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Short Stories: September 13, 2023 Issue [#12175]

 This week: Greetings!
  Edited by: Legerdemain
                             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

The purpose of this newsletter is to help the Writing.com short story author hone their craft and improve their skills. Along with that I would like to inform, advocate, and create new, fresh ideas for the short story author. Write to me if you have an idea you would like presented.

This week's Short Story Editor

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor


When creating a character from a specific country or culture, be sure you know a little bit about it. Even a greeting can be tricky. In some countries and cultures, firm handshakes are seen as rude and a sign of aggression. In places such as China; the Middle East; North, Southern, and West Africa; and South America, handshakes are usually lighter and last much longer than in Western countries.

The history of the handshake goes back far. It dates back to the 5th century B.C. in Greece. It was a symbol of peace, showing that neither person was carrying a weapon. During the Roman era, the handshake was actually more of an arm grab. It involved grabbing each other’s forearms to check that neither man had a knife hidden up his sleeve. Some say that the shaking gesture of the handshake started in Medieval Europe. Knights would shake the hand of others in an attempt to shake loose any hidden weapons.

In Tibet, sticking out your tongue can be a way of welcoming people. In New Zealand, Maori greet each other by touching noses. Ethiopian men touch shoulders, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, male friends touch foreheads. In many Asian countries, people bow to each other when meeting. And in some European countries, as well as Arab countries, hugs or kisses on the cheek are more the norm. For religious reasons, some Muslim women and some Orthodox Jewish women do not shake men's hands. Issues of modesty, chastity, and ritual purity can involve both men and women; this is not just an issue of male attitudes toward women.

So when your characters greet one another, think about the message you want to impart. Is one person more passive? Is another hiding something? Is it awkward because your character doesn't have a right hand...what then? Add this to your arsenal of subliminal messages and clues for your reader.

As always, Write On!

This month's question: Tell me a fun greeting you've written! Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Editor's Picks

September Site Contest
Journey Through Genres: Official Contest  (E)
Write a short story in the given genre to win big prizes!
#1803133 by Writing.Com Support

Genre Prompt for September 2023: Regional

 Molly...Meet the Giant  (E)
Molly was a small white poodle cross that belonged to my mom and one night, we met a giant
#2234798 by Dr Gonzo

Excerpt: I heard her growl and knew immediately something wasn't right. Molly didn't like cats, and there were plenty around here after dark, but there was something in her tone that told me this was no cat.

 The Reception  (ASR)
A greeting for a stranded time traveler. Flash fiction entry (299 words)
#2144764 by Bryce Kenn

Excerpt: She had planned for this since she was five years old when her great grandfather began telling her tales of time travel.

 "Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty.'  (E)
How will we contain those BIG kittens?
#2100106 by Espero

Excerpt: “Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty.”

I was standing on the second story balcony of my house dangling a trout to one of the eight foot kittens that had invaded our street. I thought it was better to entice them with food then to be playfully slapped around in what they seemed to think was fun. Most of the residents had been boarded up in their homes since the kittens had arriv

Percy's Night Out  (18+)
Percy meets a newcomer on his night out.
#2260960 by Beholden

Excerpt: Percival McNaughton knew what day it was. Without glancing at the calendar or consulting the almanac, he could feel the weight of the day pressing in on him. The knowledge was there in his bones, an awareness creeping from the dark core of his being into the light of consciousness. Today, or rather tonight, was the ti

 The Journey  (13+)
The hello. The au revoir.
#2284948 by Thankful Sonali HAPPY 23 WDC!

Excerpt: "Hello!"

"Hello, love, we're about to board, just thought I'd say pip pip!"

Sumita swallowed. "Pip pip," she managed to reply. "Have a - a - nice life and all that sort of thing."

"Life? Wish me a nice flight first. Not easy traveling 10 hours in a plane with a restless four year old. Anyway, pip pip, got to go. They're announcing us."

hello/goodbye  (13+)
By the coastline, she waited for the reunion that she had been anticipating and avoiding.
#2236151 by Aizel Mae

Excerpt: “I didn't think you would show up.”

These were the first words I've said to him in a while.

 Of Frank and Fate  (13+)
of fate, cruel reality, and effect.
#1150322 by Jack L. Grey

Excerpt: "Hey you!" came a shout from a black town car with a window half-cracked. The man who had shouted had an unpleasant look on his face and a slight resemblance to a bulldog with a sleeping disorder.

Can you write the most engaging opening sentence for a story? 100k+ GPs & Merit Badges!
#2293351 by Jeremy 🎃

Your challenge: following the picture prompt, write the most engaging opening line(s).

Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!

Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

This month's question: Tell me a fun greeting you've written! Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Last month's "Short Stories Newsletter (August 16, 2023) question: Do you end up adding more to your short stories or trimming them?

W.P. Gerace : Greetings Legerdemain ,
I do hope you are doing well today. I have to say normally I try to keep my short stories with in the under 1000 word range for the Writers Cramp contest. But I have entered a few contests that had higher word count rules so it does depend for me. My point is lately I have been going over the word count then trimming back lately. But normally as a rule I try to keep it within that word count for the most part. Now if it's something I am not writing for the word count for a contest then I write it then edit trim where I need to then save to my USB drive and post here to my portfolio. I am using my short stories as a warm up exercise to get my creative muscle moving before I work on my main piece which is my horror novel I am writing. I know that was a cray mouthful. My apologies. Thanks for your awesome newsletter. You rock my friend. Have a great day. :) :)
Yours Truly,
Bill G

It Was buddhangela All Along : I'd never even attempted to write a short story before I discovered the wonder that is WdC! My writing skills have grown immensely, but I continue to write a few thousand words over word count limits and have to go back and chop, cut, snip, and shave away the excess. A few more years of practice, and maybe I'll be down to just snipping and shaving! *Wink*

Damon Nomad : Thanks for the excellent newsletter about balancing out word counts in short stories. Whether a contest or a publisher, there is often a word count battle. You ask whether we end up trimming or adding? The answer for me is both. I see the raw word count coming in on the first draft and want to come reasonably close. Then I add and I cut, then I add and I cut. I often find I need to cut near the front to deal with a closing that is too rushed.

Paul : It depends on what the story wants, some want longer and others shorter.

Dave's trying to catch up : Whatever is required for that particular story.

One lonely reject... : Neither. I just write the story Its length is what it needs to be. I might add or subtract from a story once it's finished to make it fit a specific market, but in the writing, the length is what it needs to be.

Leslie Loo : Adding unfortunately. I’m not the best at trimming. Some of the parts I just don’t want to cut out because I like them so much.

TheBusmanPoet : I do that with my poems depending on what's needed or not.

TJ, eccentric free spirit! : I just write the story, then after I'll go back through it and trim unneeded parts as well as add detail as needed. So, in answer to the question, "Yes, I do end up adding and trimming them."

N.A Miller : I usually add material but end up trimming what doesn't work...

Bilal Latif : The editing process is essentially adding or subtracting whatever the story needs.

Mousethyme : I usually end up adding more because I can never get the word count on the first try.

elephantsealer : The whole idea of reviewing one's work is to trim; however, there is always something to add...

Bob : Oft times, if the story line is a good one, my short stories turn into novellas.

CeeGee : Trimming. I'm such a word vomiter that I have to go through and remove half my sentences or even full paragraphs because they add nothing or take away from the story at hand.

Thank you everyone, for your responses, it's much appreciated. Leger~

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