L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami September 27, 2014 - 11:51am

Am I the only one experiencing a gradual decrease in SF elements the more books or short stories I write? I started the second draft intending to pair it down to 9,000 words (something that might fit in Cricket Magazine.)

Yet this science fiction is evolving in ways I wasn't expecting:

  • It's been lengthened to 11,326 words. Getting to mid novelette range.
  • The premise is more like a dark contemporary than a Science Fiction: A young woman with a problem, meets an a visitor from the sky who she saves by taking him to a doctor that gives "The Fallen" a robotic arm prosthetic.

If it weren't for the robotic prosthesis, it could be called Dark Contemporary. Which is starting to make me reconsider calling it science fiction. (Technologically we already have robotic arm prosthesis, it just isn't very good so I heard.)

Has this happened to anyone else while writing your book?

leah_beth's picture
leah_beth from New Jersey - now in Charleston, SC is reading five different books at once. October 1, 2014 - 10:13am

Hey Sarah!

I say I write genre fiction in general...I mash up horror and sci-fi a lot. I wrote one book that's classic sci-fi (think: foreign planets, aliens, etc.), a zombie series, and a book about an undead/robot girl.

Now? I'm working on a dark historical fiction with heavy elements of magic realism. It's a departure, sure, but a fun one. Well, not so much fun as gut-wrenching, every-word-is-killing-me, but you know what I mean. Next on my agenda: dark contemporary YA (weird for me!!! I don't write YA!!!), also with magic realism. 

So yes. I started in one place and have gradually moved toward others. I consider it a part of my growth as a writer - I'm changing, the topics I write about are changing, and maybe someday I'll go back to my roots. But for now, as stories come to me, I write them, regardless of how they fit into my definition of myself as a "genre" writer.

Hope that helps to at least let you know it's not just you. :D

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami October 1, 2014 - 5:01pm

Has switching been a difficult process? It's strange for me going for like ... Time Traveling Parole becoming a slave to a Viking Fishermen to like Bunny Rabbits playing soccer on the beach.

I guess it just happens that way.

Edit: That first chapter of Song Of Lost Youth needs some work. Sometimes I might say one thing, but later have it contradicted later in it's continuity.

At least it's 750 words, so it cen be rewritten.

Edit2: I think what's tripping me up here, is I tended to have more of a utilitarian approach to high technology that's different from a lot of SF movies I've watched. Usually I would know the character inside and out before creating a technology. Thus the technology was often hyper specific to the needs of the character rather than simply just something that looks cool.

I've been at a bit of a loss on how to replicate it.

leah_beth's picture
leah_beth from New Jersey - now in Charleston, SC is reading five different books at once. October 4, 2014 - 1:53pm

Switching hasn't been hugely difficult to me, not at all in fact. My sci-fi was never super-high-tech or anything, it was always more light. Ditto for the horror. I'm completely committed to stories or characters who are born in my head. The book I'm writing now quite literally HAS to be written so I can finally stop telling the story in my head.

Not being committed to the tech or the gore has really made the transitions easy.

Sorry, that' sprobably not at all helpful.....but don't worry about the chapter that needs work. Really...continuity comes with editing. It helps to have a CP who is nitpicky. My brother will always point out when I contradict myself so I know I've got that covered as soon as he's reading something. I mean, I try to catch it myself first, but he's got my back. Do you have a CP who has your back? If not, find one. :) They mean the world!!!!

YOU CAN DO IT. Just keep going. Seriously.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami October 4, 2014 - 4:04pm

Yea, I think I might transition to philosophical fiction instead of tech. I am wondering how I'm going to handle the 400 word chapter 12,000 word chapter book thing though.

Yea I might find one really to read my older short stories. It's more figuring out how to continue. It feels strange thinking I used to do "an artificial brain at war with itself" to "a group of teens must find away home, after a space/time rift that takes them back to the 16th century."

The time travel is more of a contrivance for, "let's go meets Marie Antoinette and Napoleone" these days.

Like in this latest plot, them "being in another world" isn't what is important, or even them making out of the strange new world (though that usually happens). But rather the various stories and sagas they go through in order to reach the midpoint, and how they build up to the "final test."

Like I wasn't thinking of this one book as: A thief girl and her sister meet the grim reaper, that teach them the meaning of why he must be appeased the preserve the life of the crop. But rather break down of different stories that build up to it.

More of a break down how to get to the major plot points. Almost like a short story collection about the same characters, rather than a novel per say. I'm not sure how to replicate that for my old style of Science Fiction.

Edit: Plus as it's plotted now, if I rewrote Song Of Lost Youth for example, to fit the plotting method that I now use the story would have more hope to it than really fits the theme. (For example the real plot didn't start till chapter eight in a sixteen chapter book.)

I'm so used to short fiction, even novelettes are hard.