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 … Continue reading The Purpose of Plot Revisited

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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 … Continue reading On Exposition Revisited

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 … Continue reading Picking a Time Revisited

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 … Continue reading How Short is Short? Revisited

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 … Continue reading Keeping it Short Revisited

A Question Too Far Revisited

Problems arise with foreshadowing when we make it too conspicuous. As we discussed with symbolism and red-herrings they’re elements of foreshadowing that are narrative tools but we don’t necessarily want the reader to notice to tools until we’re ready. The primary problem with emphasising foreshadowing is that when we emphasis it we can actually cancel … Continue reading A Question Too Far Revisited

The False Shadow Revisited

The most conspicuous form of foreshadowing is the red-herring, a form of misdirection. Now, you might argue this isn’t foreshadowing because it’s leading you down the wrong path or it’s a false foreshadowing that it leads your towards a conclusion, though this conclusion may be incorrect. You might even argue that it isn’t false foreshadowing … Continue reading The False Shadow Revisited

Simplifying Symbolism Revisited

Symbolism goes hand-in-hand with implication in foreshadowing. This doesn’t mean that all implication is symbolism or even that all symbolism is implication. For example, someone wearing a religious symbol is often an indicator that they belong to that faith rather than an implication, though some religious symbols have entered fashion and are therefore not always … Continue reading Simplifying Symbolism Revisited

Did I Say That? Revisited

A large part of foreshadowing is implication. Writers have been known to confuse foreshadowing with plot exposition such as telling the reader, ‘Doing X could end the world’. While we’re revealing a potential outcome of the story we’re not foreshadowing the ending we’re telling the reader the stakes without which the story couldn’t function. In … Continue reading Did I Say That? Revisited

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 … Continue reading What is Foreshadowing? Revisited