There I was busy editing a story for a submission call-out. It was a tale I originally wrote in 2019 and was to be part of three interlinking stories. This one being the first one of the three. The second story sits on my computer unfinished, while the third is published. Though the stories were originally going to be linked by the main character, they are very much standalone dark tales.
Over the weekend and yesterday, I was busy reducing the word count and tightening up the storyline when suddenly I found it needed to be longer. I was unable to add in what was needed for the submission call-out I thought the story would be suitable for with a few tweaks here and there. It just wouldn’t work and would have changed the dynamics of the tale completely.
I don’t know how it is for other writers, but for myself I can’t force my work to go in another direction unless it happens organically. When creating a storyline my characters proceed through a series of interlinking actions as the story unfolds. If you suddenly change one action the whole thing falls apart. For me, it would be better to write a new story with what the submission guideline wanted.
Instead of reducing the word count and add in a grisly scene which wasn’t part of the original storyline I decided there and then to change my mind. I began to enlarge my original story by adding more detail to the scenes already there and building more tension as the characters moved through their tale. This allowed the short story to develop into a novella as it gave the characters their own voices to tell their dark tale.
This is what I love so much about writing. When the spark of creativity is ignited everything just drops into place. Once you go with the flow, and give your characters the reins your writing becomes more powerful.
Have a great day whatever your plans, but always remember to go with the flow.