Mac on 07 Jan at
Now that your creative juices have been stirred, you should be ready to start writing; if not, go back and try some of the exercises in the first session of this course, releasing your creativity. Writing short stories versus writing novels Most new prose writers have the beginnings of at least one novel in their drawer.
Short stories are the best place for new writers to hone their craft. And not all writers need to be novelists either. Scott Fitzgerald was quite comfortable as a short story writer and only produced the occasional novel out of pressure from his publisher, while the great Raymond Carver never wrote a novel in his life.
Short stories are an endangered species There was once a time when every magazine carried some short fiction. Sadly, that time has passed. The situation has become so bad that a group of leading writers and publishers got together to start the Save the Short Story Campaign and are beginning to make good progress.
However, there are signs that this may not continue.
How long is a short story? So what is a short story? Short stories can be anything from to words. Popular magazines tend to accept work of between — words, more literary ones go for longer.
If you would like to write for younger readers, check out some of my articles on writing for children. A short story is a slice of life A short story is a slice of life.
As such, you should narrow the time frame and geographical location of the piece. One plot, two or three characters and no more than two locations one would be better should fit into a short story. If this is too tight a fit perhaps you should be writing a novella or a novel.
Short story time span How to begin a short story Start your piece as close to the turning point or climax of the story as possible.
Most writers take a paragraph or so to find their feet. On a second reading they will delete the first paragraph as unnecessary exposition or padding. Your first sentence is crucial; it should be filled with energy, intrigue and forward momentum.
The first sentence should raise questions that need to be answered. Take for example these openers: Jot down questions that arise from these openings and what, if anything, makes you want to read on.
If you can get hold of copies of the stories do so. Was I satisfied with the answers? Was the answer what I expected? Use a trigger image, phrase or thought see Releasing Your Creativity then write down a leading, opening sentence.
What questions might be raised? How might you answer those questions in a short story? What setting would be most appropriate to answer the questions?
How long will it take for the question to be answered? Can you think of any characters that might help you tell the story and answer the question? We will be looking at building a character in a future session and try writing another story from their perspective.
Look over your answers and see whether or not the outline of a short story is emerging. If not, try another sentence or another trigger image. Beginning, middle, end Every short story should have an opening that is developed in the middle to build tension which reaches its climax towards the end, after which there is a rapid conclusion.
For those of you who have studied any dramatic or literary theory you will recognise this progression as typical Aristotlean Three Act Structure. In the Red Dress it is the school dance which the narrator fears will bring humiliation.
She then tries to fake illness in order to get out of it, then, when this fails, tries to remain as invisible as possible at the dance.Learn tips & advice about how to write comedy, humour and funny stories.
I run a humorous short story competition, so have lots of experience to share. Useful writing tips and advice that help you discover how to write short stories, win short story competitions and have your work published.
Learn more. Writing short stories, fiction and essays isn’t easy – in fact, the relative brevity of these pieces can make them even more challenging to create. Inside you’ll learn the best techniques for doing it well, and using those pieces as a springboard for lengthier works.
Tips for writing a great short story are based on the primary elements of fiction, no matter the length, character, plot, or theme. But when writing a story of no more than 10, words, keep in mind that employing these elements will often require an adjusted approach. 4 thoughts on “4 Tips to write the climax of a story” Shivaji Nayak May 4, at am.
Thanks a lot madam!! I definitely needed it. I recently found my story lacks this. This evening I’ll be going out to another short story reading event, and it’s got me thinking about the audiences we write for..
Tonight’s story is adapted from one I wrote a while ago. I’m very happy with how it reads on the page, but when it comes to reading it aloud, I found I needed to cut a lot of description, tighten up the examples, lose some of the more languid language.