1. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    News story style writing ?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by tonguetied, Sep 16, 2014.

    I have been trying to write a short story in the 1000 word count category and have a lot of difficulty developing the story in that limited space, my problem obviously, others do it masterfully. Anyway I wrote one that is basically in the style of a newspaper story, so my questions are: what style is that considered?, is that even considered writing on this forum?, and are there reasons to avoid this style?

    Perhaps my opening dialogue will make my questions more clear.

    By Neo Dugetti
    Atlantic Coastal Press

    Many cultures believe the appearance of a comet is a bad omen. Now I understand why.

    It all started when a huge unknown comet approached Earth. It had a very small tail which was the first indication that it was not a normal comet at all. As it approached it became large enough to see easily with binoculars, but it didn't appear like any other comet, the sun light seemed to reflect off it like a huge marble in the sky. Scientists concluded despite its size it had a very low mass.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    This is what's known as an epistolary novel, which is a novel that's written as a series of documents (i.e., letters or newspaper articles). You should avoid this form if you think another form is a better fit for what you're trying to achieve. If you think this form works for you, then go for it.
     
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  3. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you thirdwind. I didn't make my reason for using this style very clear, but it seems to be an easy way to explain the storyline without character development which helps keep the word count low. It seems difficult for me to write a very short story that fits into the guidelines I was given for posting a story for review, ~1000 words. My intent will be to understand what I am doing right and wrong in general before writing a full novel, but possibly that is a bad plan since the full novel would not be in that form. However I have already written the story, needs another draft before posting, but I would like to gather some critique from the other members of this forum so I plan on posting it soon.
     
  4. Michaelson345
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    Michaelson345 Member

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    Yes, this may be an epistolary novel and yes you should avoid this forum if you think you are not fit in it.
     
  5. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is not like a news story. A news story is characterized by the inverted pyramid, by an attempt to summarize the information instead of providing unnecessary details, and by a focus on objective over subjective information.

    A "true" news style is not necessarily good or bad for delivering a very short story.

    As was correctly pointed out, both the news style and your style fall under the epistolary category.

    I have a decent first impression of what you wrote. In general, I enjoy reading a character's subjective summary of something that happens. It kills two birds with one stone because I learn what happens and I learn about the character by seeing how he chooses to deliver the story: his word choice, his choice of details to focus on, etc. It is a well-established literary tool and it has been used extremely successfully. It especially appears in novels framed as diaries/journals. Actually, when I replace "By Neo Dugetti / Atlantic Coastal Press" with "Dear Journal," the rest of your excerpt somehow makes more sense to me. (Maybe it is because I have been reading a novel in which each chapter begins with "Dear Journal," and the first sentence in your excerpt is quite similar to how the narrator-protagonist of this novel opens her journal entries.) You would expect someone to be objective and formal in a news article, but subjective and familiar in a journal entry.
     
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