Monday, July 13, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--July 13, 2015--Short Story Writing

A Step in the Write Direction
July 13, 2015
Update: “This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I’m glad that joy doesn’t depend on circumstances; instead it’s the Source of our joy!...I’m one of those weird people who like Mondays; it’s a new beginning. Forget last week!...Visiting pastor gave some good points yesterday on preparing for church that I thought could be adapted to writers: Prepare, Participate, Practice (what you learned). This is especially good for someone planning to attend a conference. Prepare ahead of time by printing out guidelines of editors who publish what you write; Participate by getting acquainted with other conferees and scheduling appointments with editors, and Practice what you learned when you get home….Off to physical therapy again. Five more appointments before I see the orthopedic surgeon. I actually think it’s getting a little better.

Thought for the Day: "Writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done—so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well" (Ernest Hemingway to Ivan Kashkin, 1935, in Selected Letters,  p. 419).
Song for the Day:
“I’ve been there
I’ve faced those lonely trials, I’ve been there,
So when you’re walking through the valley of the heartache once again,
You’re only going where I’ve already been.”
            “I’ve Been There,” Dave Clark
(If you’d like the rest of the words of this song Dave wrote before he was healed of his 19-year illness, email me.)

Laugh for the Day: The minister had received several negative votes on his last recall and his little girl had overheard who voted them, but the father told her not to tell him. Later he allowed the girl to view the baptismal service and she sat on the front row. As the minister prepared to immerse the first lady, the little girl shouted, "No, no, Daddy, she wasn't one of them."

Writer’s Tips:                        Writing the Short Story
Parts of a Short Story
There are four parts to a short story: problem, struggle, barriers, and the solutions. Choose one basic problem your main character will face and carry that problem throughout the story. Don’t lose it on page 2, never to see it again, only to come up with a new and better problem on page 4.

How does the lead character solve his problem? You can use chance to hinder resolution, but not to help. Stories where the person prays, and suddenly, everything is all right seem unbelievable. Now perhaps during this person's prayer she may recall a Scripture verse or a solution comes to her, but prayer alone shouldn’t solve the problem. Show the character’s willingness to listen and follow the guidance God reveals during prayer. One conference speaker said that God can perform miracles in real life but not in fiction. A reader wants to see the character’s creativity dig her out of a deep mess.

Show the story's basic problem and identify the sex of the main character in the first l00 words. Have you ever gotten halfway through a story written in first person by a female author and suddenly discovered the main character is a man? When that happens, I have to go back to the beginning and read it again, because my entire perspective has changed. Somewhere near the beginning of your story, either have someone call the person by name, or make reference to a gender relationship to clarify.

Does the problem fit the character's age? I began one devotional for teens with the words, “Remember your first car?” The editor noted, “Most teens this age have only had one car.”

In her article “The Greatest Short-Short,” referring to the story of the Prodigal Son, Colleen Reece says, “Stories almost invariably need three things if they are to survive and sell: an interesting character who faces a real challenge and somehow changes in the process. What better example,” Reece asks, “than a boy who demands ‘real living,’ finds it isn’t so hot after all, and packs his pride in his battered suitcase to go back home?”[i]

[i] Colleen Reece, “The Greatest Short-Short,” The Christian Writer, June 1986, p. 27.

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

·          100-Plus Motivational Moments for Writers and Speakers – half-price $5, $2.69 s&h (This is free if you purchase 5 other books.)
·           A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers—on sale for half-price--$12.50, $3.22 s&h (only 16 left)
·          A Step in the Write Direction—Student Edition with assignments throughout—on sale for half-price $10, $2.69 s&h)
·          The Freedom of Letting Go (new one coming out will have discussion questions; can be used in S.S. class or small group); original copies without questions now on sale for half-price--$7.50, $2.69 s&h
·          Healing in God’s Time (story of Dave Clark, composer of 25 songs that have gone to #1 on the charts); was $15; now $10, $2.69 s&h
·          The Little Book of Big Laughs—105 purse/pocket-size book of clean jokes—$5; up to 4 for same s&h—$2.69
·          Preparing Your Heart for Christmas (31 Advent Devotions) half-price—$5
·          Michigan and Ohio Cookbooks; half-price $5 each, plus s&h (depending on number ordered).
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

No comments:

Post a Comment