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Short Story Skeleton

Before you begin your short story you will need to do some preparation and make a "skeleton" for your story. Just like a human body, the body of your story needs a skeleton to keep it from collapsing.

Here are some tips and tricks for preparing your short story:

Your passion for your story is crucial. If you do not have a deep, burning desire to write your story, it will never get written. The way you feel about your story will greatly affect the quality of your story. Think about your story all the time. Enjoy thinking about and planning it!

Believe in your story. Do not ever make the fatal mistake of letting yourself think a great idea is bad because you do not have enough experience, or because your last story was rejected by publishers.

An idea journal is also important. Buy a small notepad and whenever you have an idea for your book, write it down. Here are a few examples of how you should do this:

4.20.10

I was reading a book last night, and decided that my heroine is going to be the daughter of a lawyer. Her mother will work as a cashier at the local grocery.

4.22.10

This morning I decided that Vicki will be the name of my heroine..

4.23.10

I think in the end Vicki will be in a field, beginning her first novel. It just feels right....my thoughts may change later.

4.25.10

I thought of a name for my story. It will be The Precaution.

Be patient, because preparing your story is a process which will make you quite eager to begin your manuscript. Remember this tip: Do not start writing until you can tell the life story of each character from beginning to end; even what happens after the curtains are closed to the readers.

If you are interested in art, you might want to draw pictures of incidents in the lives of your characters. The visual experience may help you gain insight into your characters and also to make you more motivated. If you do not like drawing, you can just write mini-stories about the characters. I am sure you like to write! I like to write a paper about each character, describing their part in the story, physical attributes, age, and anything else I think will help my characters to be believable.

When your skeleton is complete, you can begin your first draft. Good luck!

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The Blue Pencil
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