Short stories, Flash fiction, and Novel Excerpts

Posts Tagged ‘Suspense’

So you want to write a story

In Writing on January 11, 2010 at 1:16 am

So you want to write a story.  You’ve been reading for years and now you’re ready to take the next step.  You have something to say and want to ‘give it a go’, and why not?  First, learn the language, take classes or read how-to books.  Second, learn how to write, see number one.  Third, have something to say, something that comes, not just from the bottom of you heart, But from the deepest untouched part of your soul.  Got it?  Good, you can tell me how to do that.

If you’re just starting out, you really don’t need to worry about where it comes from.  What you need to do is write.  Do not be afraid to fail.  Do not be afraid to suck.  You will, we all do.  Just write.

Some things to keep in mind when trying to craft a story:

Showing cause & effect.  If your character does something, it should have some type of consequence.  Remember:  Every action has an equal and opposite re-action.

Compare and contrast to develop an idea.  Use other characters to show what may or may not work in your story.  (This Guy failed to accomplish something because…  While this Gal succeeded because she had the right idea.)

Use classification to a purpose.  Most people will tell you to stay away from cliché’s and archetypes, to come up with something original.  But why would you do that now?  You’re just practicing your writing, use what ever you want.  What you want to do is give it purpose.  If you use a cliché, make it work, sweat, and bleed in your story.  Have it earn its place in your writing.

I’ll leave it to you to decide the order of importance of:

Setting

Plot

Character

But these are the three main things you must have in any story.  Everything else follows naturally.

Things to describe:

Who, what, when, where, why, and how.  I’ve heard some say that this is only for journalistic writing, but that’s not true.  This goes for each character, each experience, and each world visited by your writing.  These are things we need to know.

Do not forget the five senses.  Touch, Sight, Smell, Sound, Taste.  Often, new writers will miss these touches that can add so much to any piece of writing.  Don’t forget them, open up your world to us, make it unforgettable.

Choose and limit a subject.  Find out where you want to start, and where you want to end.

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Only fool’s rush in

In Writing on January 8, 2010 at 10:37 pm

It sat on the shelf, calling to him.  Every time he turned his head, he would catch a flicker out the corner of his eye.  Its shadow haunted his soul, obscuring the light of all before him.  Food lost all taste.  Life leeched of color.

No more could he stand it, the dread of trying.  Hands shaking and cold with the thought failure, Stephen pushed his chair back and stood.  He turned and faced the bookcase.  He stood there, chest heaving and fists clenched at his sides, laboring to take that first step.  His body shook and tears trailed their way down his cheeks as he strove to overcome his fear.

Stephen turned his head away.  His pasty white cheeks burned with shame.  His own inadequacies dropped down into the pit of his stomach.  He had failed to try.

He pounded his fist into the table, bruising his knuckles.  Again and again he punched out, burying his humiliation in pain.  Bright blood splattered the table, flew across the desk in long slow arcs, shattering him from his haze of agony.

Stephen turned on his heel, knocking the chair out of his way, and raced his dread to the book.  Everything in the room seemed to stand in his way.  He tripped over the rug, slipped on a stool, crashed into the lamp, and slammed against the bookcase.  But he was there, he made it.

Reverently, he set the book down on the blood painted table.  He sat, sharpened his quill, unstopped the ink, and opened the book.  Blank pages filled with words.  Flowing over the virgin canvas, page after page swelled with life and love.

An eternity later, exhausted, beaten, and battered he reached the last page.  He wrote, THE END, and fell dead upon his work.  With a smile.

Quote writing prompt:  Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) British politician, poet and critic.
The only living works are those which have drained much of the author’s own life into them.

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In Uncategorized, Writing on January 3, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I’ll be here

Disaster

In Uncategorized, Writing on December 23, 2009 at 2:01 am

The land tolled as if struck.  Undulating waves of soil threw me to the ground.  Stunned, I watched my apartment building collapse in on itself.

“Noooooo,” I screamed.

All arguments and counters flew from my convulsing mind as I shuddered in time with the earth.  Tremors threatened to knock me off my feet as I raced to the rubble that was my life.

I dug, pulled, shoved, and fought my way to her.  Bleeding, broken, and impotent, the EMS carried me away.

I sat cradling my raw lacerated hands, the noise around me muted.  Someone close by asked me questions I couldn’t hear.

Roiling over and over through my mind were her last words.

“I called and called, why didn’t you answer your phone?”  She demanded.

“I didn’t know you called,” I replied, my temper rising.  “My phone died on me.”

“Why aren’t you ever around when I need you?”  She accused.

Mad, but not wanting to argue while my wife lay sick in bed, I stepped outside to have a smoke.

Law of Nines–Terry Goodkind–Book review

In Writing on December 16, 2009 at 1:37 am
Ever wonder if someone else is also looking at you through the mirror? Terry Goodkind has. Chased by unknown foes, Reasoning your way through life and art, and inheriting mysterious tracts of land is a day in the life of Alexander Rahl.

Wait! Rahl? I wonder why that sounds so familiar? Hmmm, it could be because that name was so prevalently used in his last series. And unfortunately, it’s not the only thing that will be revisited from the Sword of Truth series.

If your looking for a fresh new start from Terry Goodkind, this is probably not the book for you. Plot sequence, character’s, and theme’s were all from Wizard’s First Rule. It was almost like painting by numbers, for writing. Don’t get me wrong, I like the theme, I like his writing, but I wasn’t expecting to pay hardback price for a book I’ve already got.

If on the other hand you’ve never read any of Terry Goodkind’s other works; the book is/can be quite enjoyable. The story has an edge-of-your-seat flow that will keep you up past your bed-time and characters that jump to life before your eyes.

Since I’m already acquainted with Terry Goodkind’s work: **
If I pretend I’ve never read him before: ****