My Transportation Planning Adventure and the Lessons Learned

I completed the first draft of my transportation planning adventure yesterday. I got 2,500 words written, which brought the final story to about 7,600 words. That is much longer than the 6,000 word story I had planned. I’ll need to edit it down quite a lot.


My brother suggested I read Kathy Reichs’ book Déjà Dead. I’m about a third of the way through.

She has much more description in her writing than I have in my story. I realized was that her descriptions are there to create mood. In the past I have concentrated on film scripts. In film, the mood cues are not needed in the script, since they are added in production or post production.

This causes a problem for my rewrite. If try to edit the story down to 6,000 words, I won’t be able to add any description. I’m not sure I want to expand the story to allow more room for description.


Like my story, The Abattoir Project: A Ken Walker Adventure, I created an outline inspired by the Lester Dent master fiction plot. I replaced the physical confrontations with verbal ones, but otherwise I used the same structure.

Note 2015 May 20: Since the Lester Dent Master Fiction plot keeps vanishing, I added it to one of my blog posts:

The outline is broken down into four sections, which are broken down into five “chapters” which are broken down into three “actions”. That gives me 60 actions for the story. While the idea is for each action to be about 100 words, in practice they vary from about 13 to 250. This creates a problem for pacing

Maybe I shouldn’t get too concerned about this. As long as the final story turns out OK, I don’t think it needs to accurately reflect the original outline. It does tell me that I have more to learn about what is needed in the outline. I’m sure that will come as I write more. Even in this second story, I found that I didn’t need to rework the outline while I wrote, like I did with the first story.


I am still worried that the stories won’t engage readers. Hopefully that will come with more experience.

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