Posts Tagged ‘Fixing “slight” fiction’

So You Are Writing A Short Story . . .

Monday, March 29th, 2010

 . . . is it too short?  How can a short story be too short?  You’ve read your story and it has a beginning, middle and an end.   Your character wanted something, at first she couldn’t get it, she worked at her problem, and then she succeeded.  The end. 

But perhaps, just maybe, your story MIGHT be slight.   GASP!  NO!  It’s perfect!

Read it again.  Does your character REACT to a situation that has happened?  If a problem has occurred – – a robbery at the bank.  She’s failed a math test. Do you take time to “slow-down-the-moment” for the exciting or important part of the story?  This will add suspense or emotional depth.

How do you slow it down a bit?  Make your story deeper and not “slight?”  Get into your main character’s head.  What is she thinking?  Feeling?  Get all of her senses going.  Does she break into a sweat?  Start shaking?  Make sure she REACTS to the important things that happen to her.

Writing Prompt:

In a story you are working on, take a highlighter.  Highlight any portion where your character internalizes, or THINKS about her situation.

Take a different color pen or highlighter, and underline or highlight where your character has a PHYSICAL REACTION to what is going on.  What does she or he do?

Next, with another color, mark where your character talks.  Make sure it’s not “empty dialogue.”  But dialogue that your character needs to say to move the story along. 

Finally, read your story aloud.  Now I bet your story is deeper and not slight! 

Congratulations on a successful revision!