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Experimental Writing (or Thanks for being my Guinea Pigs)



I have two rather large writing experiments that I've been running for a while now.

I have been running them at GA because I can access them directly and don't have to go through an intermediary to post or do hot online edits. These are highly experimental, and I'm trying a lot of new and different things. I'll share my findings here.

I had several goals that I wanted to achieve:

  • Get proficient with self-editing
  • Work on the process of outline => draft => revision
  • Get the product out faster
  • See how the experimental elements work.

I'm going to share my results here.

The Company


Plot synopsis: A young man just out of college receives a huge inheritance. He decides that he's going to build this team and new family at the same time.

Style and Experimental Elements: Each chapter is a day. It's not stream-of-consciousness but, it is quite dense with some chapters running up to 40K words.

I work with a rather large cast of characters and am actively working on characterization. It is quite a monster at this point weighing in at over 285K words.

It is an ongoing effort but not a front-burner project. There is much more to go.

I'm not pleased with the dense style. It's a lot of work and continuity is a real pain. It has created a fun story, but it is SUPER LABOR INTENSIVE. I probably won't use the style in future work.


The Summer Job


Plot synopsis: A young man who has recently undergone a family tragedy relocates to a new town to get away from bad memories and to start over.  His new job is a huge part of his personal reconstruction. He's basically a good guy, but he learns a lot about himself in the process.

Style and Experimental Elements: Each chapter is one to three scenes. It is much less dense with chapters running from 1000 to 4000 words max.

Again I work with a large cast but not as big as The Company. I experiment with a villain I make you hate and then admire. I show how gossip gets twisted and assumptions can be way off base.

Summer Job just hit its climax and will soon be completed. It's been a fun story to write, and it's not the time sinkhole of the high density style. I've learned a lot from it and can bang out a chapter a day as long as I'm not so busy with real life I've got the time to work.

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