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Tips for Writing a Short Story Narrative Writing Skills.

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Presentation on theme: "Tips for Writing a Short Story Narrative Writing Skills."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tips for Writing a Short Story Narrative Writing Skills

2 Conclusion Resolves the conflict Tells the last event The Basics of a Short Story Introduction Gives necessary background information by: Introducing characters Describing the setting Body Introduces the conflict Develops main characters Tells a sequence of events Builds towards climax

3 A Successful Short Story Should… Use the elements of character, setting, and plot to develop the storyline Use vivid language, concrete details, and dialogue Develop and resolve a central conflict Present a clear and logical sequence of events

4 Before you Write: Things to Think About Characters: Who is the main character? Who is the narrator? Setting: What is the setting? How will this affect the plot? Mood: Is your story funny, sad, dramatic? Organization: What happens first, second, last? Plot: What is the problem? Why did it occur? What will solve it?

5 The First Step: A Catchy Hook Just like a traditional essay starts with an attention grabber, your short story should start with a “hook” that engages your reader. There are many different ways to “hook” your reader. Let’s look at a few ways with the handout “Little Red Riding Hooks”. Now you try. Use one of the techniques we just discussed and write a catchy hook for your story.

6 The Second Step: Developing Your Conflict Your “body paragraphs” should continue to develop the characters you introduced in the beginning, and develop the central conflict. Separate your events clearly into paragraphs (most likely in chronological order)

7 The Final Step: Resolution After you have developed your plot and characters, had your story reach a climax of events, and resolved major conflicts, you need a resolution Make sure to resolve any conflicts, and don’t leave your reader asking “Then what?”

8 Writing Tips: DO…. Use vivid language. Don’t just tell the reader how angry your character is, show them by his/her thoughts and actions. Use dialogue. Let the character’s words fit their personality. This is one of the few times when slang is ok. Use description. Pay attention to the details you use to show the reader what is happening. Use interesting adjectives & lively verbs

9 Writing Tips: DON’T… Change point of view in the middle of the story. Whether you write in first- person or third person, stay consistent. Be too wordy. Write clearly and concisely, and combine sentences to avoid repetition. Use vocabulary you are unfamiliar with.

10 A Final Note on Dialogue If you use dialogue in your story, remember –Use quotation marks –Start a new paragraph each time you have a new speaker.

11 Show vs. Tell Details When writing a story, you always want to have for “show details” vs. “tell details.” A “show detail” is a concrete example or detail that shows the reader what is happening, vs. simply telling them. Use sensory details and specific examples as well as good diction.

12 Show vs. Tell Details “The man was distracted” (Tell detail). “The man stumbled on the bottom stair as he frantically read the text message he just received” (Show detail).

13 Now you try! Write a short paragraph where use strong “show” details based on one of the following sentences: –The girl wore an interesting outfit. –It was an unbelievable game/concert. –I took the stage.

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