Archive for January, 2019

postheadericon A Very Short Story: Fewer Words and More Sense

Do you remember that epic episode from “Friends” when Ross and Rachel finally got together for the first time? They were describing their first kiss to a bunch of fellas. While Rachel went in all detail saying how gentle and nice it was, for Ross one word was enough to tell the whole story. And his buddies got all the gist just from one word! That`s what I call a talent of short story-telling. If you have no idea who “Friends” are (in which case you must be an alien because I can`t come up with any other logical explanation) or, perhaps, you`re just not a fan, you could have just skipped this whole first passage.

You must remember this episode from Hemingway`s biography that teachers at school were supposed to tell you about. Once Mr. Ernest got a bit tipsy at the bar. By the way, it was a rare thing because usually he was just completely hammered. And a world-known author made a bet with his friend. The good money was at a stake. Hemingway had to write the shortest story possible using only 6 words. Okay, this is an emotional moment, the guy was a genius indeed.

He wrote, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. I told you it was a touching story! See, it`s possible to tell the whole part of someone`s life, to depict tragedy using this little amount of words. So, this technique of extreme brevity can be useful for your essays and academic works. If you`re planning on writing an impressive very short story, here is some tips from you need to know.

That`s Why Reality Shows Exist

People are always interested in the lives of other people. That`s why modern television is flooded with various reality-shows and talk-shows. So, you have to come up with the main character who will cause a strong emotional response. The main hero of your story has to be extraordinary, interesting and, perhaps, have even weird habits or inclinations.

Or, as in the Hemingway`s example, the story has to deal with human emotions. Psychologists claim that negative feelings are stronger and more vivid than happy ones. But that doesn`t mean that your short story should revolve around a tragedy.

It Happened Somewhere in Neverland

Before you start Googling what Neverland is, let me just remind you that this is a place where Peter Pan lived. An action in your story has to take place somewhere. It has to be something exact, no vague explanations. It`s not that you have to choose a certain country or town. It`s better to go with something way more specific. You know how the action in a theatrical play may be concentrated in only one place? It can be one room or one house. But the audience should be able to see the hidden meaning of that locale.

People Simply Can`t Live in Peace

So, you`ve got a place and a character. Now, you have to come up with the central conflict of a story. It doesn`t necessarily have to be a family squabble or a fight between two people. Leave all that histrionic drama to the Kardashians. Your character may have an inner conflict, some mental struggle that is eating him/her up alive. The more relatable the story is, the better it will be received by the audience.

These are some ground rules. Basically, this plan is just like an undecorated Christmas tree that you have to make pretty with all the toys, aka your ideas. Pixar with all their ingenious short animated movies can teach you how to make any story really touching.