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Writing Workshop Writing a Short Story

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Title: Writing Workshop Writing a Short Story


1
Writing WorkshopWriting a Short Story
Feature Menu
Assignment Prewriting Find a Story Idea Plan
Your Story Practice and Apply
2
Writing a Short Story
Assignment Write a short story in which you use
your imagination to express yourself and
entertain others.
Have you ever had an exciting experience and
thought to yourself, This would make a good
story? Ideas for stories are everywherein your
own life, in other peoples lives, and in your
imagination. Here is your chance to try out one
of those ideas and write your own short story.
End of Section
3
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Find a Story
Idea
A short story is a work of fiction, but it can be
based on real events. Think about events
  • in the world

an earthquake a heroic water rescue
  • in your life

competing in a talent show welcoming a baby
brother
  • in someone elses life

an aunts wilderness adventure a neighbors
brush with stardom
4
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Find a Story
Idea
Use your imagination for story ideas. Dream up
  • people and animals

a quirky young princess a man who sleeps
standing up
  • places and worlds

a city in 2050 an icy planet
  • adventures and problems

coming face to face with an crocodile opening a
soup kitchen
End of Section
5
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Every story has five basic ingredients
  • PlotWhat happens in the story?
  • CharactersWho are the people in your story?
  • Point of ViewWho will narrate, or tell, your
    story?
  • SettingWhere and when does your story take
    place?
  • ThemeWhat idea about life does your story
    illustrate?

6
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Plot Build the plot of your short story around
a conflict, a struggle between opposing forces.
External conflict
Internal conflict
7
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Plot and External Conflicts
Character versus character
Hector and his best friend James are both trying for first prize in the school talent show.
Character versus environment
Miguel gets caught in a blizzard and must find ways to stay warm until help arrives.
Character versus situation
Cynthia battles city hall to start a meal delivery service for seniors in her community.
8
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Plot and Internal Conflict
Character versus himself or herself (a struggle between conflicting ideas and feelings within a character)
David wants to take Tasha to the dance, but he has already committed to babysitting that night.
9
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
  • Elements of Plot
  • Expositionintroduction of characters and conflict
  • Rising actionevents leading to the climax
  • Climaxemotional high point of the story
  • Resolutionoutcome of conflict

10
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Developing Plot Use narrative details to bring
your story to life. Describe your characters
  • actions

a buzz in the auditorium students from every
grade filing in, carrying costumes and props
Hector and James waving to each other but sitting
on different sides of the room
  • movements
  • gestures
  • feelings

11
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Arranging Plot Events Arrange the events in
chronological order, the order in which they
actually occur. Use flashbacks to provide
background information.
Event 2Hector and James kid about whos going to
win.
Event 1 audition day
Event 3Hector rehearses his act.
Event 4the big night
Flashback Hector and James meet each other for
the first time.
12
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
The Pace of the Plot Pace the action of your plot
to reflect the mood youre trying to create.
Slow pacetense but thoughtful mood
Hector practically drags his feet as he walks up
to the cafeteria table to sit with James.
Fast pacefeeling of excitement or anxiety
The curtains part. Hector takes deep breath. His
heart pounds in his chest.
13
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
  • Characters Appearance
  • How does my main character look?

dark brown hair, tall and thin, neat, stylish
  • What are his or her mannerisms?

taps his pencil, rubs his chin when thinking
  • How does he or she act, think, feel, and talk?

proud of musical talent, serious, competitive
Supporting Characters
14
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Characters Speech Use dialogue, or conversation
between characters, to help bring your
characters to life. Make sure your dialogue
sounds real to life.
15
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Point of View First Persona character narrates
the story using the first-person pronoun I. The
character can tell only what he or she could
logically know and what he or she feels, thinks,
or experiences.
I could hardly believe how many people were
auditioning. When I saw James standing on the
other side of the room next to some props, I
could feel myself tense up. Why did he have to
try out, too?
16
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Point of View Third Person Omniscientan outside
observer tells the story using third-person
pronouns (he, she, they). This narrator sees all
and knows all and can use shifting perspectives
to reveal different characters thoughts,
feelings, and attitudes.
Hector walked into the crowded auditorium. The
whole room was buzzing with excitement. When
Hector and his best friend James spotted each
other, they both tensed.
Interior Monologue
17
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Setting Setting can play a major role in a short
story, or it can be relatively unimportant.
Setting can also affect mood.
18
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Setting Use sensory detailswords describing
sights, sounds, and smellsto help readers
picture the setting.
Sounds
Smells
Sights
a student warming up on trumpet microphone
feedback muffled conversations
faint hint of wood cleaner musty clothing and
mothballs a girls strong perfume hairspray
a jam-packed auditorium, students pacing
backstage, red velvet stage curtains
19
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Theme What idea about life does your story
illustrate? Use your characters, plot, setting,
and point of view to suggest your theme.
As long as the spirit of competition does not
turn bitter, good friends can compete with each
other and still remain close. Their friendship
might even become stronger.
End of Section
20
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Practice and
Apply
Use the instructions in this section to develop
the plot, characters, setting, and theme of a
short story. Add sensory details to enhance your
story.
End of Section
21
The End
22
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Supporting Characters Dont spend a lot of time
developing a supporting character who appears
only briefly in your story.
If a supporting character plays a key role in
your story, give more detail about the
characters appearance, mannerisms, and actions.
23
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Interior Monologue Interior monologue is a
technique writers use to reveal a characters
thoughts. The character thinks out loud so the
reader knows what the character is thinking.
24
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
  • Interior Monologue
  • If you write from the first-person point of
    view, you must limit your use of interior
    monologue to the narrator.
  • With a third-person-omniscient narrator, you can
    use interior monologue for any character.

25
Writing a Short StoryPrewriting Plan Your Story
Mood The details of your setting can affect the
storys moodthe feeling or atmosphere of the
story. What feeling would you like your story to
have?
thoughtful, tense
festive, lively
eerie, mysterious
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