Hi Story Nurse,
I’m working on a series of short stories that follow the same set of characters. Each story is about 5,000 words and needs to stand alone as an episode: a conflict needs to be introduced, the characters need to react to that conflict, and some kind of resolution should happen by the end of the story.
As I write more stories, I’m noticing that the way I introduce the conflict of the month is getting repetitive. Since this series follows the crew of a spaceship as they do odd jobs across the galaxy, each story starts with them either getting a new job or picking up a distress call.
I feel like I’m endlessly repeating the scifi equivalent of “So this dame walked into my office…” How do I vary the way I introduce the conflict that sets a new story in motion?
—Keeping It Fresh (she/her)
Dear Keeping It Fresh,
This type of challenge crops up a lot in episodic work. Fortunately, that means there are some well-established ways to handle it. Continue reading
Today’s question comes from @writer_gem (she/her) on Twitter, who asks:
what’s a finished draft?
This simple four-word question may lead to a 1000-word post. Let’s find out!
Dear Story Nurse,
I’d love to see a follow up post to the last polyam one, one that was more in depth about the craft of writing individuals and meet cutes with non-monogamy in a way that doesn’t put the reader off or have them assuming there is cheating involved, aimed more towards people who didn’t need the poly101 as well.
What a lovely request! I’m happy to oblige. You’re right that my last post was very 101, and there’s much more to writing polyamorous relationships and people than merely avoiding clichés.
Today’s question comes from @thepoetjean on Twitter, who asks:
Any tips on how to write happy, healthy poly[amorous] relationships clearly & respectfully?
Yes, I have many tips for this! And I’m thrilled that you want to write polyamorous characters; those dynamics don’t show up in fiction much and can be lots of fun to play with.