1. fjm3eyes

    fjm3eyes Member

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    Plot Development.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by fjm3eyes, Jun 8, 2018.

    I think plotting short stories is vastly different than plotting novels. Which speaks to a dilemma I have: posting to boards concerned with writing novels when I prefer short stories. I don't feel confident in writing novels, and don't want to be. Why should I want to write novels when writing short stories are so enjoyable for me? I answer myself: I shouldn't. But, how can I give advice to those writing novels, when they don't work for me? This is my dilemma, even though I feel there are things the short story and the novel share with each other. Should I try anyway? Any advice?
     
  2. Kalisto

    Kalisto Senior Member

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    Personally, it would be really, really refreshing if someone can give advise from the perspective of a short story writer. Why I say this is because what I'm seeing, particularly in character development, is that people don't stick with the basics. In short stories you stick with the basics. You stick with the rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. As far as characters, it's their goals, motives and conflict and that is it. For personality, you might incorporate traits of an archetype, but not much more. Do we know why Leiningen owns a plantation in Leiningen Versus the Ants? No, he just does. It doesn't matter. It's about his goal of saving his plantation, his motive of proving the superiority of man's intellect over nature, and conflict of a giant army of ants. That's it! It works.

    Novels need to have these basics too, but people forget that. There's a lot of questions on here about "Is this character likable?" And then when you open the question, it's this long tedious list of what this character looks like, what their personality is, why they're shy, clumsy or stupid. What everyone else thinks of them. How they have purple hair. Then this thing about a birthmark. And just goes on and on.

    The reason why those questions are so tedious to read is because somewhere that writer got lost in big task of writing a novel, that they forgot that the basics are what matters. If you don't got the basics right, nothing else in your character will be right.
     
    jimmyjones and Stormburn like this.
  3. fjm3eyes

    fjm3eyes Member

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    Short stories allow me to get, and stay involved, with the story until its conclusion. I'd rather write a story of 2500 words rather then a novel or 120,000 words, or so. What I'm saying is that a novel is entirely too long of an exercise for me. I don't require a lot of exposition and try to use just enough dialoge, and dialogue style, that fits the story I'm working on. Another, possibly larger, reason why short stories work for me is I can concentrate on 1, 2, or 3 characters, and develop that character. I also believe that a strong character is worth more than anything to the story being written.
     
  4. Miscellaneous Worker

    Miscellaneous Worker Member

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    Where there is work...
    Don't imagine that you're not confident with writing stories of extensive lengths. Instead, just see it as that your stories needn't be that long anyway. Stories can be better than others, whether or not they are long or short, and I'm sure most if not all elements of story writing can be applied to both short stories or novels. Of course, you wouldn't give more information in a short story, but that's because you don't need to- you don't intend for it to be that long. To me, that's all that differentiates novels from short stories: the extension of detail and information given to support the story.

    I think eventually every write will write something longer/short than they usually work with, either to experiment or because they find themselves avid about it. Just don't think there's such a huge difference between writing a novel or a short story- it's all literature in the end. :D
     

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