About an hour ago, I did a bulk update of all the “To Catch A Goat” entries so I could add the “stories” tag. It seemed appropriate. I didn’t want to bloat the “writing” tag any more than it already is — I may even have to go through and untag posts that aren’t really related to writing, so much as being pieces of writing. Like all the poetry, for instance. There’s a lot, and it isn’t about writing, it is writing.

Anyway, since I was thinking about tags, and the ‘stories’ tag in particular, I decided to take a look at what I’d actually used the stories tag to organize. I remember working on several stories earlier this year, “The Demented Shopkeep,” “Shedding Light,” “The Constant Sheepherder,” and more recently, the character vignettes.

It seemed a sort of logical progression of a specific type of storytelling, leading from straightforward short stories to vignettes, to serialized fiction. “To Catch A Goat” is sort of the next step in that, as I blur the line between the short stories I wrote before, and the unconnected vignettes, which were mostly just written for fun.

I imagine the next step I would take would be to integrate larger scenes, like the “finale” of the Rumors of War vignettes with the daily TCAG serials. It seems like such a natural progression, feeling out a particular type of storytelling, and working toward longer and longer works of prose. I didn’t plan it that way, but it almost looks like I’m training myself to plan and execute a novel.

I think it would be awesome if it worked out that way. It feels like a kind of “independent study novel workshop,” where I’m running myself through exercises of creating characters and stories. I have a very specific pattern for writing “To Catch A Goat,” and that’s writing it by hand in my notebook first, then immediately typing it up. It’s very consistent, and it means I’m regularly adding to it. I only let myself write a page at a time, though, which means I have to write a complete scene every day.

It was Friday, when I wrote Nicyes’s newest entry, that I realized how terrible it was that I’d spent all my words on the preparation, and none on the actual encounter with the beast I’ve been building up to — I didn’t want it to become a “Missed Moment of Awesome,” even if it made things all suspenseful or whatever. What I wanted was to write a “bonus page” of the story, and upload it that evening, detailing the encounter.

Obviously, it didn’t happen that way, but I might still go back and add it. Still, it brought up a very important problem with the way I’m presenting the story — some of the good bits get missed because of the format I’m using. Sure, I can “show” more here than I can in the comic, but I still have a size/time constraint.

I need to write a bloody book already.