Hopefully, my 9 step process will be helpful to someone out there. I wish I was brilliant enough to claim ownership over it's creation.
Some folks try to mask the steps while they are writing, but I don't let that concern me. I hope the reader has chosen my story because they were interested in the category, topic, cover, and something I previously wrote.
Here goes my Law and Order reference again:
I love the original Law and Order. Believe it or not I didn't discover it on any semi regular basis until about 8 years ago while it was in it's height of syndication on TNT and TBS. I would watch those back to back episodes every night I could.
My point about Law and Order is that it's format is exactly the same every episode. If you tune in 15 minutes in you can expect to be here, if you come in at the 30 minute mark you will be here...and so on.
This is what I want my short stories to be like for a reader. I want them to recognize the quarter mark, the half way mark...and so one.
The characters and the setting may change, but the style is the same.