Monday, April 11, 2011

The Short Story: Word Count


The short story is normally between 1,000 to 5,000 words. Before this 21st century the popular selling length was 3,000 words.

There are lots of short stories around, and its main characteristic is vividness. Is it a narrative that involves one unified episode or related events. It has a plot (that is the beginning, middle, end). The plot involves rising action(conflict), climax (turning point), falling action (denouement) and/or conclusion (resolution). The elements of fiction among others are theme, setting, character, points of view, style and voice, and symbolism.

When I made my first fiction story (way back graduate school days), I had all sorts of mixed feelings inside my stomach. I even felt, I was in a different world. Some might think it funny, but I thank my writing teachers and editors for helping me get through with it.

Professor Bisa after an exam of writing one story spontaneously, told me that the story was acceptable, but it was not clearly written, for I had many erasures. At least, it was only a matter of good handwriting. A good format is required, as well.

I had written some stories in Filipino, and with a group of other noted and hard-working writers. To hone skills in fiction writing, comments and support from other skilled writers press the creative talents and truly help the exploring fiction writer.

Using one's own language in the short story (native tongue), gives that stark feeling of something really biting. I don't know what that means. Way back, trying to write children's stories for some TV episodes was fun, especially when doing the brainstorming method to be able to write a good story on TV. However, I did not pursue with that aspect.

Short stories (fiction) are majestic to write, but some find it scary. For me, it's more scary than writing simple poems, letters, or magazine articles. I owe my teachers a lot, the editors, and my writer friends, where finding my true self. May God bless them and all the writers and teachers giving inspiration to the readers everyday.

Sir Duque and the editors were so kind and gave free seminars to a writer's group helping them to improve the craft of fiction writing. A writer has to write more and more because what would one improve if he/she hasn't written anything.

The duty of a devoted writer is to produce a rich harvest of works, so the teachers' toil and effort would not come to waste.

Let us write now! Try.

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Me. In October 2017