How to Structure a Short StoryStructuring a short story
Full story structure
The structure of history has many different patterns. They can be easily applied to fiction and fiction, but I found it difficult to use them in short story writing. Indeed, my early attempts to use mathematical modeling for the narrative structure were so unsatisfying that I seriously thought about giving it up as a short story plotter.
The only thing I could have done was for the teachers who taught them to be really clever folks who knew I was working on short story. A thing I learnt was a useful way to correlate the mathematical model for the structure of a story with the structure of a short story. Some of the patterns I am speaking of are described as the structure of a "complete" story.
Literally, this type of structure is what makes a story a story, not just an event or a set of related szenes. As a matter of fact, the case can be made to appreciate anthropomorphic minds are hard wired to appreciate tales that are patterned as well. If this is the case or not, since most histories are built in this way, humans are taught to regard them as such.
A good example for the story structure (taught me by Bruce Holland Rogers) is Algis Budrys' seven point story structure. One more good one (taught me by Steven Barnes) is Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey: It can be great for a novel or a film to tell a full story, with several failed tries to resolve the issue or many stages on the path of try.
In a short story, it's really tough to get it all in. So I began to look at story publications in magazine, concentrating on the ones I really liked. Practically none of them has played through an entire Hero's Journey or a whole "try-fail" story. Particularly when I watched award-winning tales, I didn't see many tales that followed these patterns.
How is a short story structured? How does this kind of story structure relate to "complete" story structure like Hero's Journey? In the lessons Steven Barnes has shown us that almost every action can be analysed after Hero's Journey. However, he said, short histories tended to reduce parts of the structure:
Some of the footsteps are not shown in full-grown sequences. It' important that the footsteps "take place" in the history itself - that makes them a story. Indeed, it can be enough just to suggest them. As soon as I realized that, it was possible to adapt the structure of short histories to the structure of the story.
A lot of tales, for example, can be seen as the first step on the hero's journey: a dare, a refusal of dare and then an acceptation of dare. Accepting the challenges is the culmination of history. The" Validation" section of the story should implicate the hero's remaining journey.
Readers should end the story in the knowledge that there will be a path of trial, that the bad will be faced, and so on. Many other tales can be imagined as the darkness of the souls and the jump of belief. You can fill out the first few footsteps of the hero's travels with Flashback or just be hinted at by the character's circumstance at the beginning of the story.
However, the readers must understand that the character has taken up the challenges, faced and vanquished them. This story ends with the story that the readers know that the character is again faced with the bad and this times is triumphant. But when I learnt to see things this way, it became much simpler to tell my own tales.
Also, it became simpler to illustrate problems in drawing when criticizing other people's tales. I was less interested in learning the answers to my first questions about building a short story than I did in understanding how these patterns refer to "complete" stories: Now I was able to establish my own succesful structure.
But Geoffrey A. Landis had a fairly good account of the essence of a short story. There has to be a story: It' not good enough for the characters to make a selection that is not demanded by history. Up to now I've noticed that I'm considering new tales based on Geoff's example and structure the story around the decisions.
However, Steve's suggestion that you can only implicate footsteps on Hero's Journey was a really big, really new one. The way I thought about the structure of history was changing. "Wherever you can't get criticism and how you can't use it" is a short gossip that I crashed when I should have written my own fictions, but was angry about some grievances about refusal to accept them.