Space is vast. Earth bound humans have little perspective on just how big it is.

Within 50 light-years of Earth are around 64 stars like Earth's sun Sol. More than 500 reside out to 100 light-years. At 500 light-years the count becomes 64,000. For all types of stars, not just stars like Sol, the count at 500 light-years is at least a couple of million.

Planets reside around these stars. Some of those planets are inhabitable. Some are inhabited. Many species. Many societies. An old species of interstellar explorers is found on many of those worlds, a species that we would call dragons.

Milky Way Galaxy
Earth, Risiria, Hanalei, Dystopia, Utopia
(marked starting in upper right-hand corner)

A work-in-progress. No publication date set.

Read Flash Fiction by Lester D. Crawford.

Lester D. Crawford Blog

Suddenly a Short Story

I finished a draft of my dystopian world story’s first act. As I wrote the last line, the story felt complete. It’s not — there’s a lot more to the story — but the first act made itself its own story with an ending that brought me catharsis.

The first act explores the main character’s normal world. From the beginning, she has the item that will change her world at plot point one at the end of the first act and thus toss her into the actual story in the second and third acts. The midpoint revealed the inciting event as a flashback. It made a complete story arc.

As I wrote the last line, I had a flush of excitement. I had created a short story. I immediately decided it needed to go out on submission. If it doesn’t find a home, I still have the rest of the story to tell. If it does, I’ll still finish the story and publish it later, probably as a novella.

To that end, I edited the story to the best of my ability and then sent it to beta readers for their input. I look forward to submitting it. I currently have a short story making submission rounds. Maybe they’ll both be picked up.

Dystopian World Short Story Word Cloud and Pages (pages not intended to be readable)
Dystopian World Short Story Word Cloud and Pages (pages not intended to be readable)

Write a Dystopian World is Depressing

I’m making progress on my dystopian world story, but that progress is slow and difficult. The world is based on what some people want our world to be like. The extreme despair of that world makes it depressing to write. I cried writing the last line of the first chapter.

Figuring out this story has been more difficult than any story I’ve written. The outline is less complete than any of my previous outlines. There’s much yet to be understood about the characters and their world. However, things are coming together and the holes in the outline are slowly filling in.

Now is not the time for emotions. Stay focused. Stay vigilant. Danger lurks. Save the crying for when it’s done. Then, rejoice.

Story in the Works

I’m waiting on a review of my anthology. I finished a short story that is out on submission. Now I’m designing a new story that takes place on a dystopian world.

The society of that world is the antagonist confronting our hero. As I create the story, I’ll look for specific characters to personify that society, which is based on policy objectives of certain extremists active in our real world.

The story is challenging, but it’s an excellent opportunity to practice the writing craft skill of worldbuilding.

Starting a New Story

The anthology The Dragon Universe: Utopia Origins I edited during the 2021 Clarion West Write-a-thon is off to beta readers. Now I’m working on a new story that is not part of The Dragon Universe — it won’t have dragons.

I mind mapped my ideas for the story and built a story structure to channel those ideas. I need to refine the MICE quotient and chiastic structure a little more, but I’ve already written a few pages to see how it flows. It’s looking good.

This will be a fun story. The plan is for it to be a short story under 6,000 words. I’ll see if I can keep it that short.

2021 Clarion West Write-a-thon Finished

I completed a couple of editing passes on my The Dragon Universe: Utopia Origins collection of stories, participated in a couple of Write-a-thon classes on Zoom, and watched several other presentations. The Write-a-thon has been a skill building and inspiring event. Thank you Clarion West.

Now I continue with the final editing pass of Utopia Origins before sending it to beta readers.

Utopia Origins Word Cloud and Pages

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