The definition of a short story is a piece of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting. Short stories originally emerged from traditional oral storytelling in the 17th century. In terms of word count they are usually under 7,500 words, however this word count can vary. Due to the diversity of short story content it is not easy to characterize them, they may differ between genres, countries, eras, and commentators. They feature a small cast of characters and focus on a self-contained incident using plot, resonance, literary techniques or other dynamic components but not in as much depth as a novel.
Short stories are considered, by many, as an apprenticeship form preceding more lengthy works, however they are a crafted form in their own right. Short story writers usually publish their narratives within a collection as part of an artistic or personal expression form.
This concentrated form of…
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As a writer, you want readers to find your stories, but you may not have a lot of money to put towards that goal. After all, writing is often a hobby or part-time job, and it doesn’t make any income until the books sell…but the books can’t sell until people know they’re out there. So how do you get readers to know about your book without spending a lot of money?
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From the time my children were toddlers, every other week or more we’d go to the library and max out our cards. I’d carry a large mesh bag in and load it up with a huge stack of board books and picture books (and later chapter books and early readers and so on). We’d read four every night before bed (not always on weekends), taking turns, page by page, on who got to read once they’d graduated to that level. The three of us absolutely loved this special time together (sometimes with Dad instead of with Mom) and rarely skipped it. Today, they are A students in upper elementary and high school. While I certainly can’t take all of the credit for their grades, (not even close!) I have to believe that some of their ability to excel in school, as well as their love of learning, has to do…
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by Doug Lewars
Mythology is a goldmine for authors–particularly those who write fantasy–although some of the plots within the myths can be adapted to other genres as well. Myths are a feature of every culture and they’re generally used to explain natural phenomena or the establishment of cultural norms. They are deemed to be of sufficient importance that courses on the subject are offered at the university level.
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How many of you remember the dreaded research papers you had to write in high school? Raise your hand. Better off, don’t raise your hand. That’s too reminiscent of being back in school. But anyway, I’ll tell you this: if I never have to write another research paper in my life, I won’t complain.
What I hated the most about the process was how formal and rigid it was. When I was in school, the Internet was still pretty new, so we, the unfortunate victims, spent hours in libraries using dusty reference books that served better as paper weights and taking notes from pages with tiny print. We had to write on 3×5 notecards in pencil. We needed to come up with an outline, and this was to be done the proper way with the numbers, letters, Roman numerals, and I don’t even know what. The rough draft was written…
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by Richard Risemberg
Do you love subordinate clauses? I know I do. And how about assonance and alliteration, rhythm and rhyme? Let’s face it: they can be as tasty as chocolate.
But would you make an entire meal of just…chocolate? (Okay, whoever said “yes” please leave the room now!)
Consider this a meeting of Overwriters Anonymous. My name is Rick, and I used to write overelaborate sentences. Clever and musical they were; there was just too much of them. Frankly, my dependence on brilliant phrasing destroyed my relationship with my early novels, and we haven’t seen each other in decades. The words just got in the way of the meaning after a while, exhilarating though they could be.
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