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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/8127-A-B-D-C-E.html
Short Stories: February 15, 2017 Issue [#8127]

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Short Stories


 This week: A B D C E
  Edited by: Annette
                             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

Hello short story writers and readers. I am Annette , and I will be your guest editor for this newsletter.

Word from our sponsor

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Letter from the editor

A B D C E


Has the editor forgotten how the alphabet goes?


When D should come before C and why.


The letters A B D C E stand for the five act structure, which breaks down as follows:

A: Action

Start your short story off with an action. Your protagonist should do something active. His body should be in motion in some way.

B: Background

In the next part, you will insert the context of when in time, where on the map, and which point in life your protagonist is.

D: Development

The plot happens during the development stage. Now we see how the beginning action, the protagonist's backstory, and his consequent actions drive the plot forward.

C: Climax

A key narrative twist happens. The protagonist experiences his most exciting, scary, enlightening moment.

E: Ending

During the winding down part of the story, the reader finds out how the ordeal or adventure changed the protagonist.


When writing a short story, you can follow along this framework to have a complete story with beginning, middle and ending. You are, however, free to mix up the order of things. If you watch TV shows, you will see that they sometimes begin with the climax and then slide back to A B D C (again) and finally E. In a short story, it might be weird to have a sentence that says "24 hours earlier," but it's not impossible. And since the climax part of your story is likely to have action in it, it's a perfect way to slide some C before A - as B explains in the backstory how this action could happen in the first place.

Play with it.



Editor's Picks

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#2111821 by Not Available.

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#2111820 by Not Available.

 
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Grace  (E)
The devastating effects of loss of memory
#2111711 by Angel

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#2111704 by Not Available.

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#2111652 by Not Available.

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#2111566 by Not Available.

 
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Why? Why? Why?  (13+)
Entry for Writers Cramp 8 Feb 2017 and it won!
#2111545 by Steev the Friction Wizurd

 
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Runaway  (18+)
Inspired by a video of the song by Del Shannon and my own experiences
#2111519 by Royal Eduardo

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#2111653 by Not Available.

 
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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

For my last Short Story newsletter "Inciting Incident, I got the following replies:

chopstixd wrote: “Start your story with some action.” Some of the best advise I've seen in newsletters. Other than appreciation, the only thing I'd like to add is: Practice active description and avoid static description. Every time I read, “It was ...” I think, It was a dark and stormy night ... Active sentences put things in motion. Something like:
Raindrops beat a steady cadence against my window. Thunderous rumbles added sporadic baselines complementing police sirens wails, an odd jazz trio which kept me alert as I cowered in my bed.


I guess there could be two ways to look at this.
You enjoy writing and reading long sentences with lots of descriptions.
And then there is the school of: no adjectives and never too much description.
From where I stand, it's both correct and valid and worth reading as long as the grammar is correct. "It was a dark and stormy night ..." cuts to the chase. You know it's night, dark, and there is a storm. It's a good time to stay indoors by the fire with a warm beverage, your dog, and partner. "Raindrops beat a steady cadence ..." is more poetic, but it doesn't add anything to the story development. There is no actual action since the raindrops are going to fall whether in a steady cadence or as part of a storm. What I mean by that is that your example sentence enlarges the amount of words that need reading, but the reason the reader came to your story, to experience people doing something is not advanced by this elaborate description. It is, in fact, even more passive as the reader has to work through that long sentence without finding out more than: It's raining, there is police outside, the protagonist cowers in his bed.


Quick-Quill wrote: In a short story the critical information is moving the story, so some details can be left out. I like some readers don't read much detail in a novel. Some reviews say leave it all out. I don't agree. I have readers that love the detail of the setting. It helps them get into the story. In a short story it has to be kept to important items that tell the story. Decide the type of story you are going to tell. SS, Novella? novel? This will determine what you can use for detail.
I can't read the classic Sister writers. I'm so bored with their pages of description I put the book down. I read for plot, but I'm learning to add detail.

I too read for plot. I recently (after 'working' on it for four years) I finished reading Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars books. There were times when I put the book down simply because he used 25 words to describe something that could be done in five. My middle school son, when I read him an extra convoluted sentence, burst out, "I can write better than this." That older, weighed down writing style did not sit well with a reader who will read modern novels (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter) and manga.
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