Noise, Productivity, and a Story that Wants to be a Novel

There is an inverse relationship between ambient noise and my level of productivity. As noise increases, my productivity goes down. My apartment building is under construction. They are replacing the roof. Or dropping elephants onto it. Hard to say for sure, based on the noise.

*wanders off to find noise-cancelling headphones*

In other news, I tried to start in on a short story today, and the silly thing thinks it wants to be a novel. This is a new problem for me. Until recently, I tended to write everything pretty short (stories averaging 3k). Now I’ve developed more of an interest in world building and theme exploration and other such things. Suddenly everything wants to be a novel.

I’m going to try and write it as a short story anyway. If it wants to be expanded into a novel after that, we can negotiate.


  1. One thing you could try is to write a short in a corner of the world you want to build. This starts your exploration of it and is also a test run. If things go well you could end up with several shorts and novels in the same world – worked for Niven, Baxter and others. If not, then you’ve done some world debugging in a short rather than a novel.

    [PS This is a problem I have too, and the ‘explorative short’ is a way I’ve tried to solve it…]

    • Yeah, I’m trying to do something along those lines. I generated about 10 pages of notes this morning, and I think I can divide off a sub-portion of that to write up as a short story. I’ll consider it an added bonus if I can later use the story as an ‘explorative short’ for something bigger :)

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