The Silver Birch

I finished my short story, The Silver Birch. Well the draft anyway. There is plenty of work to be done still. I’ll be sending off to a competition for the 8th. Reckon I’ll leave it alone for a day or two before cracking on with the revision. It’s only a thousand word story and I’m pretty happy with the first draft, just need to settle on tenses, repetition clichés etc.

For a while I struggled with short stories but recently I think I’ve cracked it. E. M Welsh wrote an excellent piece on how to outline short stories, this is just a snippet below.

  • Plot Point 1: A brief glance at ordinary life. This can often be so brief it is only a sentence or a few words, or it can take up a large portion of the short story.
  • Plot Point 2: Something out of the ordinary happens. What is out of the ordinary can vary. It can be that someone arrives and interrupts the characters usual way of life, or it can be more subtle and just involve a new perspective or shift in a mood. In other words, a change occurs.
  • Plot Point 3: The character responds to the change. This can be by ignoring it and remaining unaffected, or by addressing it and experiencing the consequences, no matter how insignificant or significant they may be.

Next I figure out what beats will be in each plot point, then it’s time to put each beat into a scene. This little list below has been invaluable to me when hashing out a scene. It also helps if facing a blank page is terrifies you. Unfortunately I can’t remember where I came across it. When I find the source I’ll add it here.

  • Set The Scene
  • Characters goals
  • Action/Dialogue
  • Success /Failure
  • Reflecting on the change

When all this is done I work out a rough word count per scene. For this piece I had five scenes, meaning I needed roughly 200 words per scene. It turned out a little more for some and less for others.

Thanks for reading folx, Stay safe if you can.

Today I wrote 573 words

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