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Thread: Short Story Writing

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    Cadet Wurger's Avatar
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    Short Story Writing

    I write short stories well, but my ideas are criticised. I am told by my teacher that the idea is too basic (someone selling their home - struggling through that - this was for journey last year). I feel like since it is basic it can be adapted well. Should I adopt a more sophisticated idea (discovery of Egyptian tomb) or should I keep to my previous idea? And also if I got with the tomb idea, how do I adapt the story if the stimulus isn't related?

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    New Member Haramsnackpack's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story Writing

    I agree that your current method of writing is much better than the egyptian tomb story because it will be easier to adapt + more realistic and appealing to the reader.

    Perhaps what your teacher was referring to was a lack of emotional action/tension in your story. You can improve this integrating emotional flashbacks and internal character conflicts in your story- e.g. protagonist gets triggered into memories of the past as they view different objects in the house, or the reason they are leaving the house is because it has memories of domestic abuse etc.
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    Senior Member Orwell's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story Writing

    Would need to see the piece of writing in question before making a determination.

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    Cadet Wurger's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story Writing

    Quote Originally Posted by Haramsnackpack View Post
    I agree that your current method of writing is much better than the egyptian tomb story because it will be easier to adapt + more realistic and appealing to the reader.

    Perhaps what your teacher was referring to was a lack of emotional action/tension in your story. You can improve this integrating emotional flashbacks and internal character conflicts in your story- e.g. protagonist gets triggered into memories of the past as they view different objects in the house, or the reason they are leaving the house is because it has memories of domestic abuse etc.
    Well interestingly enough, I did exactly that. How he had good and bad memories, regrets etc, and the journey was him letting go, which he eventually does. I got 9/15 for it.

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    Cadet Dilara98's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story Writing

    Honestly, the idea is not just basic, but very cliche. Writing a clitche story is the worst sin possible in English

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    Re: Short Story Writing

    Hi!
    It sounds like the kinda story I'd write maybe
    I would suggest having more action in the story like with other characters appearing,
    not just in the flashback, a conflict/ argument of some kind?
    Because right now it sounds more like a reflective story where the protagonist just thinks about it
    and eventually comes to a conclusion.
    Also you need to have more than one discovery! A physical discovery (grave, treasured childhood item)
    and the main emotional and intellectual, etc self discovery.
    Good luck!

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    water enthusiast captainhelium's Avatar
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    Re: Short Story Writing

    In my opinion, I think that the way you express the atmosphere and establish the characters in a story is a bit more important than the overarching plot.

    Also, if possible, I would recommend writing a story based off an experience that you personally had. You would be able to insert a lot more emotion and vivid imagery of the surroundings and atmosphere since you would know yourself what it felt like. Writing a story based off something you haven't experienced may be a bit harder since you would have to imagine what the mood would be like and you'd have to conjure up some eloquent word description of a place that you've never been to before.

    Some other tips for creative writing which could possibly help:
    - Keep the character count low (max 3 characters if possible)
    - Have a complex structure. Maybe have an analepsis or prolepsis rather than just a straight linear progression.
    - Put some emphasis on describing the setting and overall mood. Markers would appreciate your story more if they are able immerse theirselves in your story and feel like they're part of the world that your characters are in.
    - Use some dialogue but don't use it excessively. I had around 5-8 lines of dialogue in my story.
    - Give some practice stories to your teacher to mark lol and take their feedback into account. They're the ones marking your piece so you'll want to please them a lot. However, for the HSC exam, go with what you feel comfortable with.
    - Also, don't write a cliched story.

    I hope the above helps. I hated English during my HSC so I don't know if my advice is worthwhile or not.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by captainhelium; 12 Jan 2018 at 3:14 PM.
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