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Short Stories: January 21, 2015 Issue [#6779]

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Short Stories

 This week: God is in the details
  Edited by: ember_rain
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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

I started writing short stories in elementary school and it became, if not my first love in writing, my go to when I just have to write something. I paid close attention to what others had to teach me and I hope I can pass on some of that to you.

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Letter from the editor

"God and the Devil are in the details." I heard my College Prep Writing teacher my Sr. year in high school say that on almost a daily basis. I didn't completely understand what she meant until she asked us to write what we now call a micro story. I don't know, they may have called it that back then too. I just never heard the term until I joined WDC.

My first micro story wasn't all that great. Give me 500 words to work with and I'm good, and that seems to count as a larger Micro story. But less than 50 words and I'm toast. My first attempt was so bad it wasn't even funny. She just handed it back to me and said, "Do it again, this time remember tell me what is actually important not what you think is important."

What? Okay? I was so confused. As some of you may know my father was a preacher and as such a bit of a storyteller himself. He overheard me complaining to mom and mom trying to explain. I still wasn't getting it.

"Becca, Hon, you're over thinking it. If you take it out of the story does it change the story? Is it so important a detail that it changes the entire story? If not, then can your story survive without it. Is it still clear?"

That of course was when the light bulb went off. I tend to be chatty, and I would normally go off on a side note that would lead me to another side note, even in my writing, until I talked myself into such circles I wouldn't remember what I was talking about. With my teachers assurance that God is in the details and my father's explanation on how to pick said details, you all have been spared my ramblings. I almost included details you didn't need.

Now to include some you do. When writing short stories, you make or break character development, setting development, everything in the details you leave in or leave out. When limited on length do we really need to know the wall is covered in Ivy? Maybe. What kind of Ivy is it? Will it allow our hero to climb to a balcony to save the damsel? Is it Poison Ivy which will give your hero a horrible itch he just has to scratch, that some how leads to him being able to save the damsel? If so, then yeah, we need to know about the ivy. If however, it doesn't play a role in the plot and doesn't further the story along, then save it for a chapter in a novel. Short stories are just that, short. We don't have the words to waste on things that don't move the story along.

Editor's Picks

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I've been in the same family for 10 Generations
#2024515 by Oldwarrior

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Ask & Answer

How do you go about determining what details to leave in and which ones to exclude?
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