How’s that first sentence going?

This isn’t a pandemic story. I don’t have anything particularly interesting to say about people who are stuck communicating online-only. But I do want to begin this story with my narrator online. And the reason I want to do that is to contrast their life how it is to what it will become when they crash into the couple. Their current life is mostly online. Their new life, or at least what happens in this story, will be an analogue experience.

So let’s start with some video calls. What’s my narrator doing online?

I was standing in my room looking at live videos of other people standing in their rooms.

Okay, that’s not bad. It’s a little long.

I was standing in my room, on zoom, drinking wine.

Shorter, more obvious to the current reader. But, two things. FIrst, I wrote the word zoom,” which makes tons of sense on 2020 but might not make sense in 2021, let alone 2120. So many writing advice books caution using brand names like this for posterity. I don’t really believe this. If I’m writing a story about the 60s and say, like, I was typing on my portable Smith Corona,” I’m fairly confident readers today could put together that it’s a typewriter. We’re all actually pretty good at this. Second, drinking wine. That’s sort of boring. I want to punch that up.

I was on zoom in my room, drinking more wine than my mother.

That’s better. I think that’s pretty relatable, pithy.

I was standing in my room on a zoom, and I had been drinking since noon.

Okay now I’m just rhyming for fun.

I was drinking on zoom with my mother.

Who says mother? Psychopaths.

I was drinking on zoom with my parents. These little video chats had replaced our phone calls. They liked seeing me, and I liked justifying purchases of computer hardware.

There we go. Lots of telling fragments. But is it boring? Is it boring enough?

I was once again finishing a bottle of cab merlot blend while my parents seemed concerned about my mental health.

Now I’m getting somewhere.


story planning Short Story 1


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