The definition of a short story is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting. Short stories originally emerged from traditional oral storytelling in the 17th century. In terms of word count they are usually under 7,500 words, however this word count can vary. Due to the diversity of short story content it is not easy to characterize them, they may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators. They feature a small cast of characters and focus on a self-contained incident using plot, resonance, literary techniques or other dynamic components but not in as much depth as a novel.
Short stories are considered, by many, as an apprenticeship form preceding more lengthy works, however they are a crafted form in their own right. Short story writers usually publish their narratives within a collection as part of an artistic or personal expression form.
This concentrated form of narrative can be theorized through traditional elements, such as exposition, complication, crisis, climax and resolution although not all follow this pattern. For instance, modern short stories start in the middle of the action and do not include exposition. Slightly longer works do include climax, crisis or a turning point but many do end abruptly or are left ‘open’ and can or cannot have a moral or practical lesson.
Have you written short stories? Is that how you started writing?
Do you find the short prose form enables you to ‘refresh’ your Muse when immerse in larger works?
I have a steampunk story (7700 words) that I am hoping to find a venue for, whether in an anthology or some other publication. So if you have a lead please share it.
My publisher has a couple of awesome short story authors published. Karen Probert and Barbie-Jo Smith. Karen’s characterizations and attention to detail is incredible and Barbie-Jo has the most humorous tales. http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/catalog/books
Alas my writing has suffered for the past several weeks, setting up a new home takes a lot of time and organizing. However, this week I am back into full freelance work and should have a couple more chapters written for the ghost writing project.
I am itching to get back to my YA novella as well as it is tantalizing close to completion. I can then send it to beta-readers and my illustrator. I find not writing saddens me so the sooner I am back the better.
Has ‘life’ gotten in the way of your writing? How did it make you feel?
A spectacular sequel to the first boo. I was completely immersed in Keenan & Moira’s struggles to find the Phoenix but also their blossoming love affair.
We are transported to the world of the previous book with wonderful author skill and attention to detail. Well done Jamie.
My sister sent me this book from England mainly due to the story behind it. My parents always wanted to live in the wilds of Wales on a small holding. They came close with a small cottage and large garden in Narbeth but never the envisioned ‘hovel’ as depicted in this little book.
My review: Delightful insight into the simple life in near isolation in North Wales. Set in the early 1960’s it is a quaint but realistic story of self sufficiency, persistence and ‘making do’. Loved the imagery and the sheer beauty of the natural world around them.
I will certainly try to find the next book – Garden in the Hills.(Footnote: this next installment is out of print unfortunately.)
Set your writing goals for every writing session
Outline your aims for a writing session in order to keep yourself focused. It may help to write down what you want to achieve in the next chapter or scene. However, remember, to give yourself elbow room. It is okay to depart from your scene summary if you feel the story should go (or wants to go) in a new direction. Personally, I let the story flow but some writers find writing a pre-scene enables them to maintain a clear sense of direction for each scene in relation to their story arc.
Which process works for you?
Writers know this struggle…
Readers wouldn’t this be perfect?
What ‘blocks’ your writing?
Always with the ideas as you start to fall asleep – why is that?
I did manage to increase the word count on my new YA novella to just over 18,000 and will further increase it tonight as I have a couple of hours in the library prior to a Board meeting. The story took a surprising turn so I am following it, wondering where it will end. I am toying with the idea of a new title – Bubble the Gruggle – is good but maybe too childish for a YA. We will see.
With two events coming in the next couple of weeks I need to be prepared for displays and readings. Choosing excerpts of a book can be problematic but I have found that if you gauge them to your known audience at the event it is slightly easier.
How do you choose an excerpt to read?
One event – Word on the Street is in Lethbridge which will entail a road trip – always a favorite past time and will allow more writing time, never a bad thing.
I had to finish this book last night so into the midnight hour I went…
Jamie has created a world of intrigue, mystery and suspense in this novel. The relationship between Moira and Keenan had me guessing and hoping.
A world of empaths and blockers, and strict social distinctions is beautifully weaved within and around the story. Great world building by Jamie.
This is a novel I highly recommend and can’t wait to read to next installment.
I’m already entranced by this novel’s story set in two time periods.
Always get an outside edit.
Whether it’s a novel or a blog post, sometimes we get trapped in our own ideas, and the grand vision clouds our ability to see the actual words on the page.
So work your vision and polish it up as much as you can … but then, get feedback from someone else whose editorial judgment you respect.
This week I have my writing group sharing meeting on Tuesday. I always look forward to this monthly meeting, as you never know who will attend – sometimes a few, sometimes a lot! The meeting begins with announcements on upcoming events and then a call for submissions for our Muse newsletter and our special newspaper page, Never Been Better which is aimed at the 55+ demographic.
We then have a writing prompt of some sort to energize the writing muse and then share our responses. It is always intriguing to hear how other writers respond to the same prompt – it is how our minds work I suppose. Discussions on the responses follows and then we share part of our current work for constructive critique.
What format does your writing group meeting take?
Planning for our Words in the Park event is still in progress. We had to close registrations as we are full. A floor plan has to be devised so all the registrations have a space to display. A plethora of authors are attending but as we co-host with the Arts and Culture Council we also have artisans and performers. With a clown and children’s activities, interactive sessions and food it will be a fantastic day. Event at: Spark Gallery, 2257 Premier Way, Sherwood Park. 10 am – 4 pm Free admission. The event is also a ‘pop up’ event for Alberta Culture Days.
My group will also be launching their Canada 150 book project, Postcards from Canada at the event so doubling exciting. It is an anthology of short stories, poetry and images celebrating Canada.
Jaspreet Singh “November” Book Launch
Tuesday 5th September at 19:00–21:00 Audrey’s Books
Kat Trimarco “Self Approved” book signing
Wednesday 6th September at 12:00–13:00 Audrey’s Books
What events are coming up in your area?