Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Last Challenge

Hello everybody!  It's Grace.  This is late because FINALS

THIS IS THE LAST SHORT STORY CHALLENGE!!!!!!!

We'll still keep up the blog, it'll just be a normal blog with bloggy posts and bloggy things.  Not us telling you what to write.

Well...we'll still tell you what to write because we're the lords of the universe who reign together and occasionally bow to your humble selves to instruct you on how to be yourself.

Anyway, this month we have the 100 word short story.  I wrote one of these towards the beginning of the year, and it is not easy.  I kept having one word more or less or something crazy like that.  So here's my advice from my 100 word experience.

EVERY WORD COUNTS.
This isn't even a point it's just an entity all to itself it's so important.  EVERY WORD COUNTS!!!!

1. Cut out the word "that".
Do you realize how much we overuse this word?  "She said that she'd meet him" is one word longer than "she said she'd meet him".  And it still means the same thing!  We use this word sooooo much!  So when you're editing your story, look for that word.  If you can take it out without changing the meaning of your sentence, hit that backspace like your life depends on it!

2. Use a lot of imagery.
Using metaphors and images gets a picture across to your audience without forcing you to describe it in detail.  The also have a stronger sound and make your story much more impressive.  "Christopher was a hurricane" is a lot more effective and meaningful than "Christopher was a very rambunctious and crazy person who only had occasional moments of calmness and left you feeling rather blown apart".  It's also much shorter.  When you're writing a story where every word must be loaded with meaning, you need to choose the most effective way to get a point through.  It is possible to over-use imagery, but being as your story is only 100 words long, I'd like to see you try.

3. Focus on what's left unsaid.
This sounds very deep and philosophical but I'm serious.  Stay with me here.  When you're trying to say as little as possible, what you do say needs to imply a lot of other things that, if you said them, would massively increase your word count.  So when you write about a town, don't say "there was a town in Kansas which had a population of just enough people to fill a football field, white houses, and a general store".  Say "the bell in the steeple rang out the time".  Why talk about a church when there's an entire town left unmentioned?  Because in the past, churches were often situated in the center of town.  We instantly think of a small village without even mentioning the rest of the details.  You can add something like "children's laughter filled the streets, the hum of cars passing to and fro...", but you get the point.  Don't go into a detailed description.  Add hints of what exists, and let people's imagination fill in the rest.



I hope that made sense.  It's really difficult to write something that only uses a few words, and it's tricky to put into words how to make the most of those words.  Do you guys realize how hard it is to tell you how to avoid saying things?  Like "oh don't say this, just imply it, and here's how to not say it".   It's hard guys.

Anyway, good luck with your short stories!  I don't know if we'll post as many writing things on here after this month.  I probably will, but I'll also probably rant about how I want to change the world but am too introverted to do anything more than smile.  I have a huge argument in my favor in my head, but will I ever say it?  Nope.

I'll just have to publish lots of essays.  And then no one can interrupt me!  Yes!  I HAVE DISCOVERED THE WAY TO CONQUER THE WORLD!





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