First Steps in Creating a Collection of Short Stories
Last week I put my stories down all over my floor. Some are published stories already in print and some are still in manuscript form making the rounds of print and on-line ‘zines. Since I want my collection of linked stories to trace a large extended family over three generations, many of the characters will have to appear and reappear at different times in their lives, interacting with one another and impacting each other as the years go by. I was looking for these connections.
All week I walked around the pages, peering down to see which stories meshed, which characters appeared in more than one story or could appear in another later story. Some clearly were about the same family as the years went by and things changed in their lives. Some stories had absolutely no connection to any others.
After a few days of living with the chaos, I made a pile of the stories that I thought I could use, and I put the other ones away. I found I have about thirteen stories that, with some editing and linking, I can use together. I began to pose questions to myself about ways to connect them and link the characters, one to another. Over the next weeks I’ll be posting some of those questions, and the ways in which I answer them. Stay tuned.