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A Brief Guide to Writing Short Stories Effectively
(writing short stories)
A short story is basically a condensed version of a book or a rapidly progressing story. It has fewer characters than a novel and covers less amount of time. A short story generally is around 6,000 words or 6 pages. Do your research and organization before you begin to write. Outline your plot and the background. Make sure they make sense and flow together. Individually list the events of the story in the order in which they occur. Create your characters. Not just their name and role in the story, but as if they were real people with real lives. By creating more information for your characters you will get a sense of what they would do or how they would be and convey that to your writing. By creating an outline you will have a point of reference to look back upon and make sure you have included all vital points of the story.
When writing a short story, you will need a captivating first paragraph. You have roughly 5 to 7 lines to appeal to your reads unlike novels that have the whole first chapter. This can actually make or break your story. You will need to grab their attention and keep it to make them want to read more. By starting the plot in the first few sentences it will make people want to know more. They will keep reading to find out who is involved and why.
Keep the timeline of events brief. You are writing a short story and the timeline should match that. A timeline of a day, a week, or maybe even a month is generally the span a story should cover.
Use character dialogue as a way to move the plot ahead. In a short story there is no time for general chitchat. By using the character dialogue you are deepening the plot as well as moving it along. Do not add unnecessary characters. By adding them you are wasting time one someone that is not linked to your story or its plot.
Provide swift and precise details to keep the story moving. Elaborate descriptions of characters, plot, or surroundings will only waste your words and are not essential to making a good story. Use short words instead of phrases that mean the same thing.
Building to the climax should be most of the story. Keep the conflicts building to the climax simple and easy to understand. You writing should be able to evoke the following emotions empathy, pain, hurt, despair, surprise, and desire just to name a few.
Since the story is only a few pages long in its entirety it is necessary to maintain consistency through out the beginning, middle, and end. Make sure the dialog and plot complement each other. Keep the same point of view through out the story.
You are almost ready to be published. After completing your own proofreading and editing, let someone else read it, a neighbor, your spouse, colleague, or a close friend. Even if they are not writers themselves they will be able to help point out any grammar errors. They will be able to tell you if something just doesn?t make sense. You are trying to fit a lot of captivating information in a small space; it is easy to leave something out.
Something you may not catch because you know what is supposed to happen, while your will not.
By following these simple rules, you will be able to write a short story that is captivating and effective. Writing short stories isn?t for everyone. Many writers like more detail and for short stories the space is just not available.
Editing for the Next Generation: The MySpace Form (myspace editing) The goal of a good editor is to make any piece of text appropriate for its audience and form. Books must fit into the expectations of a publishing company in order to fit the expectations of those who buy the books. Magazine articles must fit the style of the magazine including its goals and also its audience?s expectations. Content is certainly important, but voice and specific word choice are also big components of catering to an audience. A scientific magazine should not sound like the latest gossip. Likewise, a glamour magazine should be far from stiff and boring. When it comes to internet editing, even more elements are added to the typical editing criteria. Consider for a moment the different aspects of editing for the MySpace pages. Individual Pages An individual is not required to edit their pages. MySpace editing does often involve self-editing however. A page owner is writing about themselves, introducing themselves to many other people. No doubt that page owner wants to send the right message. Self-definition is very important in order to effectively communicate your intentions with others. That is where MySpace editing comes in. Here again, word choice is very important. Careful use of adjectives and other descriptive words can paint a picture for other visitors to the site. Using generic terms like ?thing? and ?a lot? will leave a person sounding boring and bland. In addition to self-representation, individual pages really should be edited for appropriate citations. That may sound tedious and so like ninth grade English class, but it is important. Quoting authors and lyricists on your page is an effective way to express your own feelings, but if the words are not your own, you cannot claim them. Plagiarism is wrong. In addition to the ethical issues, you should give credit to the people you quote for other reasons as well. Visitors to your page may really appreciate the words and lyrics that you quote. If you give credit to their author, other people can find more similar words to enjoy. Corporate Pages MySpace editing is useful for individuals, but it also opens up job opportunities. Because of the popularity of MySpace pages, advertisers have naturally started enjoying the benefits of the high traffic. The problem is that many advertisers may not be familiar with the format of MySpace nor the appropriate language to use to reach the audience that is surfing there. A qualified user can use their expertise to help corporations effectively use the pages in order to best reach the audience. A member of that audience can edit for the presentation of content so that it will be the most effective at getting the readers? attention. If you are one of these qualified users, MySpace editing could lead you to a successful career in all kinds of editing. Use your own page as a resume. If you aren?t interested in the career, you could just have some fun making the most of someone?s use of the pages. You will no doubt be well rewarded for your efforts. MySpace editing can take more than one form. The important thing to remember is that no matter what the format is for writing, correctness is important. Especially when your words are representing you, you will want to be clear and correct in your writing. Giving credit to those people you quote is the correct thing to do ethically, but it is also respectful. Finally, editing for companies without the proper know-how when it comes to internet advertising could be quite profitable. You?ll be more likely to get the job if your own page is effectively and correctly put together.
Networking Know-How: How to Get Through to the Busiest of People When you are job hunting, sometimes the most frustrating part is just getting your foot through the door to let the right people know that you are out there and available for work. Companies can be like members-only clubs; they tend to be a little distrustful of cold callers and most executives advise their assistants to run interference for them on the phone so they do not get stuck having a protracted conversation with someone they just aren?t interested in doing business with. The thing is that to get an interview, these people can be the very same people you need to talk to. How do you get these busy people to clear some time off in their busy schedule to speak to you? First things first ? you have to get the right attitude. If you want busy people to make time to talk to you, you have to present yourself in a way that makes them feel like you are worth the time investment. The trick here is that you have to do this by phone, and often, you have to first convince an operator or personal assistant that your call is one worth putting through to the boss. Your phone etiquette and vocal confidence will be the key here. Consider you basic phone manners first. Instead of launching right into what you want, respond to the greeting of the person who answers the phone with a hello of your own. Animate your voice and always remember that simply saying ?please? and ?thank you? can go a long way. Be the kind of caller that you would want to talk to if your job was answering the phone all day. People will respond to your positive attitude with a positive attitude of their own. Next, consider your confidence level on the phone. Do you tend to get tongue-tied and stumble over your words? That kind of delivery from you will set all the warning bells ringing on the other end of the phone, and you will find the person with whom you wish to speak always ?out of the office.? Instead, work on sounding like you are confident that it is a forgone conclusion that you will get to speak that busy person you want to talk to. Be confident that what you have to say is something that is worth hearing. It may help to write out a framework of what you will say and practice a few times so you sound relaxed and composed when you make that call. Once your attitude is right to make the call, you can then employ a few tricks of the trade for getting through to those busy people. Instead of giving away too much up front, start your call by asking if the person with whom you need to speak is in. If the answer is yes, then you can remove on potential ?excuse? for not putting your call through. If your call can?t be taken at that time, skip the message. Let the PA or operator know that you will call back again. That way you have a legitimate reason to keep calling. Of course, you might have to keep calling and calling, and that assistant might start knowing the sound of your voice. If you keep speaking to the same person, it?s time to open up with some person details. Let them know your name, why you?re calling, and if someone referred you, who that person is. Developing that personal relationship can help you get your call through to the boss. Last but not least, don?t give up. Busy people are, well, busy, and not necessarily avoiding your call. Persistence pays off, so keep on calling until you get through.