After my best friend recently agreed to be my newest and latest beta-reader and critiquer I realized that I needed to compose a list of questions for her to answer after she’d read my stories. I initially intended to only have 10 questions, five related to the Plot and Pacing of the Story, and another five related to the Characters. However after about an hour, the question list grew: first 10, then 12, and finally 16 question long. Today, I thought I would share the first half of my newly developed list of Beta-Reader/Critiquer questions. I hope that they look as well-thought out now, as they did to my half-asleep brain when I wrote them in the wee hours of the morning earlier this week.
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In my post last week, 5 Tips For Better Short-Stories Part-I, I shared the importance of Starting At The End, and Fast-Pacing within short-fiction—Two tips that I have found to be exceptionally helpful in the process of short-fiction creation. Today, I will share my final three tips.
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#3 A Small Cast, Limiting The Extras
It takes time, and words to develop characters to the point that people care about them. Simply put, short-stories don’t have the time or space to introduce the same size cast as a novel. Since they begin after the character development process that take place throughout the course of a novel, you have only a short amount of time to make readers care about an already pre-defined person who isn’t going to change much in 7,300 words. Continue reading
In many ways, short stories can be a scary thought for beginning writers. A non-writer may equate shorter with easier, but for a writer… How in the world do I fit a story into a neatly packaged bundle, with no-less than 2,500 and no more than 7,300 words?!
“It can’t be done!” was my reaction for quite a while. It took me a long time to even try because I believed failure was inevitable. But once I actually forced myself to try, I discovered it’s really a lot less intimidating than it seems! I’ve now been writing short-stories for a number of years, and today I am going to share the first two of five helpful tips that I have discovered along the way.
I’m very proud to announce that soon, The Never Ending Path will be featuring an exciting new science-fiction short story series, written by yours truly. More news to follow.