Discussion of Lean and Mean Stories Arranged into a Book of Interrelated Stories


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Thread: Discussion of Lean and Mean Stories Arranged into a Book of Interrelated Stories

  1. #1

    Discussion of Lean and Mean Stories Arranged into a Book of Interrelated Stories

    Excuse me for having the coolest idea ever!

    I'm going to make my flash stories for these challenges into a book of interrelated stories. I've been thinking about this for a while and realized it will be be easy to do. It will also make my future stories easier to write and more interesting to read, since they'll have that shared context rather than each one having to stand alone.

    I'll start by printing out the stories I've entered so far. Then make a list of the names of the characters used so far, with a short description of each one and the title which story they appear in.

    Then, I'll start on a map of my fictional city. I'll note the location and description of any places that have been included in the stories so far. And, add on to it as new stories are written.

    I'll have to do some editing to state the town name here and there or whatever else seems to fit better.

    Each new story has to tie in to what's already there, at least in some small way.

    Anyone else want to play?

    If so, please discuss here! (But please remember the challenges are anonymous until their vote is over so don't discuss any of your specific stories in an identifiable way until then).

    The Lake Wobegon books by Garrison Keillor are an excellent example of interrelated stories, imo. He has a few books of stories that are all set in the same fictional town. Anyone know of any others?
    Last edited by Ma'am; November 9th, 2019 at 06:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Board Moderator J.T. Chris's Avatar
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    Oh, that sounds like a great idea. I'll play.
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  3. #3
    I now have ten or twelve flash stories printed out. Now to start the map.
    Last edited by Ma'am; November 9th, 2019 at 10:18 AM.

  4. #4
    I wish I'd started this sooner because it's a mess. I have a dozen flash stories in a couple of different time periods, a few completely different locales and a zillion characters already.

    It's going in too many directions. So, I've started with two stories that I especially like. I'm going to make them bookends, the start and end of the book. One is set decades ago with young characters and the other is in current time with elderly characters. The next thing is to change the main character names so that they're the same in both. Then I'll cut the names for the minor characters. Too many unimportant, named characters throughout the book would be too confusing.

    And I have four pieces of paper taped together to start on a map. So, progress. Yay!
    Last edited by Ma'am; November 10th, 2019 at 12:55 AM.

  5. #5
    I think it's a pretty good idea Ma'am. If you collect all of them into a book, you will have something to show for all of those stories you wrote. (that's potentially a book worth 52,000 words instead of 52 collections of 1,000)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'am View Post
    I wish I'd started this sooner because it's a mess. I have a dozen flash stories in a couple of different time periods, a few completely different locales and a zillion characters already.
    This is my most pressing concern about this project, putting so many different things together will get messy. I can only wish you the best of luck!

    Still, yours would probably be much easier to put together than mine. Mine are not only location / character different, but are written in all together different styles.
    I threw a glance at humankind and saw them treacherous and feeble.
    Severe judges, cruel, unkind and fools who are always close to evil.
    Before their frightful, anxious mob, indifferent hate forever rages.
    Not learnt the lessons from the ages!
    What use are wise and tempered words?
    "Sometime, in my sweet blindness" - Pushkin

  6. #6
    Sounds like a project I am on with some other writers at IUPH.
    21st Century Pulps is a collection of pulpy-fiction stories.
    Just a random collection of pulp-fiction.

  7. #7
    On second thought, these stories may be too disjointed for an interrelated collection that makes much sense. I find myself twisting them into a mold they don't really fit. And even then, it's a dizzying number of characters and situations already, at only a quarter of the way in.

    It would be better if it was: (1) pre-planned, so the stories fit in with each other better to start with and (2) with longer stories.

    I might just drop it for now. Just speculation here, but this might be a great challenge for next year- a monthly contest for longer stories (which could also fit into each writer's own developing book of interrelated stories, if desired). Hmm...

  8. #8
    How related were the stories of Twilight Zone or Black Mirror?

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