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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2011
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    What would my story idea fall under?

    Hey all!

    I've been working on, and think I'm finished with, an idea I'd had for a short story. Actually the concept was inspired by something I'd read in the contest forum, and I wanted to make it purely dialogue. Now the scene is set at a restaurant, but in the course of the story the reader is 'listening in' on a series of four different conversations. So I guess it's kind of like four mini-stories, but the end of one conversation is passed onto the next by an exchange between one of the previous characters and then the new one.

    All but one of the scenes involves only two people, along with the waitress, and I dignify each character with a distinct font to help keep things from being too confusing. Though I'm a bit worried about the one scene that has a lot of characters, I use some names to keep things at least in order. My questions though: Would this end up being just more like a short screenplay and not really a short story? Then would it be better to just write the character's name before their 'lines' instead of using the fonts? (I kind of thought it was sort of neat to try to match a font with the likeness to the character, but it may just come out looking a mess.) And then I guess finally, what would I 'do' with it. Please bear with me as I'm rather new to the writing business and this last may be a really dumb question. But do people usually just hold on to their short stories and then try to publish a collection of them or is there a better place to query them off to like magazines? But if it's a screenplay or something of that nature where do you go from there?

    Anyways, if anyone had any thoughts or advice, that would be much appreciated! Thanks!



  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: What would my story idea fall under?

    Dang it, Caitlin! I started reading this because I thought you had "a" question. Maybe something easy, that I could answer in a couple of words and then move along with the rest of my day.

    But Nooooooooooooooo! You have to lure someone in with one, and then ask many questions!



    Your story concept is interesting but almost certainly needs to be written as a play or screenplay with names attached to each line of dialogue. I don't know the proper way to format that but perhaps someone in the screenplay forum can help if nobody comes along here with info. Or Google "playwriting format."

    You do not want to mess around with different fonts. Trust me. Editors will glance and toss.

    There are many thousands of markets for short stories, online and off. Check out Writer's Market and Duotrope.com for starters, and again, Google can work for you. Most writers try to sell a story at a time. That's the only way to build a reputation that might make a collection of shorts salable. You'll need to learn all about queries and cover letters and the business aspect of writing. All that info is available here and at other reliable writing sites. And selling screenplays works differently from selling shorts to mags. That info is here, there, and everywhere too. Just treat it like school. You need to do your homework. But the information is available.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Aver0n 2o11
    Guest

    Re: What would my story idea fall under?

    Like Frank said, screenplay. Or even a poem see poetry section of this website for examples of dialogue only poems Write it first. Write it as it comes to you. Then you can tweak it depending on if you wanna pursue magazines or newspapers or book publishers or screen publishers.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    26

    Re: What would my story idea fall under?

    Awwww, sorry I roped you in Frank with a seemingly quick question needing an answer and got you! The trap was set and I snagged you! Just kidding, and it wasn't my intention to do so...so I'm sorry on that BUT thank you lots for taking the time to answer anyways. Thanks for helping clear up the formatting issue, the last thing you want to do is just annoy the reader or editor with something like that, and also pointing me in the right direction for my other questions. Yes, Google is our friend and we've got to research...I just feel a bit overwhelmed sometimes with the flood of information. But I need to do my homework.

    Thanks Averon for your input as well, as I appreciate it. I've gotten it all written and it is in the screenplay format so now I'll just look around to see which direction is the best way to go.

    Thank you both again,
    Cait

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    394

    Re: What would my story idea fall under?

    Caitlin,

    Screenplays are stories told as much through visual images as through dialogue - a good screenplay is split about 50/50 between dialogue descriptions. The challenge for a screenplay is to provide as vivid a picture as possible with as few words as possible in the descriptions.

    If you are mostly using dialogue and one location a play might be a better format to consider.

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