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Short Stories: October 05, 2022 Issue [#11586]

 This week: A Short Story Cycle
  Edited by: Lilli ☕️ 🧿
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.”
~ Lorrie Moore

“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.”
~ Edgar Allan Poe

“Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being "false," "untrue," yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.”
~ Clark Zlotchew

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Letter from the editor

What is a 'short story cycle' (also referred to as a story sequence or composite novel)?

         The difference between the collection of short stories in a short story cycle and the chapters in a novel is that each of the short stories in a short story cycle can stand on its own, unlike the chapters of a novel. Every story in a short story cycle has a beginning, a middle, and an end, but when the stories are read within a collection the reader learns about a larger world, gets more depth into the characters, etc. This special dynamic must have an awareness of what the other stories accomplish; therefore, cycles are usually written with the expressed purpose to create a cycle as opposed to being gathered and arranged later.

When thinking about writing a short story cycle, consider incorporating one (or more) of these as a way to establish a theme:

*Writer* A geographical area
         Set all the stories in the same location/town/city

*Writer* A central protagonist, which has the option of also being the narrator
         This will be the main character in all of the stories

*Writer* A collective protagonist
         This is a group that functions as a central character (a couple, an extended family, a special-interest group)

*Writer* Patterns to create coherence/cohesion
         Cohesion refers to how parts of a text across the stories are connected together
         Coherence can be improved upon by using an outline before writing
         Or a reverse outline, which is an outline written after the writing is finished to check that the ideas are logical and well organized

*Writer* Focus on storytelling itself

Incorporating more than one of these organizing principles may help you to create a solid composite novel.


For your reading pleasure, here are a couple of examples of 'composite novels':

Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King

This is a good example of short story cycles. The narratives are presented sequentially and the connection is clear early on. Though the five stories take place between 1960 and 1999, they all have their roots in the ‘60s and each involves Vietnam. As is true of much of King’s work, there is some suspense and there are some scares here, but the book is more likely to tug on your heartstrings than send you to check under the bed.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
This book is a series of vignettes that tell the story of a young Latina growing up in Chicago.

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
The use of the short story cycle is particularly helpful in this collection. The stories follow the same family year after year as their troubles seem to do nothing but multiply. Only by getting the many different perspectives could a reader truly understand the cause and effect of several lifetimes of challenges.

Editor's Picks

At the Crossroads  (18+)
Corbin arrives at a crossroads
#2281578 by Max Griffin 🏳️‍🌈

The life of a tree as told by himself. {495 words}
#2281361 by Penelope Moonbeam

The Sound  (13+)
"That sound is driving me crazy."
#1795955 by Tom Buck

Poe's Daughter  (18+)
A young woman has a horrifying idea of how to become pretty.
#1720894 by PatrickB

The Flight Of The Ashes  (13+)
A young woman tries to come to terms with her past
#600812 by Tiggy

Please Lord, Help Me Find My Socks  (ASR)
A glimpse of 36 years of marriage and my lost socks.
#799875 by PlannerDan

Don't forget to nominate your favorites...
Quill Nomination Form 2023  (E)
Nominate someone for a Quill!
#2145930 by Lilli ☕️ 🧿

Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!

Word from Writing.Com

Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!

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Ask & Answer

In response to "Planning Your Writing,

Elfin Dragon-finally published wrote:
"Being a Panster, I do tend to forego all this planning. Although when going into November I do like the OctPrep. It does help me focus a bit more. But sometimes, after thought, I find completely different ways of doing things. *Smile* Especially when I find I need to change my POV. LOL"

♊️GeminiGem💎 wrote:
"NOW you tell me I'm supposed to be planning my writing. *Facepalm*"

dragonwoman wrote:
"I was thrilled to see my flash "Into The Void" as one of your picks. Thanks!"

G. B. Williams wrote:
"Writing.com newsletter system, thank you for this article on writing a story. I have always wanted to write a book and a story, and I just do not know how to get started. This was helpful. Thank you."

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