The Story That Won’t Quit

A few months back, I started a story about an unusual slave. Within the Silence is pure fantasy, but I did set out to make a point. The story is told from the slave’s point of view, about his life with his master and what happens when a stranger starts asking questions. I expected it to come to about five or six thousand words. What did I know? It just hit 10,000 words and is still going strong.

Maybe this is what happens when your focus is on character rather than plot. I didn’t really know much about the slave when I started, and I was more interested in the plot and how it would end. I knew roughly how it would end, but not the specifics, so I had to leave it for a while to ripen. Then NaNo came along–another delay. Then finishing and publishing Privileged Lives. And now I’m working on the story again. What’s happening now is that the slave’s inner life is opening to me and the story is becoming richer and more detailed than I’d anticipated. The stranger’s questions have burrowed into the slave’s head and made him start asking questions of his own. Maybe his life hasn’t been quite as he’d always thought it was.

As interesting a process as this has been, I’m looking forward to the end, even though I still don’t know all the details. Another two or three thousand? I hope that’s all.

(If someone asks politely, I’ll post the beginning of the story sometime this week.)


12 thoughts on “The Story That Won’t Quit

        1. I really did want this one to be short because it popped up when I was busy with other stuff, and it keeps getting in the way. The thing nobody mentions about plot bunnies is that some of them have a grip like a bulldog and just. won’t. let. go.

  1. Sounds like a powerful story and character is emerging. Interesting that a character who is silent should be so insistent on having his say. I look forward to reading.

    1. It’s changed somewhat since I published the first few sections on Live Journal. Some added material, and yes, the rest of it brings out some new qualities in him. I’m just about to hit the crisis that changes everything.

  2. Collca publish short ebooks of 12-18K, can’t remember off the top of my head whether they’re all non fiction, or whether there’s some fiction in there. Might be worth looking at if you don’t already have other plans – it’s certainly looking more lke a novella than a short story.

    1. Is that an online publishing company? Magazine? I’ve been planning to put it out on Smashwords first, and then Kindle, eventually, but I’ve been thinking about looking into other paths as well.

    1. Novellas and short stories are both doing well as ebooks. That’s one of the beauties of publishing online–more flexibility. I do have several stories in progress that will be novella length. I’d love to get back to them and get them finished. [Sigh]

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