5 Tips For Better Short-Stories — Part-II

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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

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5 Tips For Better Short-Stories — Part-I

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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.

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Thoughts On Writing Extra-Terrestrial Life: (From A Christian Perspective)

Today, I’m hosting a Q & A interview with, well, myself. Now I agree that it’s more than a little odd—and some might think egotistical—but the only real reason for this is because I’ve found that sometimes, writing in an unconventional format is the easiest way to get ideas onto paper. I rewrote this post three or four times before switching the format and then I finished it in one go without problems.

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One of the biggest personal hurdles I’ve had to jump as a Science Fiction writer, is the question of “Should I write about aliens when I don‘t believe they exist”. Now obviously everybody is going to have their own opinion and answer to that question, but I thought I’d take some time and share my own thoughts on the matter.

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17 Ways to Bore Your Reader on the First Page – Guest Post by Emily Tjaden

Let’s face it: first pages are hard. First chapters are hard. First sentences are hard. Why? Because they are supposed to act like bait. They’re what’re going to hook your reader and drag them into the rest of the story. As a writer, your job description is pretty much a fisher of readers. And nobody ever said fishing was easy.

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In fact, fishing is really, really hard. I’m not trying to sound discouraging; it’s just the truth. Fishing takes patience, practice, and a whole lot of dedication. Many times, readers (including myself) never make it past the first page, let alone the first chapter of a novel. I’m going to turn off my novelist self for a few minutes and talk to you guys as a reader.

Sometimes novelists wonder what makes us put down their books before we’ve given them a chance. But I’m going to tell you a secret: readers aren’t nice people. We’re not going to read a book we aren’t totally fascinated by just because we want to give the author a chance. It doesn’t work that way. That makes the author’s job even harder, because now they have to learn to hook people who don’t want to be hooked. Continue reading