New story idea: “The Graveyard Shift”

Sitting in a meeting this afternoon, I got a great idea for a story, and it immediately caught fire with me. When I got back to my office, I jotted down the idea so I wouldn’t forget. I even have a working title, “The Graveyard Shift”. So enthusiastic am I about this story, that I decided to hold off on writing “If By Reason of Strength…” so that I could work on this story instead. I have rarely, if ever, done a detailed outline for a story I’ve written. Usually, I think up a problem and solution (so I have something to work toward) and go from there. Tonight, however, I just finished writing a 2,800 word ”outline” of the story. It covers the whole story beginning to end. I won’t say much about it other than that it is a murder mystery that takes place a few thousand years in the future, in a very cool (and complex) social environment.

I’ll probably start the actual writing of it tomorow evening. With a detailed outline to work from, I don’t think it will take too long to write the story, although it could end up being longer (in terms of words) than any story I’ve written in a while. What with the outline being nearly 3,000 words, I could easily see this story at 12-15,000 words long. But it’s got good pacing and lots of characters (which is unusual for me–my stories typically deal with 2 or 3 main characters. This story has 5 or 6.)

Best of all, I’m really excited about it, which always makes it fun to write. It will be a good experiment to see how much the outline helps the writing process, and the quality of the story.

Now I’m packing my lunch and then off to bed.

Comments: (Add a comment)

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.