The first time I heard him, I stood in the bathroom listening at our shared wall for ten minutes, debating the wisdom of calling the police.
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.
Right from the start, view your characters inhabiting a distinct place. Jerome Stern says it is how you set up the situation, where the turning points of the story are, and what the characters do at the end of the story.
A plot is a series of events deliberately arranged so as to reveal their dramatic, thematic, and emotional significance. If you are having trouble deciding on a plot, try brainstorming.
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.“To the racetrack.” Mary edged toward the door, keeping her eyes on John’s bent head. “We are already maxed out on our credit cards.” “Where are you going? “To the racetrack,” Mary said, trying to figure out whether John was too upset to let her get away with it this time.“Not again,” said John, wondering how they would make that month’s rent.Perhaps the sound and fury they make will signify something that has more than passing value–that will, in Chekhov’s words, “make [man] see what he is like.” –In order to develop a living, breathing, multi-faceted character, it is important to know way more about the character than you will ever use in the story. She is a fair-skinned Norwegian with blue eyes, long, curly red hair, and is 5 feet 6 inches tall.Here is a partial list of character details to help you get started. Contrary to the stereotype about redheads, she is actually easygoing and rather shy.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.(See: “Quotation Marks: Using Them in Dialogue“.)Where are you going?” John cracked his knuckles while he looked at the floor.General Creative Writing Tips [ Poetry | Fiction ]Writing short stories means beginning as close to the climax as possible — everything else is a distraction.A novel can take a more meandering path, but should still start with a scene that sets the tone for the whole book.