Soooo...that chapter I was working on at the time of my last blog post, which was a month ago? (Oops.) Still not finished. (Oops again.) But! I have a good reason, I promise! I've been working on a short story for submission to an anthology instead, and THAT has been going well. I came up with a fitting idea right away, and both the word count range and the deadline were reasonable. I even thought of the perfect title right off the bat! And we all know that only happens about half the time, if I'm lucky!
The theme of this anthology is romance in a dystopian/post-apocalyptic/whatever you want to call it setting. Since it's a short story and has to be less than 7,000 words, I couldn't spend too much time on worldbuilding, but I'd like to think I established something compelling in the limited space I had. It occurred to me while I was writing that it's been a while since the setting has been a source of drama and conflict in one of my stories. Granted, I've been writing a lot of contemporary lately, so in a way, it's been fun to have my two main characters band together against outside forces in their environment, rather than just deal with interpersonal issues.
Fiction needs conflict to drive the plot forward. Luckily, that conflict can come from all sorts of places. I'm sure I've mentioned here before that I do have a fondness for what my college friends would call "fuck the pain away" tropes, and I similarly enjoy "the two of us vs. the world!" storylines. And since it's romance, everything has to be wrapped up with a neat little bow by the end. Hey, even if it's a crapsack world, there's got to be some good in it, right?