Been sitting at my computer for a while with my pad and scratchy pencil writing away like there's no tomorrow. I'm still torn between writing a novel and writing a short story. I want a short story but the quantity of detail pouring out of my head lends itself to the length of a novel. Though some concepts in writing are common to both they are distinctly different exercises. Besides which I can hardly post a novel on my blog!
My main character is starting to take shape. I quite like the man. Which, I'm told, is a prerequisite to writing a story about him. I've even made some headway in developing the world upon which he is fighting and the enemy he's fighting against. I really feel that I'm getting bogged down in details that there is no room for in a short story but I just can't ignore all the little details! I forget, or fail to trust, that my readers will likely fill in the gaps from their imagination if I provide a clear enough picture of the now. A clear enough picture of a human being in conflict. Bring them into the action where it's life and death and the little details become of secondary importance...I think. That's been my experience of reading the beginning of a story where things aren't clear yet. Particularly when the author has chosen to thrust you into the action with little or no background beyond what you already know of the genre.
Which brings me to another challenge. I'm writing this story in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Who am I writing for? Am I writing for people who are already fans? Yes most certainly but I'm also hoping to appeal to a wider audience with the hope of drawing them into a fictional world that has entertained and inspired me for seventeen years! This seems like an almost impossible task. I must choose between one or the other. But how am I going to set the scene so that the unfamiliar reader can know enough to enjoy the story without my resorting to "infodump"? The inaccessibility of tie-in fiction to the general reading public is an issue that better minds continue to struggle with. Am I starting with too big a challenge? Should I just post my stories on the forums dedicated to the world in which I'm writing where everyone is generally on the 'same page'?
The above are a few of the many things I am really battling with to get this story down on paper in a way that grabs my audience by the throat and doesn't let go. I know I'm asking too much of myself at the beginning and that's one more thing to struggle with but I want to write something that I'm at least able to post without thinking, "that's just crap!"
If you, dear reader (writer or otherwise), have any answers or advice please do share them with me in the comments. I would appreciate any guidance I can get.