The blog tour is an excellent way of discovering new blogs and, because I've got some nominations languishing in the virtual cupboard waiting to be appropriately dispensed, I'm awarding each of the four non-commercial blogs partaking in this tour the honourable title of Versatile Blogger. (Only 6 more nominations to go, then.) Do pop over to their blogs to see whether you agree with me about their versatility.
Regarding my role in the current tour, by sheer coincidence, I already knew the writer I'd be hosting: Shelley Weiner helped me excise two superfluous point of view characters from my novel, Sugar and Snails – a painful but necessary amputation.
So, without further ado, it's over to Shelley and her tips on writing a powerful short story.
(Incidentally, I have no connection with the Faber Academy.)
Here, to get you started, are five essential tips:
- Know every character in your story. What does each one of them want? What will they do in order to get it?
- Be ruthless. Make something happen to your main character that will put him or her to the test. This will help your reader to care about the outcome, which is vital.
- Make your opening as close as possible to the ending. Constricting the time frame can strengthen your tale.
- Write your story as though it’s a letter to a friend who shares your sensibilities – and your sense of humour. It’s a trick to make your story more engaging and to help with the flow.
- Every word counts; every sentence should advance the story. Don’t waste a single comma or distract your reader’s attention with an ill-conceived metaphor or an irrelevant piece of purple prose.
Shelley Weiner is an acclaimed novelist, short-story writer, journalist and creative writing tutor at Faber Academy. Her summer course ‘The 5 Day Short Story’ begins on 4 August. To view the summer programme visit www.faberacademy.co.uk @FaberAcademy
I wonder what my blog readers think about these tips? And I wonder whether my own short fiction meets these criteria? Let the discussion begin!
And, if you're new to this blog, do take the time to mosey around my other posts on reading, writing and snippets of psychology and consider signing up for regular updates via the sidebar.