It sounds easy enough

I've been doing a lot of reading about short story writing.

In the hour or so before lunch, I created 10 unique characters. Not fully fleshed out in detail, but 10 unique characters foundations on which to build the rest of their lives. That felt good. OK, I've got some people (clearly too many for one short story — I'm banking the leftovers) and now it's time to do something with them.

Plots. There must be a 'magic' formula for the things, so I did some digging. After skimming several online articles I came across the most beautifully simplistic description of how a short story works. I'll paraphrase:

– put a man up a tree

– throw some rocks at him

– get the man down from the tree

That's it? That's the distillation of every short story out there? Well, not all of them, but I'll bet if you apply this to most of the ones you've read you'll see a ridiculously simple pattern emerge.

Now, I just need to find my guy a tree…

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~ by Jen on Friday, 12 May 2006 - 4:19pm.

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