Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Capturing the Essence of a Short Story

Coming up with new ideas to write about shouldn't be a problem, but in the real world can cause a writer fits. I'm working on stories for a pet anthology and while I'm an animal lover, condensing details into one short story can be a challenge. All kinds of animals have touched my life, but how do I capture their story? For today's prompt we'll learn to capture the essence of a story.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Answer these questions to form a skeleton for your story.

  1. In a few words, name the one event on which you’ll base your short story.
  1. Determine the ending of the story. Once you know where you're headed the story is easier to write.
  1. Work back from the end. What helped you determine this end? What was the Ah-ha moment?
  1. What dark moment made the event stand out? This can be adventure, decision, death, or something of that nature.
  1. What essential information do you need to convey to the reader about your everyday life before the dark moment occurred?
Number 5 is your story’s beginning, numbers 4 and 3 will comprise the middle, and number 2 is the end.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel.

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