1. Venom.
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    Venom. Member

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    Planning Short Stories?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Venom., May 27, 2011.

    What's the best way for you to plot of or think of them? What's your favorite genre and what do you like most about them?

    I like them because of how they're small but can leave a big imprint on you if you actually understand them.

    Discuss. :)
     
  2. JMTweedie
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    JMTweedie Senior Member

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    I'm currently writing a fantasy/chiller short story although my novel is sci-fi.

    I love the fact you can get away with a simple plot line if well written. Mine has a very simple plot but has a wonderful setting and mysterious characters.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    When I write a short story, I start with a fairly vague idea and then just start typing. The story works itself out as I am writing. That's how I proceed about 99% of the time.
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    With short stories, I usually start after the story is done, if you get that... Well, basically, my head is a plot machine and a plot as small as a man going to the grocery store can turn into an epic novel if I get my hands on it. Which is why, when I'm writing short stories, all of this must already be over. My latest short story, which is one of the few I am pleased with, was about two men talking about their past, which is where most of the plot comes from.
     
  5. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I used to outline my short stories. But once I start to write my story with outline in hand, I would choke.

    Some writers work well with outlines -- find out what works best for you. For mine, I take note of events in the story and use them as anchors once I write my story. The method is loose, but it gives room to imagination, giving me scenes that are unplanned and exciting.
     
  6. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I like Japanese Manga. Short and fun and in the end, builds on a larger plot.

    Other wise, I love a long book.
     
  7. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    An idea just pops in my head from something I've read, heard, seen etc. and then I start writing. I don't think about where it's going. I just write until I don't know what to write anymore.

    As for genre, I usually write general fiction. I don't ever have a particular genre in mind (unless I'm writing it for a specific genre for some reason, for example a competition).

    I think short stories are great for getting little snippets into a character(s)' world. It also often has meanings that you only discover when you reread them too. And I especially like it when it leaves you to think or question things either that has happened in the story, or towards life, which is often achieved when the ending is not quite clear.
     
  8. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Writing a short story should be like writing a scene in a film - or a sketch in a comedy show. It should have a beginning a middle and an end. It should achieve something. At the same time, I think people are more willing to read imaginative uses of language, puncutation and style - rather poetry in prose, when they know it is only short. Don't put too many characters.

    Good Luck. Short stories are said to be the hardest form of writing to master!
     
  9. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    I do planning, but only in my head. If its short then that's all I need.

    For novels, I actually have to write out a detailed outline.
     
  10. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I never intentionally write short stories.
     
  11. AvihooI
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    AvihooI Member

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    If you can call this planning. I've experimented, in short story writing, with writing the first paragraph and the last paragraph. Then add in-between what comes to mind (perhaps in a recursive manner) until everything feels connected.

    It fits well with the world-view I have on short stories. I like to amalgamate numerous concepts together - so this way of writing really helps.

    As for planning anything deliberately. I don't like to write about circumstances, events or background in short stories - so I think it's quite pointless to plan anything with that in mind. I see them as a hindrance to the concepts behind short-stories that make them seem more like chapters/scenes in novels. The whole magic is lost.

    However, that's just my opinion and theme oriented short stories that resemble larger story types can be very readable. Perhaps I'm not talented enough to write that way.

    Alternatively, I would start with numerous ideas and concepts and just write a story that illuminates them.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why not? I mean, how could you not know, going in, that what you're writing is a short story?
     
  13. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    I turn the lights off and listen to music. Instrumentals in particular. Often a catchy song will inspire a story in time with the music and then I'll sit down at the PC and bash out something. It's usually pretty bad but it's something then to develop and work with.

    An example is "Cream Dream" by Simian Mobile Disco. The beat reminded me of a steam train, and as the song progressed I imagined a steam train race between friendly rivals. After listening a few times, I started to give the rivals distinct personalities to differentiate them. Hey presto, I have a story! Everything else is now just filling in the blanks.
     
  14. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I write novels, they just some times get cut down to short story length. I don't always know if an idea is novel worthy, but every now and again, they end up as short stories or novellas. Thus, I never intentionally write short stories. :D
     

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