Anatomy of a Short Story

  • Brainstorm idea. Rough out about three versions of first scene before writing out first draft.
  • First draft is about three times as long as you want the finished product to be.
  • Consider ways to cut.
  • Receive inspiration (whilst in shower) of new brilliant idea.
  • Ditch first idea, write rough draft of new story.
  • New story is about five times as long as you actually want it to be.
  • That’s ok, think about how much better it’ll be once you’ve condensed it.
  • Estimate required length of beginning, middle and end then set about cutting – in chunks.
  • Cut some more.
  • Realise you have to lose a couple of characters.
  • And a story arc.
  • That’s ok too, it gives you more room to concentrate on the main story.
  • Accidentally add another thousand words on rewrite.
  • Keep cutting.
  • Disagreement with 9 year old daughter over main character (whose story is this?)
  • Cut again.
  • Realise that you’ve inadvertently cut the heart out of your story.
  • Go back to first story..?
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