Short Story Develpment

Performance Indicators

P.S. ELA-1 Language:   Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

A. Notice and correct grammatical and mechanical errors in writing.
B. Demonstrate command of correct sentence structure and variety.
C. Apply standard usage to formal speaking and writing.

P.S ELA-5 Writing Craft:   Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

A. Create an effective introduction.
B. Use showing details v. telling details.
C. Maintain a focus on the main idea throughout the body paragraphs.
D. Write an effective conclusion.


Dee Stiffler writes, “Writers cannibalize their lives all the time. They feed on their experiences and memories — as well as those of others — to produce text that ranges from true art to…the fabric of fiction.”  Your Abby Willingham narrative will provide you with the premise for the short story that you will compose.  You may reconsider any aspect of your story, other than the main character, such as the setting or perhaps a character or two or the event itself in which you may spin an altogether different fictionalized story.  Remember that the greatest challenge for you may be to reconsider the original story, but you must do so in order for the story to be fulfilled.  Compose a fictional story in which you have richly developed the indicated components for a short story in order to satisfy your reader (no set length).  Your composition should be engineered with consideration to the rhetorical model.  Each story that you and your classmates compose will have at least one common development:  Abby Willingham has a problem.  

The (indicated) components that should be developed in your story:

Characterization– protagonist, antagonist
Point of View

The link included will assist you with understanding these short story components
Short Story Literary Definitions

The greatest imposed limitation will be that your narrative must rely on the Abby Willingham narrative for initial direction in order to move the action. Remember the writer makes up the rules, thus your story can follow whatever course you so desire.

Writers on writing

The final copy is due Day 7 of the fourth quarter.  The story must be typed or computer processed, display a cover page expressing the standard heading, and utilize MLA standards for page numbering and spacing.



Write about what you know—or would like to know

There are no new stories in the world, only fresh ones.

Observe closely; then write with all your senses.

The I in your story is not you.

If you care for a character in your story, give it a kick in the pants.

Show, don’t tell.

Share your writing.

A good critic and a good friend are two different things.

1.  Brainstorming: 
webbing, short story outline

Reflection on life’s observations: I have never written a story in my life that didn’t have a very firm foundation in actual human experience            –Katherine Anne Porter

Whatever our theme in writing, it is old and tired.  Whatever our place, it has been visited by the stranger, it will never be new again.  It is only the vision that can be new; but that is enough.    –Eudora Welty

2.  Organizing:  Freytag’s Pyramid & webbing

3.  Developing:  Compose your short story…write, write, write….

Sometimes you know the story. Sometimes you make it up as you go along and have no idea how it will come out.  Everything changes as it moves.  That is what makes the movement which makes the story.                                                                                                                 –Ernest Hemingway

A writer really writes for an audience of about ten persons.  Of course, if others like it, that is a clear gain.  But if those ten are satisfied, he is content.           –Alfred North Whitefield

4.  Finalizing:  Peer edit, Final Draft

To begin with you are required to develop a webbing and then a Freytag’s pyramid for your story.  You will be able to change any details of your story at any point during the composition of your work.  Do not feel locked into any aspect of your story–remember that the writer makes up the rules.