The Purpose of Plot Revisited

This week we’re looking at plot: What is it? How do we create it? Where do subplots fit in? Tuesday – What’s Your Problem? How do we decide what the plot is? Wednesday – Where’s Your Tools? What does our character need to fix the problem? Thursday – Subbing Your Story, How do subplots relate to […]

Saying Everything and Nothing Revisited

One of the most useful tools in writing short stories, especially those under 2,000 words, is implication. This is a skill that can take a long time to develop because firstly we have to figure out what we can imply and what needs to be stated and secondly because we need to acknowledge that if […]

Characters, Characters Everywhere Revisited

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 […]

On Exposition Revisited

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 […]

Picking a Time Revisited

When we’re writing short fiction the time frame is important, not only from a narrative standpoint but also because we only have a limited number of words to cover the time. This means that if we were to have the story cover a long period of time we might need more telling because the word […]

How Short is Short? Revisited

For the purpose of these articles we’re going to be discussing short stories in terms of stories under 2,000 words. However, a short story can in fact be quite long, perhaps even as long as 15,000 words but as I’m going to discuss short fiction in terms of helping develop our editing skills the shorter […]

Keeping it Short Revisited

This week we’re looking at short stories and how they can help us improve our editing skills. Tuesday – How Short is Short? What do we mean by a ‘short’ story Wednesday – Picking a Time, How much time can we cover in our story? Thursday – On Exposition, How much exposition can we use […]

What is Foreshadowing? Revisited

Foreshadowing is the act of hinting at possible outcomes of a story, sometimes well in advance of the end. It can even be included right at the beginning of the story. However, foreshadowing can be tricky because if it’s too much or too obvious it can spoil our ending by revealing it too soon. It’s […]

Shadow in the Fore Revisited

This week we’re looking at foreshadowing: What is it? How can we use symbolism? And what’s this got to do with red-herrings? Tuesday – What is Foreshadowing? What do we mean by ‘foreshadowing’? Wednesday – Did I Say That? Using foreshadowing is a matter of implication Thursday – Simplifying Symbolism, What’s symbolism got to do with […]

Drama in Conflict Revisited

People always say that there is drama in conflict but what can be forgotten is that stability is needed too. As much you need to build the conflict in your character still needs something solid and reliable whether it’s a hobby, a place or a person. In many, though not all, stories it falls to […]