Great post on short stories Andrew. Just threw it up on my blog. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Tell Better Stories

During the Breathe Conference last Saturday I attended a workshop on writing Short Stories given by Dr. David Landrum, a local writer and English professor. Dr. Landrum focused his workshop on how short stories should begin. Here are a few of my notes from his talk:

Beginnings are very important.

  • The first paragraph is vital. The first sentence must be done correctly.
  • The second and third paragraphs make or break the rest of the story.
  • Set the scene.
  • Introduce the main character and reveal something about him or her almost immediately.
  • Don’t focus on “hooking” the reader or somehow shocking them in order to get them to read your story. Rather, focus on intriguing them. (He gave an example from a story he wrote in which his early drafts began with, “He was lying in a pool of blood.” He said that this was a terrible attempt to “hook” readers…

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