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Thread: short stories

  1. #1
    Aaron Distor

    short stories

    im writing a short story as an assignment for english class, but the problem is, i have no clue as to writing a short story. someone please help me...

  2. #2
    MR Ross

    Re: short stories

    How old are you?

    You were assugned this with not instruction?

  3. #3
    Aaron Distor

    Re: short stories

    im only 16. we had instuctions, but they werent that elaborate. we were mainly told to make a short story and that was it.

  4. #4

    Re: short stories

    Google is your friend. Read some short stories online, come up with an originial idea for a story and start writing. A typical short story is around 3 to 4 thousand words. Good luck and have fun!

  5. #5
    Sheila Dreckman

    Re: short stories

    Short stories have a beginning, middle, and end. For a good example read Carson McCullers's SUCKER. A story needs for something to change.

  6. #6
    Robert Raven

    Re: short stories



    Read some more.

    Then read.

    After that, read.

    There's no cookbook for short stories. See how the good writers* do it.


    * some good short story writers:

    Flannery O'Connor
    John O'Hara
    Ernest Hemingway
    Ray Bradbury
    Anton Chekhov
    Guy de Maupassant
    Edgar Allan Poe (who largely invented the form)
    H. G. Wells
    Arthur C. Clarke
    Edith Wharton
    Carson McCullers
    Frank O'Connor
    Shirley Jackson
    Rick Bass
    Stuart Dybek
    Cynthia Ozick
    . . . .

  7. #7

    Re: short stories

    The more I think about it, the less inclined I am to believe this is the answer our young man wanted to hear.

  8. #8
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: short stories


    I'm going to do you a favor and give you a basic primer on the short story, but you will have to do the work and write the story.

    A good story is made up of two basic parts: plot and conflict. The plot is the direction your story takes. The conflict is the obstacle(s) (there can be more than one) that keep your character from getting what he wants.

    The best way to create a plot is to give your main character a goal, a destination. What does this person want? Where does he want to go? What does he want to have?

    You create conflict by throwing obstacles, or barriers, in his way that will keep him from reaching his goal. Your character should overcome these obstacles by using his own personal resources and strengths. You can increase the tension (the pace or forward movement of the story) by making these obstacles more difficult as the story progresses. The story reaches a climax when the character succeeds in his quest, changes his mind about the quest, or fails completely.

    A simple example:
    Roger wants to attend the Dixie Chicks concert on Saturday.
    (This is his goal.)
    Roger is flat broke, and the concert is almost sold out.
    (These are two potential conflicts.)
    Roger gets a job painting a fence and makes just enough money for the tickets. He buys the last good ticket. His mom has offered to drive him to the concert.
    (The problem appears to be solved, right? Now, we up the ante...)
    Roger's mom gets sick with the flu, and she can't drive anywhere.
    (Now, Roger is facing a more difficult obstacle. Will he give up the concert to take care of Mom? Will he find another ride? Will Mom get better in time to drive? What if Mom gets really sick and has to go to the hospital? What will Roger do?) I'll leave the conclusion of the story to you.

    Do you see how this works? Your character wants something. He tries to get it, but things get in his way. He has to solve the problem(s) if he's going to get what he wants. He solves the first problem, but something new comes up. The next problem is more complicated, and the choices are harder. The character has to make a decision about what he really wants and what he's willing to do to get it.

    That's the really short course is writing fiction, but it should get you started. And don't forget to have fun with the assignment! Good luck.


  9. #9
    Jeanne Gassman

    Re: short stories

    "That is the really short course on writing fiction..."


  10. #10
    Aaron Distor

    Re: short stories

    wow these are all really helpful advice. ill see what i can do with it. thanks for the help guys. ill let you guys know when im done with a draft.

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