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Writing Short Stories


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Writing Short Stories

  1. 1. Writing Short Stories
  2. 2. Question: What do you like to read? Like what?
  3. 3. Point: –WRITERS are READERS.
  4. 4. Point: –what we read influences our writing subconsciously and consciously
  5. 5. Point: –Every writer’s process is unique. A writer should be aware of their own process.
  6. 6. What process? –What time of day do you usually write? Is it constant?
  7. 7. What process? –What do you write with? A pen? Pencil? Do you prefer writing in the computer?
  8. 8. What process? –In what particular place? At your desk? In bed? At the top of Mount Pinatubo?
  9. 9. What process? –if you run into trouble writing, you might want to experiment with changing process to see if that helps.
  10. 10. What process? –if you run into trouble writing, you might want to experiment with changing process to see if that helps.
  11. 11. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Stop in the middle of a scene.
  12. 12. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Stop in the middle of a sentence.
  13. 13. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Step away from whatever you’re writing and do anything that’s creative.
  14. 14. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Do freewriting.
  15. 15. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Eliminate distractions.
  16. 16. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Write early in the morning. When you first wake up, your brain is still in Theta mode, the brainwave pattern that your mind is in when you dream.
  17. 17. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Write while you sleep.
  18. 18. Tips to NOT get Stuck –Eliminate distractions.
  19. 19. What is a Short Story? –A short story is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting. (Wikipedia)
  20. 20. 1. Starting Up! –Create “seed” ideas and think of a potential scenario.
  21. 21. Seed Ideas –Stories are not only ONE idea. They are constructed from layers of ideas compressed together.
  22. 22. Seed Ideas –you keep a general file of ideas that strike you.
  23. 23. Seed Ideas –an interesting character, a snippet of conversation, an evocative place, a piece of a plot
  24. 24. Seed Ideas –then you can take them out, look at them and rearrange them.
  25. 25. Potential Scenario –Make sure you identify what each character wants in the scene and how he gets it from the other character
  26. 26. Potential Scenario –There must be some conflict of agenda among those characters, but does not always mean that it should be obvious
  27. 27. Potential Scenario –Example: Two strangers in a company waiting area are both interviewing for the same job (or believe they are).
  28. 28. Potential Scenario –Example: Two old friends. One owes the other a significant amount of money.
  29. 29. 2. Writing what You Know –Sometimes, what we know is found in stories we do not like, because we tend to analyze why we do not like it.
  30. 30. 2. Writing what You Know –Writing down the physical truth and the emotional truth of your story.
  31. 31. Physical Truth –what you know from physical experience—how a place looks, smells, what scratchy wool or zero degrees feels like on your skin
  32. 32. Emotional Truth –the central truth for a writer, the emotional reality of the “now” moment which the reader MUST accept.
  33. 33. Emotional Truth –Writers lie to tell the truth.
  34. 34. Emotional Truth –embedding emotional truth in situation that never happened
  35. 35. 3. Write down more details. –Use the senses to describe the immediate surrounding where the story will take place.
  36. 36. 4. Define your Characters –You should know your characters, give them appropriate names, be able to define their roles and behaviors, how they think.
  37. 37. 4. Define your Characters –Decide how to create your characters and how to reveal them
  38. 38. Creating your Characters –Start with yourself.
  39. 39. Creating your Characters –It is more advisable not to name the character after yourself.
  40. 40. Revealing your Characters – Sometimes you will create a character through voice. How that character talks, what language s/he uses, what details s/he notices or thinks important (and which are not) are all part of what makes that character unique and interesting.
  41. 41. Revealing your Characters –What the character says –What the character does –What other people say about the character –What the author says about the character
  42. 42. Antagonist –Can be a part of the character’s other side, define what he/she wants.
  43. 43. 5. Deciding the POV –What point of view would you use or which do you prefer?
  44. 44. 6. Start making the plot. –Make a conflict, something that arises because something stands in the way of getting what one want
  45. 45. 6. Start making the plot. –You must have conflict or you don’t have a story.
  46. 46. 6. Start making the plot. –You are preparing the reader for what will come. Even when you want surprise, you don’t want so much surprise that the ending appears unreasonable
  47. 47. 7. Start Writing –Out of the many things prepared beforehand, write down accordingly, unless if while writing, you can think of something better.
  48. 48. 8. Add more details. –Try to slowly reveal information, about the character or the place, the actions or whatever that may be interesting in the story.
  49. 49. 9. Read what you wrote. –Read to check whether your ideas are coherent and cohesive, whether or not your thoughts jump to conclusions unexplained.
  50. 50. 10. Proofread –Try to correct your grammar however you can. Also ask the help of someone who also knows about grammar rules of the language you are using and more.
  51. 51. References – agents/7-ways-to-overcome-writers-block – writing/21w-755-writing-and-reading-short-stories-spring- 2012/lecture-notes/ –
  52. 52. Thank You! Arnie A. Valera