1. Bitter_Laugh
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    Bitter_Laugh Member

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    Short Story Plots

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Bitter_Laugh, Jan 11, 2011.

    When writing a short story, I tend to start in the middle and end abruptly. I know that sounds confusing, but what I mean is that I start right as the action is happening and then when I end it do so in an abrupt manner. I have received complaints that I "kill off too many characters" which I do, but it seems necessary when ending a short story. Does anyone have any short story plotting techniques? :D
     
  2. Agent Vatani
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    Agent Vatani Active Member

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    Well some books start with action but some don't.
    If you want to that's fine, if you have just at one character POV. Then you can start in a dream with action and character can wake up and ect....
    But that's just a idea.
    :)
     
  3. Alexei
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    Alexei New Member

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    Hey Bitter Laugh,

    Well, I'm quite new to writing and I've been trying my hand at short stories. I don't really feel that there's a need to kill the characters at the end of the short story. Why? It seems that what is important is that some kind of transformation occur in the MC. In a sense, a transformation is a death. Old self dead - new self born. And the transformation can be very small or very large, it can advance the characters "development" and "growth" or make them slide back. If they're always dead at the end, that's kind of a let down. I mean, it can be cool some of the time - but definitely not all the time!

    As for plotting. I usually write down short story ideas as they enter my mind in one big file. When I'm ready to write a new story, I look through all those ideas and pick the one that really excites me, that has something really cool and interesting and special about it. Sometimes it'll be an inciting incident - what happened first to change the MC's world. Sometimes it'll be just a character or a concept.

    And then I just basically start writing and journaling about the writing, asking the whole time, what the hell might happen next? That's the blind way of proceeding. Proceeding via discovery. The story I'm writing right now, however - I know what's going to happen. I know the change that occurs in the character. I know how it occurs. So my job is to tell the story in a way that is dramatic, exciting, interesting, beautiful and moving. I need to have that change be earned, to have the MC struggle for it.

    Curious what other people will say. :)

    Alex
     
  4. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Starting in the middle is never a bad idea for a short story. Too much begining is a common problem. I frequently -- but not always -- start a short story with dialogue. Start it in the middle of a conversation which instantly starts moving the plot forward. It ends when it ends. When the central conflict of the tale is resolved. The end of a story doesn't necessarily meant the end of a character's life.
     
  5. Kevin B
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    Kevin B Member

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    Sometimes I will start at the end, write the climax, then back up from there. This way, I know where I want to go, then I let the characters take me there. Does this mean that my stories always end the way I intended? No. In fact, they usually never end the way I intended, but it always gave me a place to start.
     
  6. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    I'm in the process of writing a horror short story. What I did for this one was:
    1. No paper, No Laptop. Just think. I fleshed out the plot in my brain, talked about it with friends, asked for advice, etc.
    2. Start writing. Simply do. Please do. 50% (aprox) of the story, you will come up with when you write.
    3. Revise. Edit. Show it to some people. You're done! :)


    PS: I didn't just do this for this one. I will do it for others to come, as well.
     

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