How Long is this story going to be?

I’m feeling especially distracted and unfocused this morning. This little blog post took an hour to write.

I usually write books. Okay, that’s not true. I usually try to write books.

I’ve been trying to write books my whole life. I haven’t been trying to write stories. Maybe that’s my problem. I’m always picturing this end product, a 70,000 word thing with margins and backmatter. I’m a layout guy in my work. I think about the bleed. I typeset my first set of short stories before they were even done. That was definitely the wrong order to do things.

I’ve tried several approaches. I’ve written with no plan. I’ve written with too much plan. I’m not sure either is better by themselves. Maybe it’s a personality thing? A loose idea of where to go seems to suit me best. So that’s what I’m going to do here. I have a faint trail of where to go with this story, but I’m not going to set it in stone. I want this story to be a creative outlet.

I remember this Radiohead interview from the mid-2000s, where they insisted they hated making albums and would probably just do singles from then on. That was three albums ago. It’s tough to break out of your model. It’s tough to not think of stories as filling a certain container, especially if that’s how your business works. But even for someone like me who’s sold only hundreds of books, it’s tough to not realize things can be different.

This story I’m writing probably won’t be a novel, is what I’m trying to say. I’d like to write it until it’s done, but I don’t want that done” tag to mean long. I’d like to see done” in a month or two. I’d like a V1 before the end of this bent year. I’d like that for myself. That would feel like a win.


story planning Short Story 1


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