Sunday, March 19, 2017

Writing real life

Since last Christmas, I've been sharing episodic fiction on my author blog. I call it a "blog serial:" each episode is about 300-700 words, and the stories follow a set of characters in a small town much like yours.

Well, really, much like mine. I started writing these episodes a while back, just for fun. I wanted to play with a form much shorter than a novel, and to experiment with stories that don't need to carry a lot of weighty ideas. Each episode is a "slice of life," you might say.

As in real life, these episodes sometimes contain tension and conflict. Sometimes, they reflect peaceful hours of reflection. And every once in a while, they bring in current events. Soon these characters will delve into the fraught world of politics. We shall see if they can remain friends, or if the world's political divisions find their way into their cozy living rooms.

And, as in real life, I'm never sure who is going to show up in a given episode. Some characters will come and go, some will stay. Part of the fun of this kind of writing is that it unfolds in front of me just a little while before it unfolds in front of readers. I'm pretty sure one character will die, one will get married, and one will move away. I'm just not sure which will be which.

What kinds of writing are the most fun for you? I'd love to read your comments.

Elizabeth Fountain is the author of An Alien's Guide to World Domination and You, Jane. Her blog serial, if that's the correct term, is available on her author web site here.