Short Story Writing Process – Conception 4


S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and Away I just began to write a short story, the first I’ve started writing since beginning this blog, so I thought it would be neat to show you the process behind my writing.  In this post we will start at the conception of the story.

I’ve been asked before, where do I get the ideas behind my writing, and in truth this i a very difficult question to answer because, for me writing is a very organic process.  When I write a story, I usually begin with a concept, a vague idea of what I want to achieve, but rarely anything specific.  For example, when I wrote my short story “The Hanging Gardens”, all I knew was I wanted to write a story about a man who lives through eternity alone, building the later to heaven.  Every other aspect of the story came out during the writing process, either while I was sitting and typing the first draft, or added later through edits as I began to hunt down themes, ect.

A Technological Love StoryThe story I’m writing now is tentatively called “My Name is SARA, How May I Help You”.  The idea behind it has stemmed from my own paranoia in regards to machines replacing much of the human contact in America today.  For example, we have already embraced self check out lines in the supermarkets, and I’ve even seen them in fast food joints.  This is odd to me, because not only are we pushing people out of a job, as the average self checkout station has six tills and one employee, but we are also doing their work for them and not getting paid for it.   What’s more, that bit of human interaction we used to have in the grocery story, as little or as much as it may be, is now entirely gone.

I’ve thought about this idea for a long time, not in regards to any story, just, as I have said, my own paranoia over how the world is steadily getting worse, this just being a small aspect of it.  But, one day it occurred to me, with facial recognition software and some savvy programming, these tills could have personalities.  Why?  To inspire costumer loyalty.  For example, you go to the self check out one day and it asks you, “How are you today John Q. Public?”  and you say, “I’m working on this project.”  Next week you return and the till recognizes you and asks, “How is your project coming John, please continue scanning, that’s a nice hair cut by the way, suits you well, please continue to scan.”

Well, essentially, this is the world of my short story.  It is told through the point of view of the till, SARA, as a lonely man starts to build a relationship with here, and slowly falls in love.  This is the idea.  Simple, yes, most of my ideas start out very simply.

But now, I have to think about things such as tone, is it a satire, would this even be considered Sci-Fi?  In any case, be sure to check back again soon as I begin the writing process.

[To read Part 2 of this series click here]

Farewell from S.C.B.