This can be a tough one! For myself, a lot of my best parts depend on inspiration. I listen to music at work during the day, and there will be moments where I just see an entire scene in my head. I keep a notebook to the side and scribble down every bit I remember. A lot of times these drabbles turn into 2k word story parts, and that’s a lot of how I write. Completely unorganized, too. I’ll have an entire story out of order in bits and pieces at first.
The collabs I do with neon, we build off of each other’s ideas. What starts out simple will end much more complicated with fun storylines we never would have come up with on our own.
It’s true. With collaborations, stories come together a lot faster just because, when you might be having a block, your partner is there to help bring you out of it. Nightmares and I have hardly slowed down with the writing since we started working together, and it’s great!
For solo writing, I tend to do things a little differently. While I also keep a journal nearby all the time for shorter stories and scene inspirations, I usually end up writing my stories in order. I develop an outline of major points I’d like to see happen in my story, so that I don’t get into a corner that I can’t write myself out of. From there, it’s a matter of making sure everything the story needs is there. Some scenes that seem like they’ll be bigger end up shorter than 2k words (on the flipside, some small things end up at 10k words).
Word count, in my opinion, isn’t as important as content. For example, the conclusion to Hershey Kisses and Salt Lines is around 1.7k words, and yet it got the most explosive response out of any chapter in the whole story. It accomplished exactly the goal in less than two thousand words.
That said, here’s how you can expand word count: give the scene more details. And I don’t mean details that add nothing to the scene itself or take away from the flow of things. Details that put the reader right there can help with the experience while also fleshing out the scene in general. I personally specialize in sensory details and painting the picture of the world that the characters perceive. Nightmares is the queen of getting their thoughts and feelings on point. Both are valid and helpful for telling the story, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide which you’d like to focus on (or put both in there!). Once you start noticing the places where you could add to one or the other, it becomes easier and easier and before you know it you’re considering splitting one chapter into two. 😉