From Vignettes to a Chronicle

I’ve got some good news; after a weeks-long drought I’m back to writing, this time having taken the plunge into finally crafting my end-of-the-universe story, spanning a time from advanced humanity millions of years from now to the heat death of the universe; well, really more hyperspace beyond time as we know it, but you get the idea.

Starting with my “Taking my space opera into the really far future” post last March, and continuing with “Taking my space opera into the extremely far future”, “The lastborn of mother earth”, “When worlds collide”, and “After worlds collide”, I’ve spilled a lot of ink on the topic. Ironically it’s turned out as I’ve been writing it that I might have written more words talking about it on this blog than the total number of words the actual story will weigh in at.

The reason is that I sorta had visions in my head of this huge sprawling novel with each chapter being a short story with real characters, but in the actual writing of it I discovered that would be much too ponderous, and detract from the feeling I was trying to cultivate in the reader: the sublime march of deep time in the largest scales of space. Each setting and snapshot in time the vignettes envisioned is still in there, it’s just that they segue smoothly into each other as a continuous progression as opposed to occupying distinct segments of the book as all-but-separate stories.

Instead of a series of vignettes I’ve ended up with something more like a chronicle, “a written account of events and when they happened, ordered by time”. As such it’ll be slimmer than what I thought it would be.

I started writing it from the earlier section of part 7 of 8, the end of the age of stars, as I found that the easiest to start throwing myself into, and I’ve since expanded it to the very end and as far back as completing part 5 of 8, the part about the nine worlds after Earth, Mercury, Venus, and the Moon collide over 1 billion years from now. Yes, in the main I’m writing it backwards. Every writer is different, but I usually write my stories from beginning to end; sometimes, however, end to beginning is easier for me, and this is one of those times.

Anyway, with parts 5 through 8 of 8 completed, the story now weighs in at 3,209 words; the first 4 parts might each be a bit thicker to cover everything, so I’m guessing it might weigh in at 7,000 words or so by the end. Certainly I’d be very surprised if it weighed in at more than 10,000 words, so this chronicle will almost certainly be weighing in as a short story.

Yes, another short story; seems like that’s all I can write these days, but so what? Stories should take up the length it takes to tell them effectively; no more, no less. The good news is that I’ll have it finished and ready to go onto my release schedule much sooner than I expected I would. I try not to release more than one story a month, and I already have my Rapunzel Reinhardt story and my Mars romantic date story in the pipeline, so soon I’ll have 3 stories in my back pocket. A neat feeling; one I quite like. I’m not sure what order I’ll release them in, but expect the release of this chronicle no later than September 2022.

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