This process is comparable to producing something delectable in the kitchen–any ingredient that you put into your bowl of dough impacts your finished loaf of bread.To create a perfect loaf, you must balance ingredients baked for the correct amount of time and enhanced with the right polishing glaze.”Your job, as a writer of short fiction–whatever your beliefs–is to put complex personalities on stage and let them strut and fret their brief hour.
John sat up and took a deep breath, knowing that his confrontation with Mary had to come now, or it would never come at all. ” he stammered haltingly, staring vulnerably at the tattered Thomas the Tank Engine slippers Mary had given him so many years ago, in happier times.
Setting moves readers most when it contributes to an organic whole.
A short story conserves characters and scenes, typically by focusing on just one conflict, and drives towards a sudden, unexpected revelation.
Go easy on the exposition and talky backstory — your reader doesn’t need to know everything that you know about your characters.
She loves cats and has two of them named Bailey and Allie.
She is a technical writing major with a minor in biology.She eats pizza every day for lunch and loves Red Rose tea. As a writer, you need to determine who is going to tell the story and how much information is available for the narrator to reveal in the short story.The narrator can be directly involved in the action subjectively, or the narrator might only report the action objectively.Write Meaningful Dialogue Labels“John asked nervously” is an example of “telling.” The author could write “John asked very nervously” or “John asked so nervously that his voice was shaking,” and it still wouldn’t make the story any more effective.How can the author convey John’s state of mind, without coming right out and telling the reader about it? That is, mention a detail that conjures up in the reader’s mind the image of a nervous person.But simply listing the emotions you experienced (“It was exciting” “I’ve never been so scared in all my life” “I miss her so much”) is not the same thing as generating emotions for your readers to experience. Read Raymond Carver, Earnest Hemingway, Alice Munro, and Tobias Wolff.For those of you who are looking for more long-term writing strategies, here are some additional ideas. If you don’t have time to read all of these authors, stick to Chekhov.He will teach you more than any writing teacher or workshop ever could.In today’s fast-moving world, the first sentence of your narrative should catch your reader’s attention with the unusual, the unexpected, an action, or a conflict. Remember that short stories need to start close to their end.“We are already maxed out on our credit cards.”The second example is mechanically correct, since it uses a separate paragraph to present each speaker’s turn advancing the conversation.But the narrative material between the direct quotes is mostly useless.