Tag Archives: short story

Do You Have a Six Word Story?

One of Ernest Hemingway’s best known stories isn’t a novel.  It’s these six words:                  “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Isn’t that heartbreaking? In those six words, you have emotion, character and even plot, if you read between the lines. I don’t remember what we were talking about in one of my spring classes, but someone referenced this, I quoted it, and our instructor delayed his planned writing activity and said “Let’s do it!” We blanched.  He gave us ten minutes.  So, being dutiful students (and willing to try most any writing exercise), we bent heads and put pen to paper.  Here are a few of the resulting stories: Mine:  “Blizzard.  Heat, electricity vanish.  Autumn baby.” Cassandra Leonard:  “I ate.  I swam.  I barfed.” Kyle Keller:  “After prom, cab fare for one.” Prof. Keith Leonard (no relation to Cassandra):  “He fell.  I took a picture.” Note … Continue reading

Posted in Characterization, Plot, Story Prompts | Tagged , , , , , , |

Begin at the Beginning – a Plotter Tries Being a Pantser

Which came first – the chicken or the egg? The beginning or the end?  When you write a story, do you start by knowing the characters and the opening, and then write to see where it takes you? (Option 1, writing by the seat of your pants, or Pantser)  Or do you start with the characters, the situation and the ending, and write to get there? (Option 2, plotting the story in varying degrees, or Plotter)  For the first time, I’m experimenting with Option 1, being a Pantser. Well, not exactly the first time. My mind usually percolates a situation, character and end, and I build the plot and the character together until they work.  What-ifs can show up – I definitely don’t outline everything – but I’m still writing to meet the ending I’ve envisioned.  It just works best for me. For NaNoWriMo one year, I did try writing … Continue reading

Posted in Characterization, Plot, WIP, Writer's Life | Tagged , , , , , , , |