I just read Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kittredge…. It’s a fantastic collection of connected short stories that demonstrates how broken we all are, and how connected and strong and determined. It’s a wonderful idea, very beautifully executed.
Inspired by her imagery and her method, I’m taking a little trip with my characters as we all cool our heals before the big Nano start of Prairie Apocalypse (my adopted title of “Making Light of Darkness” just isn’t sticking… maybe I’ve used Prairie Apocolypse in my head too long!).
I’m sending all of my characters to the state fair the year prior to the start of my novel; as good Minnesotans, it’s likely that they all made an obligatory appearance. I’ll add in a unique conflict for each of them, and try to make them cross paths at some point in each story. I’ll let you know how it goes…. it’s basically just an exercise to get to know them better, since all of those character sketch question lists ended up boring me to tears.
It will be fun to try and create a little miniseries of short stories related to these characters prior to the big conflict. And hopefully it will help me develop a voice for each of the main characters.
I’ll report back!