Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Good Read and a Short Story Writing Tip!

The Writers Bloc Anthology II

Eastern Shore Life and Lure is the second anthology from the members of the Writers Bloc, an Eastern Shore Writers Group. Eastern Shore Life and Lure is a panorama of both fact and fiction, much like the Eastern Shore’s past.

Heroes and villains, rich and poor, all have their parts to play in this sampling of tales from the Writers Bloc of the Eastern Shore.

Question from the e-mail:  I took a short story course from you some time back, Arline. Wish I could take it again, but they said you aren't teaching anymore. Any advice?

Answer: Sure.

Twelve Tips  for Writng Short Stories

            1. A short story should be short. The longer your story is the more difficult it will be to place.

            2. A short story should be fast-paced and never boring. A short story needs to move quickly and take place in a short length of time.

            3. A short story should be written in scenes and all scenes should be from a single character’s  viewpoint.

            4. A story plot should contain an Objective (the main character’s goal), Obstacles that stand in the main character’s way, and a clearly defined Outcome, that results from the characters actions (not from coincidence).

            5. A short story is about a main character who wants something and whether they get it or not. If there’s no problem getting what they want, there’s no story.  Some central problem should face the central character and how the main character solves that problem is what the story is about.

            6. A short story should have a theme, some universal truth that becomes the central theme of the short story.

            7. The Protagonist (main character) should be someone whose motives the reader will understand, whose mistakes the reader will forgive, and whom the reader will identify with and root for.

            8. Action and dialogue should rise as the story progresses. Scenes should build upon one another to increase the reader’s involvement. Action should be believable.

            9. A short story should have a bleak moment, just before the crisis, when it looks as if the main character will never get what he or she wants.

            10. The crisis should be realistic and the reader should be experiencing both tension and suspense as to the outcome.

            11. The resolution should explain everything, and tie up all the loose ends. It should be satisfying to the reader, even if it is not a “happy ending.”

            12. Dialogue in a short story should always move forward and be about the point of the scene. Small talk has no place in dialogue.

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