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Printed from http://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/9378-Battle-of-the-Bulge.html
Short Stories: February 13, 2019 Issue [#9378]

 This week: Battle of the Bulge
  Edited by: Kate~ Reading & Writing
                             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

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
- Maya Angelou

         Greetings, I'm honored to be your host for this week's edition of the WDC Short Story Newsletter and I'd like to explore today ways in which we can trim the 'bulge,' and weave a toned, tight story.

Word from our sponsor

Letter from the editor

         Okay, what do you do with a sagging middle?

         I know, I know, 'crunches' are the only real means of reducing the sag (call it jelly roll, muffin top, or beer belly) if one has overindulged, and then keep the spoon out of reach of the ice cream.

         A short story cannot support as much backstory or atmosphere development as a novel or epic. I think a short story is the perfect vehicle for "write it tight." Write the story then, like any good exercise routine, take a tape measure (eraser/delete key) and trim the fat (edit/revise). Whether outlining the story from beginning to end or writing stream-of-though, the middle can most often use some work to keep it focused so our readers want to know the story, not just rush through to the ending. After grabbing our reader with a vivid, intriguing hook or opening scene, the middle of the story is where we make our reader want to participate in the story.

         *Burstb*Challenge your character (and reader) by keeping the story active. Whether writing first, third, or omniscient voice, lengthy scenic descriptions or internal dialogue slow the pace and take the reader out of the action. Give your character choices that result in reaction with which your reader may or may not agree, at first, but will want to see the result. Note the visual reference. The story is dynamic, itself a character with which your protagonist (or antagonist) interacts in order to arrive at the satisfying (if not always 'happy') conclusion.

         *Burstg*Build tension with conflict, internal and/or external, for your character (and reader). The character's reaction to the conflict, the obstacle, makes him or her real for your reader, somebody about which your reader wants to know more, wants to see succeed on his/her journey. The conflict also effects change in the character as well as his/her environment, making the story dynamic and important to the reader.

         *Burstp*Plant relevant clues both false and true that show the character's 'stuff'. The middle of the story is where your reader gets to know the character and care that he/she succeeds (or fails). Relevant is the operative word here. If your character gets lost in musing over a picturesque sunset, so will your reader. However, if a fiery red sunset is the gas from an exploded tanker of noxious gas the character must somehow contain or escape, then it's relevant. This, I suppose, is the scary word 'plot'. Each scene needs to move the story forward towards the conclusion, whether by misdirection or direction. The character's interaction with and reaction to events changes him/her and keeps your reader involved in the story.

         *Burstr*Now, back to those dreaded 'crunches', which are worth the end result. Trim the excess verbiage and non-relevant action. If you find yourself really going off in another direction, perhaps it's another story taking shape; another adventure for your muse creative and readers to savor - another day. Keep the end result in focus and your character (and story) will be the stronger for it.

         I hope you've enjoyed this exploration and found something to challenge or incite your muse creative to action.

Write On

Editor's Picks

Okay, let's encourage several members of our Community, check them out and let them know what you think of their 'middles' (along with their beginnings and endings) and how about sharing your own 'workouts' for a chance at cool prizes and some shapely reads.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2182026 by Not Available.

The Interrogation  (13+)
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
#2181996 by Rima:Drowning

 Seeing the Fey (Or "The Name Game")  (18+)
Names are important, and Cailleagh learns that importance works on faeries, too.
#2181958 by Kelly Lee

The Flip  (18+)
A Twisted Tales Entry.
#2182103 by Mastiff

Deep Freeze  (ASR)
SCREAMS Entry for Feb. 1 2019
#2181444 by Reading Reindeer

5k My Way  (18+)
Troy enters the annual 5k to support his disability
#2179099 by Dominique

Deuces  (18+)
Jessie's in the game of her life. Can she win it?
#2181743 by Charity Marie-Missing Hubby

 The Castle  (ASR)
Andrea and Brian meet at a Bed and Breakfast in Ireland
#2180788 by ~QPdoll

Twisted Tales Contest  (13+)
A monthly contest for stories with a twist. Get 500 GPs for entering! May round open!
#1269187 by Arakun the Twisted Raccoon

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!

Don't forget to support our sponsor!

ASIN: 0910355479
Amazon's Price: $ 10.99

Product Type: Kindle
Amazon's Price: $ 12.99

Ask & Answer

         I thank you for welcoming me into your virtual home. As a guest, I don't have a formal 'ask and answer' but if you have a story you'd like to share, drop a link with a comment.

         I hope you enjoyed some of the 'exercise routines' we've explored and wish you joy in working on that sagging middle (not that you have one, of course).

Write On *Heartp*
Kate~ Reading & Writing
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