I've got novels on my mind lately. Some really lousy writers who can't even spell or put together a coherent sentence are merrily churning out 100K novels in short order.
I'm a fairly good writer and an excellent speller. I've written a bunch of short stories that total up to quite a few words. As a technical writer, I churned out thousands of pages. But the thought of a novel is daunting.
The vague notion came into my mind when I started the third story using the same setting and character as two published stories. I thought that I should follow up successful stories. When I started writing, I realized that I would have to info-dump to catch the reader up on the world (galaxy, actually, since this is SciFi), what it's like, the politics, and so on. I built a lot of that into the second story and I sure didn't want to repeat myself.
So, I thought to use the old Galactic Encyclopedia ploy. Start the story with a supposed quote from the Encylopedia, which would serve to describe the world view sufficiently to continue on.
I ran this idea by the group at Hatrack, which specializes in SciFi/Fantasy. I figured they ought to know. Total confusion. They assumed I was writing a novel, so why was I wanting to put in this info-dump at the beginning? Trying to explain that it wasn't a novel, but simply a follow-on story didn't seem to cut it.
That got me thinking. Why not take the first two stories and re-work them as the first chapters in a novel?
This post is long enough, so I'll continue my thoughts on this process in a future post or I will dump the idea entirely. Time will tell.