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” John cracked his knuckles while he looked at the floor.“To the racetrack.” Mary edged toward the door, keeping her eyes on John’s bent head. “We are already maxed out on our credit cards.” “Where are you going? “To the racetrack,” Mary said, trying to figure out whether John was too upset to let her get away with it this time.The narrator can be directly involved in the action subjectively, or the narrator might only report the action objectively.
If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader first. What will happen at the next stop, or will he even make it to the next stop?
Here are seven stories that I recommend to students in my online fiction writing class, MASTER THE SHORT STORY.“The School” is one of my favorites. “It’s a peculiar apparatus,” said the Officer to the Traveller, gazing with a certain admiration at the device, with which he was, of course, thoroughly familiar.
For those of you who are looking for more long-term writing strategies, here are some additional ideas. If you don’t have time to read all of these authors, stick to Chekhov.
He will teach you more than any writing teacher or workshop ever could.
Go easy on the exposition and talky backstory — your reader doesn’t need to know everything that you know about your characters.
An effective short story (or poem) does not simply record or express the author’s feelings; rather, it generates feelings in the reader.
To create a perfect loaf, you must balance ingredients baked for the correct amount of time and enhanced with the right polishing glaze.”Your job, as a writer of short fiction–whatever your beliefs–is to put complex personalities on stage and let them strut and fret their brief hour.
Perhaps the sound and fury they make will signify something that has more than passing value–that will, in Chekhov’s words, “make [man] see what he is like.” –In order to develop a living, breathing, multi-faceted character, it is important to know way more about the character than you will ever use in the story. She is a fair-skinned Norwegian with blue eyes, long, curly red hair, and is 5 feet 6 inches tall.
“Not again,” said John, wondering how they would make that month’s rent.
“We are already maxed out on our credit cards.”The second example is mechanically correct, since it uses a separate paragraph to present each speaker’s turn advancing the conversation.