On Writing Short StoriesAbout writing short stories
On short story composition
Write comic-stories:: An author and artist's accompanist is an indispensable guidepost for the successful creation of feature films. PIECE 1 examines the type and content of the forms, the editor's own thoughts and helps to start with the idea, planing and research. The second part contains hints from some of the world' s top shorts, including:
Allison Moore, Jane Rogers, Edith Pearlman, David Vann, Anthony Doerr, Vanessa Gebbie, Alexander MacLeod, Adam Thorpe and Elspeth Sandys. PIECE 3 contains hands-on tips - from designing puzzles and researching your character to overcoming the writing pad, transcribing and posting your story. Authors & Performers
So what the hell is a little tale? I prefer to ask: What can I do with the film? There' is no creature called'The Shortfall', with a equation, a fixed number of words, start and end snippets. It is such a cheerful, open-minded way, there is almost nothing that it "should be" - except for a few words!
For how long? I have read for over a decennium every year several hundred shorts, some of which I like and others which do not work for me. At the first anniversary of my compilation, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, Unthank asked me to give some thought to what an author could do for them.
Composing a first sketch can take an hours or a year - the length of the history is not proportional to the length of the recording procedure, everyone does it differently. However, once you have found something, my message is that everything is available: where you begin the narrative, where you end it, from whose point of views you tell it, whether in the first character, in the third character, in the second character, etc., which is tension.
Those are your decisions as an author; every decision will alter them, sometimes much, sometimes little. Obviously you can have taken the items you want in your initial design, but give yourself approval to do it when you need it. To me this is the elegance of the shorts and the singer.
Over and over again I see - and I have done it myself - tales in which the author contains everything he or she needs to enter into the tale, to listen to the characters voices to find out what is happening. So many times we have a lead, a section, a page or more before our history begins, and if this is a history that I have been sent to criticize, I will say:
This is where your history begins, do you need everything that came before? No, no. Besides, your little novel reader's smart. You know that what you are going to read will be brief, and you don't want to be told everything. A lot of people are hoping you won't, because they' re going to fill in the blanks in the game.
So if you have found your history and know where you want to start it, when do you stop? Well, I don't think it's possible to have a great little tale with a faint ending. One of the stories is about "Endingness": The read is perhaps an absorbing read, but it will soon be over.
But the best shorts are not great, because they know what to do with this brief area. It is common belief that a writer should be "surprising but inevitable": when your ending is foreseeable, the readers who have come this far will wonder why they have taken the trouble.
However, if the end comes out of nowhere and the readers can't see how it could have been, they might even have felt similar. One thing that could be useful is an original story in Robert McKee's script book, in which he speaks about what is said to a spectator at the beginning of a soundtrack.
On When Harry Met Sally, if the two main character would not have come together at the end (spoiler alarm), the author Nora Ephron would have had to give us a very good one. At the beginning of your novel, what do you promise a readership (including the titles that are important in a shorter novel, such as a poetry, movie, etc.)?
If they begin to read a brief novel, does a readership reach for hints about who they think matters, where we are, what's going on? Making promises in your institution that never happen, you run the danger of loosing your readers. Don't only suggest what the message strength be in the happening, you also elasticity indication as to what kind it strength be - emotion message/comedy/thriller/murder mystery/scienceiction or any extraordinary collection?
Whilst you don't want to give everything away as already stated, you want a readership to be schemed enough to keep reading. What do you want? Many of us say too much, and this is perhaps something with a lot of practice, both in terms of typing and reading: you know how little you can get away with it.
Thing is, no one ever has to reread your tale (unless you pay for it, or you're related to them). They do not need major problems to have the literal equivalents of pursuits in your history to make them convincing - war, death, cancer, earthquakes, alien invasions, divorce etc.... Like a poetry, a brief history can be most mightiest when it focuses on something small and uses that to enlighten the strange glory of this lifetime in which we live ourselves, the constitution of man.
It' s seldom about what the narrative seems to be about, it is your way of speaking about the things that matter to you, through your personalities, what happens to them and how they respond to what happens to them. You take the narrative, make it your own, see what it can do for you.