The Short Story: Need, Limits, and Theme #amwritng

After reading your post, I went back to my story and gave it a once over. Such great information in this post. Loved it.

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

When writing a short story, it helps to know how it will end. I suggest you put together a broad outline of your intended story arc. I’m a retired bookkeeper, so I have a mathematical approach to this. Divide your story arc into quarters, so you have the important events in place at the right time.

Assume you have a 4000 word limit for your short story.

You have less than three paragraphs before a prospective editor sets your work aside. If those paragraphs don’t grab her, she won’t buy your story. Pay attention: you absolutely must have a good opening paragraph.

The first 250 words are the setup and hook. The next 750 words takes your character out of their comfortable existence and launches them into “the situation” –will they succeed or not?

The next 2,500 words detail how the protagonist arrives at a resolution.

The final 500 words…

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The Dark Side of the Moon

Karen Dowdall has written a jaw dropping short story. Here’s hoping she turns it into a novel.

K. DeMers Dowdall

https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/03/01/march-speculative-fiction-prompt/

They are gone. All of them. I am alone on this planet. A planet now little more than a dustbin of old dreams of what could have been. They didn’t heed the warnings of what was to come without change.

Perhaps, it would have happened anyway. The change in the atmosphere was a warning, dismissed as fake news, until it wasn’t. The storms grew more violent, the sea raged over embankments, sea levels rose exponentially, displacing millions of families and communities around the planet. Fierce and deadly land wars began, food shortages were everywhere. All signs that something terrible was about to happen.

It started slowly at first. The air began to lose oxygen gas, nitrogen gas, and argon gas. It was replaced with greenhouse gases released from fossil fuels: nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and methane. The Atmosphere, Biosphere, and the Geosphere showed overwhelming signs that complete degeneration would…

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In the Night Wood by Dale Bailey

For those who love a true “Once Upon a Time” tale.

Cover to Cover

A FOREST. A BOOK. A MISSING GIRL.

Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside.

But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive. Isolated among the trees, Charles and Erin begin to feel themselves haunted – by echoes of the stories in the house’s library, by sightings of their daughter, and by something else, as old and dark as the forest around them.

A compelling and atmospheric gothic thriller, In the Night Wood reveals the chilling power of myth…

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Unraveling the mind of the Trump Supporter

Trump Voters A recent review paper published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by Professor Thomas Pettigrew of UC Santa Cruz cites 5 traits Trump supporters have in common.

1 Authoritarianism: A rigid hierarchical view of society.  This trait is triggered by fear of outsiders and by exaggerated threats to gain allegiance.

2 Social Dominance Orientation: (SDO Syndrome). This refers to those who prefer a hierarchy of high status to low status. Those with SDO Syndrome are typically dominant and driven by self-interest.

3 Prejudice: “Dog Whistles” are codes that appeal to those who are subject to bigotry. Bullying and slandering typically incite this syndrome.

4 Lack of Inter-group Contact: A division of zip-codes and isolation of whites are a strong predictor of the lack of true and meaningful interaction with minorities and immigrants.

5 Relative Deprivation: A skewed perception of what one is entitled to whether of economical or social status.

 

Deep and Heartrending,wonderful in every respect.

51j5p18mJNL__AC_US218_Delia Owens has crafted a novel with incredible details and a protagonist who will capture your heart.

When  six year old Kya is abandoned first by her mother and then her father, she is left to fend for herself in a hobbled together shack built by long deceased relatives.  Taught to be aware of strangers and the civilized world beyond the Marshlands and the coast of North Carolina, Kya grows up isolated from human contact. Her friends are the denizens of the Marsh and ocean. Gulls, fireflies and every sort of animal and insect become known to her. Kya learns to fish, steer a flat bottom boat, take care of the engine and dig for mussels which she sells to a kind old colored man named Jumpin’ who runs the wharf.

Kya comes to be known as The Marsh Girl. She is gossiped about and humiliated by the towns folk.

Her one friend is a young boy named, Tate. He is as attracted to the Marsh and ocean has he is to Kya. Eventually, he teaches Kya to read. He gives her science books and poetry. But time passes and Tate must leave her to go to college. Kya feels abandoned again, and her love for Tate breaks her heart. Several years pass, Kya is now a young woman and is preyed upon by the neighboring town’s football star and playboy, Chase. He lures Kya, who is desperate for human contact, into a sexual relationship with promises of marriage. But Kya learns he has married someone else. She breaks off all contact, but he refuses to let her go. One day he attempts to rape her. Beaten and bloodied, she fights back and runs.

Yet, Kya knows he will not stop, that he will keep coming after her. She knows she can’t live in fear waiting for his next attack.

Months later, Chase is found dead from a sixty foot fall from a fire tower within the Marsh. There are no prints or anything to actually connect Kya. In fact, she has an alibi confirmed by numerous people. Still, Kya is accused and arrested. The trial is portrayed in great detail. (No spoilers here!)

This is a wonder of a novel, crafted beautifully. I loved, loved this novel and highly recommend it for New Adults and Adults.

 

 

 

New Releases 1/8

Book People has compiled a varied look at a number of books, many for YA but also for adults. Brief, but insightful book reviews.

BookPeople

The Winter of the Witch: A Novel (Winternight Trilogy #3) Cover ImageThe Winter of the Witch

By Katherine Arden:

Following their adventures in The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya and Morozko return in this stunning conclusion to the powerful bestselling Winternight Trilogy, battling enemies mortal and magical to save both Russias, the seen and the unseen. Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and someone to blame. Ellen says “One of the things I think sets this trilogy apart from other fantasy series, is that each book has its own identity. I didn’t feel like I was reading the same book three times. The three books definitely go together, but enough changes in the plot, characters, and tone from book to book keep them interesting and distinct. Recommend highly for fans of Laini Taylor, Naomi Novik, Rachel Hartman, and maybe even Game of Thrones.” Don’t miss Katherine Arden at BookPeople

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