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(See: “Quotation Marks: Using Them in Dialogue“.)Where are you going?
Jen plays the piano and is an amateur photographer.
She lives in the dorms at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Point of view is the narration of the story from the perspective of first, second, or third person.
So close your eyes and picture your characters within desert, jungle, or suburb–whichever setting shaped them.
Imagining this helps balance location and characterization.
But simply listing the emotions you experienced (“It was exciting” “I’ve never been so scared in all my life” “I miss her so much”) is not the same thing as generating emotions for your readers to experience. Read Raymond Carver, Earnest Hemingway, Alice Munro, and Tobias Wolff.
For those of you who are looking for more long-term writing strategies, here are some additional ideas. If you don’t have time to read all of these authors, stick to Chekhov.“To the racetrack.” Mary edged toward the door, keeping her eyes on John’s bent head. “We are already maxed out on our credit cards.” “Where are you going? “To the racetrack,” Mary said, trying to figure out whether John was too upset to let her get away with it this time.“Not again,” said John, wondering how they would make that month’s rent.John sat up and took a deep breath, knowing that his confrontation with Mary had to come now, or it would never come at all. ” he stammered haltingly, staring vulnerably at the tattered Thomas the Tank Engine slippers Mary had given him so many years ago, in happier times.Setting moves readers most when it contributes to an organic whole.Suppose you have a protagonist whose husband comes home one day and says he doesn’t love her any more and he is leaving.What are actions that can result from this situation?An effective short story (or poem) does not simply record or express the author’s feelings; rather, it generates feelings in the reader.(See “Show, Don’t (Just) Tell.”)Drawing on your own real-life experiences, such as winning the big game, bouncing back after an illness or injury, or dealing with the death of a loved one, are attractive choices for students who are looking for a “personal essay” topic.He will teach you more than any writing teacher or workshop ever could.In today’s fast-moving world, the first sentence of your narrative should catch your reader’s attention with the unusual, the unexpected, an action, or a conflict. Remember that short stories need to start close to their end.