Uncharted Waters (or, The DNA of an Emerging Work-in-Progress)

story DNA

So a few weeks ago I posted a short story titled “Splice” that I’d written for a flash fiction prompt. It was an unusual effort for me for a couple of reasons. First, it was a science-fiction piece involving my education background – genetics. I usually use flash fiction prompts to dip my pen into genres I have little experience writing, and when I do write sci-fi, I tend not to go the route of genetic engineering. But the concept that came to me for this prompt felt right, and I went with it immediately. Second, “Splice” was the first flash fiction piece that I outlined. I’m a “pantser” by nature; for those not in the know, it refers to writing by the seat of one’s pants, without setting clear goals or a structure for the plot at the outset of the writing process. This tendency has gotten me into trouble with my long-form projects before, so I’ve begun to outline those in broad strokes, but never my short pieces. With “Splice,” the ideas came so quickly and cohesively that I just had to jot them down, lest they fly right out of my brain.

Did “Splice” turn out better than my other short pieces because of these factors? Maybe, maybe not. All I can say is that I received a lot of positive feedback on it, with multiple readers expressing interest in seeing more of the eponymous main character. And I started thinking. I had cut some of the original story elements from the outline to meet word requirements for the writing prompt, so I already had a little more material to work with. And I was pretty intrigued by the character myself: a convict who agrees to illicit genetic experimentation in exchange for his freedom, and is transformed into a monstrous shapeshifter. Maybe I could write more of Splice’s story. Maybe it could be a serialized tale, or a purely episodic collection of shorts, or some combination of the two. Maybe this will be my first foray into posting my work on Wattpad, or maybe I’ll continue here at the blog. I don’t have a concrete plan for him right now… but I have started the second installment of his story, and am mulling a few ideas for later ones. If the concept sounds interesting to you, you can read the original short here. And stay tuned for more to come!

P.S. Any suggestions or advice on using Wattpad are welcome in the comments section 😀