Thursday, April 22, 2010

Short Story Skeleton

A ghostly white form with craters for eyes is walking toward you. All you did was decide to start a short story, and this bony humanoid is telling you it's a necessary part of your writing experience. Don't scream in horror, it's only the skeleton of your short story.

Everything substantial has a skeleton, and a short story is one of them. A story's "skeleton" is merely the fundamental beginnings of your story. Every good writer thinks and plans their story before actually starting to write. Before you write the first sentence, you'll need to make out a blueprint for your story. Here are some rules and tips:
  1. Your passion for your story is crucial. If you don't have a deep, burning desire to write your story, it'll never get done. How the writer feels about a book really shows. Think about your story all the time, and have faith in it. Don't ever make the fatal mistake of letting yourself think a perfectly fine idea is wrong because you don't have enough experience, or because your last story was rejected. 
  2. An idea journal is also important. Buy a small notepad and whenever you have an idea for your book, write it down. Here are a few examples of how you should do this:
I was reading a book last night and thought of something. My heroine is going to be the daughter of a lawyer and his wife is a cashier at the local grocery.

This morning I realized my heroine's name. It will be Vicki. 
I think in the end Vicki will be in a field, beginning her first novel. I just feel it seems thoughts may change later in the writing. 
I thought of a name for my story. It will be The Precaution. 

 3. Be patient, because creating your skeleton is a process which will make you quite eager to begin your manuscript. A tip to remember is not to start writing until you can tell the story of your characters life beginning to end; even what happens after the curtains are closed to the reader.

4.  If you are interested in art, you might want to draw pictures of incidents in your character's life. The visual experience may help you to gain insight into your characters and also to make you more motivated. If you don't like drawing, you can just write mini-stories about your character. I'm pretty sure you like to write!

These were just some ideas for creating a skeleton for your short story. Just remember, if you're afraid of it, you can scare the skeleton itself. When your short story's skeleton is afraid it collapses. Those brittle bones just might break if you don't do it right. Be brave and enjoy!

1 comment:

Marlene said...

Thank you! Great tips and the ending was quite encouraging.