Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Writer's Wednesday: Short Story Pointers

Edgar Allan Poe is considered the father of the American short story. The man knew how to tell a creepy tale.

I've taught short stories--both studying them and writing them. The most effective way to learn about short stories is considering Poe's rules. 

Here are a few that will help you create a better short story.
  • The story can be read in one sitting.
  • The story focuses on one element: plot, character, theme, setting, etc.
  • Limit the number of characters.
  • Confine to a single setting.
  • Follow structure: exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement. (Most of the story leads to climax.  The falling action and denouement can be a paragraph or even a couple of lines.)
***Most importantly, each word or phrase is present to create a single effect/mood/emotion in the reader.

Follow these rules and you might even make Poe proud.

Go ahead and enter it in a contest. OWFI is accepting entries until February 1.

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