History That Never Was

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Inspiration: Scenes from a Quiet Apocalypse

Cover art for Scenes from a Quiet ApocalypseAs I’ve mentioned before, Scenes from a Quiet Apocalypse came out of the 2017 Write Like You’re Alive challenge from Zoetic Press. This also wound up informing the format for the story, too.

See, I normally outline using Mark Teppo’s outline structure (which I’ve talked about before), which leads to an 18 chapter outline, with each chapter running somewhere between 3,000-5,000 words. That wasn’t the right fit for this project, since I hoped to get maybe 1,000 words a day written.

So instead, I looked to the major arcana of the tarot deck to get my structure, specifically, the Fool’s Journey. You can read more about this idea here or here. But the essential idea for me was to take each of the cards of the major arcana as the impetus for a scene in the story.

Of course, that only gave me 22 scenes, and I needed 31 to fill out the whole month. So I added some interludes into the outline at points where I felt like it wouldn’t necessarily flow as well between one card and the next. They served as bridges between the cards, or just brief places where I could drop out of the main story line to do something a little experimental. That got me my 31 pieces, and it was pretty easy to knock each one out during my lunch break or a similar amount of time on the weekends.

As the novella shook out after edits, a number of the interludes were folded into other places, and some were dropped entirely, which put the structure of the novella back to the original idea of the major arcana structure. Interestingly, the piece that Zoetic Press picked for their anthology was one of these interludes, and one that I’m not including in the novella. In fact, it will probably never be found anywhere other than in that anthology. Another one, which was one of the few structured poems I wrote, I decided to pluck out because it could stand on its own. No takers yet, but I feel pretty good about it finding a home somewhere.

If Scenes from a Quiet Apocalypse sounds interesting, you can pre-order it now, and it will show up on your ereader on February 6th!

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