Saturday, March 23, 2013

A short story in 9 steps

Back to something writing related, this is my 9 step method for writing short stories regardless of genre.

Teaser/Opening: Introduction of Point of View character and an opening situation to catch a reader's attention.

Exposition Whore: Yea, I said whore. I use this terminology from a article I read about Game of Thrones on HBO. The producers of the show often explain exposition by having it mouthed from naked women on the screen. The point is to keep a viewer/reader's attention while passing on important information. I try to do this as well through interesting action or interaction.

Rising Drama: The scene drives the momentum forward towards my ultimate climax.

Plot Point One: An important foreshadow of things to come is revealed. I like to use the JMS 
(J. Michael Straczynski-the creator of Babylon 5) method. He likes to reveal exactly what will happen and let you the reader/viewer figure out how we will get there from here. 

Climax: My POV is usually at a point where a critical decision to be made. They make it but with a terrible consequence just around the corner.

Reversal: Just when my POV believes he or she has triumphed, the bottom falls out. Hard.

Lowering Drama: The lead scene before all the buildup is revealed.

Plot Point Two: Remember what I promised in Plot Point One? We're here. I just hope you can handle the truth as I've chosen to reveal.

Denouement: Some writers don't feel this scene is necessary and I understand their point of view. I think it's critical. I want readers to know not only what happened to my POV, but if they overcame or even if they were swallowed up by what's happened to them. It also allows me the chance to advance this character if they are to be used again, or if it's one more twist I can present to the reader.       

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