1. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Know any good articles on the structure of short stories?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LuminousTyto, Aug 7, 2012.

    Anybody here know any good articles or websites that talk about the structure of short stories and how they differ from longer fiction?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you don't need a how-to... just read plenty of the best short stories of all time and you can figure it out for yourself...
     
  3. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    But I'm lazy :(

    Well I did read that collection titled Zima Blue and Other Stories, but I wasn't paying attention to how they were written. I have a lot of short story anthologies that I haven't even touched yer. Most of them are in the genres I like and claim to be the best sci fi and fantasy of the year.
     
  4. idyll
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    idyll New Member

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    Might you share the title of that collection of scifi and fantasy short stories?
     
  5. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    I have a few. One I've already mentioned, called Zima Blue and Other Stories.

    I also have:

    The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume Five (2011)
    Engineering Infinity (2011) I believe these are sci fi, possible hard sci fi, but I dunno.
    New Space Opera 2 (2009)
    The Year's Best Science Fiction - Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection (doesn't say the year)
    999 (doesn't say the year) this is horror stories

    Oh, frakk! I have a couple hundred more, lol
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you're really lazy, then i'd strongly suggest you pursue some career other than that of a writer... it's hard, frustrating work that takes dedication and self-discipline... a lazy person isn't going to get anywhere in the literary world...
     
  7. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Okay, I wouldn't say I'm lazy. I'm not writing right now, but I do spend 6 hours a day 5 days a week studying the fundamentals of writing.
     
  8. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    Do a web search for Lester Dent's Master Plot. It's aimed at pulp stories, but with some tweaks the basic idea works for pretty much any genre; certainly any story that follows it will avoid many of the problems I regularly see in short stories I critique (no plot, characters who don't do anything, etc).

    I remember James MacDonald writing some good posts about short story structure on another forum, but I don't have any URLs and Google doesn't find anything obvious (some of his threads ended up with over 5,000 posts, so it's hard to find by hand).
     
  9. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Well I understand story structure and character creation, etc for novels. I know that short stories are basically the same just a little simpler. That's exactly the same thing I see in just about every short story I critique as well.

    I have the best science fiction of the year short story anthologies volumes 1-15. I forgot I had those until somebody posted on my thread and told me to read some short stories to figure it out. I think that's what I'm going to do though, because science fiction and fantasy are the two genres that interest me anyways.
     
  10. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Also do a search for blogs written by Literary Agents, they have a lot of useful information that can help also.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    are you a university student majoring in writing, or what?
     
  12. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    I think going to university to learn creative writing is unnecessary. Especially when one can learn the craft on their own at home. Everything I need, I have. Books, computers, online forums and critique groups.

    So the answer is yes and no, since I'm not a college student, but I do have schedules which I adhere to quite strictly. Creative writing is my interest.
     
  13. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Look at Poe's work for short story collections. Most of his writings are short stories. Watch and see how he completes a tale in few words. "A tell-tale heart" and several others are like that.
     
  14. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    I don't have any of his stories, and I have no money. : (
     
  15. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Poe's work is out of copyright and is freely available by download from a number of different websites. Google for it, and you'll be able to read his stories even if you have no money!
     
  16. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Alright, I'll do that. Thanks!
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can also read other masters of the short story's works online and/or download them for reading at your leisure...

    here's a site where you can avail yourself of guy de maupassant's fine work:

    http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/maupassant/guy/works/

    poe's and anyone else's work that is in the public domain can be found there, as well...

    other masters of the medium include o'henry, twain, harte, bierce, london, and too many others for me to list here... you can find all of their works on that site, listed alphabetically...

    happy reading!
     
  18. LuminousTyto
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    LuminousTyto Senior Member

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    Thanks!
     

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