What’s Your Problem? Reblogged

At its most basic plot is the presentation of a problem that needs to be solved: the detective needs to catch the criminal, the lovers need to come together, the world needs to be saved. So when we’re beginning to plot a story we need to think, ‘What is the problem?’ then ‘How are we … Continue reading What’s Your Problem? Reblogged


Finding Flow

As we discussed earlier in the week description can be used to create pauses in narrative and varies depending upon style but description can also affect the flow of prose. The description we use affects the rhythm of a sentence which affects the flow of our proses. For example a long sentence of description might … Continue reading Finding Flow

Perceiving Personification

Personification is a type of metaphor or simile where we give something that isn’t human human traits. Such as comparing windows to eyes that are watching us, or saying a car is temperamental or quirky when a machine doesn’t have a temperament simply a mechanical fault. This gets slightly more complicated if we’re referring to … Continue reading Perceiving Personification

Making a Metaphor

Metaphors and similes can be very effective tools in description but what’s the difference? A simile is comparative, so we say something is like something else such as ‘the windows were like eyes’. A metaphor is saying something is something it isn’t such as ‘the windows were eyes’ (this is also personification which we’ll look … Continue reading Making a Metaphor

Describing a Pause

Description can be very useful for creating pauses in stories and slowing them down. This doesn’t mean the story stops. What we mean is that the pace changes, for instance we may have a flurry of activity, a moment where the protagonist thinks everything is done, and then another flurry. Alternatively we may have a … Continue reading Describing a Pause

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

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