A Matter of Style

There is no one way to do description. Description, like any other aspect of writing depends on the writer’s style. There are ways to manipulate description based on punctuation, word choice, and so on but ultimately how much or how little there is depends on the writer’s style. For instance, Hemmingway was very much bare-bones … Continue reading A Matter of Style

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Dicy Description

This week we're taking another look at using description in fiction. Monday - A Matter of Style, The description we use can vary depending on style. Tuesday - Describing a Pause, Description creates a pause wherever it's placed. Wednesday - Making a Metaphor, Using metaphors and similes in description. Thursday - Perceiving Personification, Using personification in description. Friday - Finding Flow, Using description to … Continue reading Dicy Description

Characters, Characters Everywhere

Another important decision we have to make when writing short stories is the number of characters we include, this doesn’t only mean the number we have appear on the page but also the number of names mentioned. The simple reason for this is that if we try and cram a dozen characters into less than … Continue reading Characters, Characters Everywhere

On Exposition

The primary problem with the length of a short story is exposition. Every word of exposition we use is a word we can’t use on the present story, this might sound dramatic but we’re specifically looking at stories less than two thousand words and they’re quickly used up. Often the best way is to keep … Continue reading On Exposition

How Short is Short?

For the purpose of these articles we’re going to be discussing short stories in terms of stories under 2,000 words, which includes flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words). As I’ve said before I’m not entirely fond of the term flash fiction which used to apply to stories of fifty words or less, now known as … Continue reading How Short is Short?

Keeping It Short

This week we're looking at writing short stories, particularly those under 2,000 words, and how we can use these skills to improve our longer fiction and editing. Monday - How Short is Short? What do we mean by a short story and what can we learn from this? Tuesday - Picking a Time, Looking at how much time we … Continue reading Keeping It Short

Summing Up Summaries

When we’re editing someone’s work it’s always beneficial to conclude with a summary, this can be written in paragraphs, bullet points, or a table. It can be long or short, use headings or anything you want. Some writers will even give you a list of particular points they want addressing that they want more feedback … Continue reading Summing Up Summaries

Shaking Up Structure

One of the most difficult forms of editing, particularly for another person’s work, is structural edits. It’s difficult partly because of how invasive it can feel to suggest changing a story’s overall structure and partly because if we’re editing in a writing workshop we’re only going to see a story in small pieces at a … Continue reading Shaking Up Structure