So I’m grinding out this Science Fiction short story, and it’s not coming out as easily as I had hoped. I have, perhaps, too much background information now, and no way to work it in. While this knowledge indirectly informs the story and how I handle the action and plot, it almost feels like trying to go for a run with seven backpacks strapped about your body. I feel awkward, clunky, and ill at ease.
Perhaps that’s also due to the story itself: I haven’t written a SF story in forever, and am now very aware of how much I don’t know, am unsure as to how original I am being, and whether anybody who knows anything about the field will scoff as to my ideas, and declare that they were considered cliche 10 years ago. I’m not going to let this doubt stop me from writing the story, but it doesn’t help either.
Ultimately, I think the problem lies in the fact that the story is based on an idea, and not so much on an image or character as if my norm. I have this big, brilliant idea, and am now trying to shoehorn it into a story; characters are vehicles, the plot is a vehicle, and I know that it’ll fail unless I can step back and blow some life into it all. I’m about six pages in, and I think it’s good stuff thus far, but I definitely feel wary.
I’ll finish it, step back, forget about it for awhile, and then try to read it with fresh eyes. Thus far it’s tentatively entitled ‘Ratings’, and I think it could seriously be a good story in the hands of a more confident story teller. We’ll see if I’m able to do it justice!