Since late December, I've been posting an episode a week of what I'm calling a "blog serial." Each episode is 300-500 words, and follows a group of quirky people in a quirky town much like the one you or I live in.
Yes, I've got several novel-length manuscripts in various stages of creation and revision. But I felt called to experiment with short-form, serialized fiction for a few reasons.
I love crafting episodes - micro-stories, linked together but without the pressure of carrying an overarching story arc. It's a refreshing change from the heroic journeys of novel characters, and a chance to pay attention to each word and image in a new (for me) way.
It's also great fun to introduce and follow different characters as they come to my imagination. I don't have to know where they will be at the end of the story, because this story isn't meant to have an end. At least, not yet.
And, although I am writing a bit ahead of each release, with weekly episodes my characters can struggle with and reflect on events happening in the real world. I know I am doing both - struggling and reflecting, trying to learn and grow and respond with love and compassion. Now, I get to play with characters doing the same thing, trying out different perspectives.
For me, art of any kind, including the art of writing, provides a creative, life-affirming way to encounter the world. This blog serial is certainly giving me that opportunity.
Elizabeth Fountain is the author of An Alien's Guide to World Domination and You, Jane. She blogs at Point No Point, where the characters of "Pine Street" are helping her encounter the world.