“To the racetrack.” Mary edged toward the door, keeping her eyes on John’s bent head. “We are already maxed out on our credit cards.” “Where are you going? “To the racetrack,” Mary said, trying to figure out whether John was too upset to let her get away with it this time.
“Not again,” said John, wondering how they would make that month’s rent.
An effective short story (or poem) does not simply record or express the author’s feelings; rather, it generates feelings in the reader.
(See “Show, Don’t (Just) Tell.”)Drawing on your own real-life experiences, such as winning the big game, bouncing back after an illness or injury, or dealing with the death of a loved one, are attractive choices for students who are looking for a “personal essay” topic.
The first time I heard him, I stood in the bathroom listening at our shared wall for ten minutes, debating the wisdom of calling the police.
It was very different from living in the duplex over middle-aged Mr. Brown and their two young sons in Duluth.“It is important to understand the basic elements of fiction writing before you consider how to put everything together.She eats pizza every day for lunch and loves Red Rose tea. As a writer, you need to determine who is going to tell the story and how much information is available for the narrator to reveal in the short story.The narrator can be directly involved in the action subjectively, or the narrator might only report the action objectively.Dialogue is what your characters say to each other (or to themselves).Each speaker gets his/her own paragraph, and the paragraph includes whatever you wish to say about what the character is doing when speaking.He will teach you more than any writing teacher or workshop ever could.In today’s fast-moving world, the first sentence of your narrative should catch your reader’s attention with the unusual, the unexpected, an action, or a conflict. Remember that short stories need to start close to their end.This process is comparable to producing something delectable in the kitchen–any ingredient that you put into your bowl of dough impacts your finished loaf of bread.To create a perfect loaf, you must balance ingredients baked for the correct amount of time and enhanced with the right polishing glaze.”Your job, as a writer of short fiction–whatever your beliefs–is to put complex personalities on stage and let them strut and fret their brief hour.Write Meaningful Dialogue Labels“John asked nervously” is an example of “telling.” The author could write “John asked very nervously” or “John asked so nervously that his voice was shaking,” and it still wouldn’t make the story any more effective.How can the author convey John’s state of mind, without coming right out and telling the reader about it? That is, mention a detail that conjures up in the reader’s mind the image of a nervous person.