set, so to speak.

Not all writers do this. Some start with characters and no idea what will unfold before them as they chronicle the adventures of said characters. Tolkien wrote somewhat in this manner, expecting to write a light sequel to The Hobbit when he sat down before being taken aback when the mysterious figure of Strider unexpectedly appeared in Bree.

So this is what I'm considering: Begin writing a piece of fiction with little more than a beginning in place and seeing where that takes me. An experiment, as it were. Foolishly, I'm toying with making this experiment a public spectacle, publishing as I go in weekly serial installments of maybe a thousand words a pop. Dickens wrote this way, to an extent, and didn't have the luxury of rewriting early chapters later in the story. He had to work within the framework he'd already established. That challenge is intriguing to me as well. I'd probably post the chapters over on No Fear of the Future, if for no other reason than to increase my volume of contributions to that blog, which have lagged somewhat of late.

I'm not 100 percent certain what I'd write about, although a couple of characters do seem to hold promise for a stand along romp. And I'm not 100 percent certain that I will take the plunge here, although the fact that I'm writing this almost makes my decision a forgone conclusion.

Now Playing: The Kinks Something Else


  1. I don't write narrative fiction, but I have put together some fairly rich and complex stories for table-top RPGs. At times, I felt like I was uncovering an existing world rather than creating one. It was almost as if I were discovering what was on one of those rub-off lottery tickets.

  2. If it ends up with no continuity, you can always just call it a surrealist fantasy.