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Short Stories and the Writing Solar System.

Short Stories and the Writing Solar System.

Short Stories and the Writing Solar System.

Posted: 19 Nov 2010 02:43 PM PST

Short stories - what are they? How do you write one? Why would you want to? Is it worth the time and effort to write one?

All of the above questions are both good and valid ones. Will I be answering all of them in this article? Oh, I don't think so; not because I think that would be a really long one but I don't feel like I have enough information to answer all of them properly. Those are just a few questions I have regarding and low word count friends of the writing world. As I dive deeper into this topic I plan to eventually discover an answer or two for these and many more questions.

What is a short story? If you said (or thought) a story that is short you would be correct. That is the simple, most logical answer; however, we know nothing is simple when it comes to the law of writing. There is always more than meets the eye. I do believe an illustration is in order. Many refer to writing and publishing as the world of publishing or the world of writing. I believe it is more like a solar system. You see, in the writing solar system, planets revolve around a sun much like or own solar system. What are these planets and what is the sun? What about the stars and the moons?

The sun represents the publishing houses, both large and small, self publishers and now the E-publishers. The sun supplies the means of life, heat and energy to the planets. The planets that revolve around the sun are many but here are a few: planet novel, planet poetry, planet memoir, and planet short story. Not every planet has a moon revolving around it; however, the planets poetry and short story do. Their moons are named magazines and anthologies.

If we take a closer look at each planet we see that they are made up of continents known as genres. As for all the stars that make up the writing solar system they represent all the writers, authors and readers.

I hope you enjoyed visualizing that as much as I enjoyed writing it but I also hope you see the big picture. Everything is different and unique but also represents a part of larger unit. If you removed one element from the solar system would the whole thing come crashing down? I don't believe so but the missing piece would indeed be missed and there would exist a hollow spot.

This brings us back to the question - what is a short story? A more detailed inspection will show that a short story is a condensed novel. It has all the same parts and pieces but it structured in a much more concise manner. The scope is scaled back as is the number of characters but plot, tension, and flow are all very important aspects of a short story. The hook is very important as well and it needs to be set quickly. There is a little space to set the hook in a novel but not in a short story.

We will look at short stories in more detail soon. For now I believe it is time to start the weekend.

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