Showing posts from December, 2012

Giving Your Writing Emotional Impact

Eliciting emotional responses from your readers isn’t as easy as it sounds, because the right emotive reaction from them is what makes novels and stories so appealing. But to get that kind of response, the writing needs to be emotional, it needs to be arousing or moving etc - without being schmaltzy to the point where your reader might gag on the syrupy, soap-style sweetness of it all.   Conversely, you don’t want the writing to lack that important emotional punch either.   Little or no emotion in the narrative will produce a rather boring, flat read. Emotion within the story creates a sense of immediacy with the reader, a unique closeness that makes the reader empathise, understand and care about the characters. How to create emotion Firstly, you need a character that the reader will identify with, one that is fully realised and rounded, one that the reader will recognise and care about from the outset.   If you have a reader that does that, then it will be much easie

Twist in the Tale Stories

Continuing the theme of constructing short stories, one of the most popular styles of short story telling is the twist in the tale, especially within speculative fiction and horror genres. Not all stories have to have a surprise or sting at the end – most stories don’t need it, but the thing about the twist is that if done correctly, it makes for a great story; hence they enjoyed by readers.   It also represents a writer’s ability construct the story in quite a clever way. The premise of the twist in the tale story is very simple – the writer deliberately misleads the reader during the narrative, leading the reader to believe they might expect a certain ending, only then to be wrong-footed at the last possible moment to a shocking or surprising conclusion, one they ‘never saw coming’.   It sounds easy, but these types of stories are anything but.   And that’s because the twist – that moment you pull the rug from beneath the reader – happens only once and it must happen a

Getting to Grips with Short Stories Part 3

Structure - The ending Endings are just as important as the openings of stories. That’s because the ending of a story performs more than one function. A good ending is when the crux of the story reaches its pinnacle; that final moment before the climax. Everything in the story leads up to this moment. More importantly, the ending of a story is formed from the natural progression of the narrative.   You should never force an ending, otherwise you run the risk of demolishing the fabric of the story and thus ruining it for the reader, but also because they will see that it is contrived and forced. As with novels, short stories don’t have to have a happy ending.   Depending on the type of story you are writing, you can have a dramatic ending, a sad ending, a happy ending, or you can have the twist in the tail type of ending (these need careful consideration and construction in order to work – more on that next week). But whatever the genre, the ending needs to be natura

Getting to Grips with Short Stories Part 2

With your opening and your hook in place, your characters introduced, and the tone and crux of the story set, it’s time to look at the middle section of the short story structure.   This section is where the bulk of the story takes place, where conflict arises and pacing plays a vital role, and where key scenes happen. Structure – The Middle On the whole, the main portion of action happens in this section.   And just as you would construct narrative, description and dialogue in a novel, the same is true for short stories, where a balance of these three elements is crucial to the short story composition. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because it’s a short story that you have to scrimp on description and replace it with lots of dialogue, or replace any dialogue with constant action.   You don’t.   You need both in a balanced, equal measure. Set out the Character’s Motivation This section is where you show the reader the motivation for the main character’s acti