I live in a small town outside of a big town. When I moved here ten years ago, we had one stoplight and a couple of stores. We were just a bump on the road to the lake. Now we have many stoplights, two huge walking malls, a cinema, and lots of traffic. Big or small, one thing we don’t have is a corner café.
So, when an online group I belong to decided to put together a short story anthology and call it The Corner Café, I wondered what I could contribute. As it turned out though, we didn't have to write about a café, we just had to mention the corner café somewhere in the story. Since all proceeds on sales would go to charity, I really wanted to contribute.
I ended up writing two stories, one long, one short, and both got accepted.
The long one is called Gila Monster. Here is its logline: Neree, who parked her beat-up truck, Gila Monster, in the senior parking lot, hopes to find it still there at the end of school, but what she finds is an unexpected possibility.
The shorter short story, called One Last Run, is only 360 words: When a couple ski a black diamond run in a blizzard, the truth of what happened is in the blood.
The length of a short story doesn't matter as much as the story itself and the twist or surprise at the end. You want the reader to have a visceral reaction to the story - a laugh, a gasp, a smile, an "ah-ha" or an "oh no" or perhaps an "I didn't see that coming!"
But as you write, you have to remember that it's a short story. That means every word has to count, have meaning, move the story forward. Cut wasteful words. Focus on the character. Focus on the ending. Get there without being distracted by minor characters or incidental plot lines. Short stories mostly have one plot line -- the one that leads directly to the end. But that means that the end is the pay off, so you can't reveal it beforehand. This isn't to say that the end will always be some huge surprise or reveal. It may be quiet or satisfying or something that doesn't hit you upside the head, but touches your heart.
A short story can be two paragraphs or twenty pages. After all, what's short to you may not be short to someone else. I’m 5'9". I used to be tall, but now I'm short. Oh, I'm still 5'9", but my daughter is 6'1", my husband is 6'6", and my son is 6'10". So, when you see us together, I'm short. It's all in how your look at it.
If you've never tried your hand at writing a short story, give it a go. Why not!
About Helen Ginger's new release, Angel Sometimes.
Angel Sometimes has a plan: Go home to Oklahoma and ask her mother why she loved her one day, then threw her out like garbage the next. At 12, she was left on the streets. She's now 22 and swimming as a mermaid at The Aquarium. She's almost ready to confront her parents, but to do that, she needs three things: her high school diploma, a car and a gun.
Helen Ginger is also the author of three books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series. You can find two of her short stories in the just released anthology, The Corner Café. Her free ezine, Doing It Write, now in its thirteenth year of publication, goes out to subscribers around the globe. You can follow Helen on her blog, Straight From Hel, on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. She is also Co-Partner and Webmistress for Legends In Our Own Minds® and the Coordinator of Story Circle Network’s Editorial Services.
Amazon Author Central Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/helenginger
Legends In Our Minds®: http://legendsinourownminds.com/
Story Circle Network Editorial Service: http://www.storycircleeditorialservice.org/
Please welcome Helen Ginger to Double M by leaving a comment.
Next Tour Stop is Tomorrow At http://patbean.wordpress.com/
Check Out the Complete Corner Cafe Tour List Here At: