I’ve an idea in my head for a story that’s been rattling around for a while and which is resolutely refusing to coalesce into something tangible. Having now dabbled with long and short form prose, radio and movie scriptwriting and comic writing and illustration, I find myself tempted by them all. It was much simpler when writing novels was my one and only focus.
The story is a riff on The Forever War, focusing on a single man’s experiences through an extended period of history made possible through a mostly plausible sci-fi device. It would make for a fantastic short film, but the production requirements of depicting so many different periods in (future) history would most likely be prohibitively difficult and/or expensive for It’s A Trap. A short story would be the best way to get inside the explorer’s mind, tracking his thoughts as he journeys through mankind’s future, but that would miss out on the oh-so-tempting visual aspect. Perhaps a comic offers a good compromise – but, then, with the Arms Race comic in full swing I’m not going to have time to work on another comic for a while.
Then again, the story lends itself to being episodic. A writer friend of mine, Amy Lyall, is currently penning an on-going, fictional blog of sorts called Contact. In weekly instalments she is telling the story of Alice Chambers, inspired by multiple sources and with only a vague idea of where the story will take her down the line.
A hugely attractive aspect of this approach is that the material can be published immediately, without the entire project needing to be completed in advance. Of course, this requires a different kind of dedication to your readership but I rather like that immediacy and the potential for audience interaction.
Not being quite as confident as Amy to explore without a map, I’m going to start working out the plot details of my story and see if it really does fit the episodic online format. After all, once the story’s told in one form it can always then be adapted into others – I’d just need to convince IAT’s propmaster Nigel Clegg to design props which span a million years of invented human history.