Short Story Development

Reconsider the narrative essay that you composed during the second quarter.  If you are unable to recall the essay consider a time in your past in which you experienced a memorable occurrence or witnessed an event that left an impression upon you.  You will use the event to “spark” the short story that you will compose this quarter.

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 true narrative essay, assigned earlier in the year, or the event which you recall will provide you with the premise for the short story that you will compose.  You may select the setting, perhaps a character or two or the event itself in which you will spin an altogether different  fictionalized story.  Remember that the greatest challenge for you may be to separate yourself from 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).

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

Characterizationprotagonist, 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 your true narrative essay for initial direction in order to move the action; your greatest challenge will no doubt be to separate yourself from the story.  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 10 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.