Want to Write an Amazing Short Story? Here are Some of its Distinctive Features

I just learnt that our devoted writer Saahil Foolchund is working on a short story, so I now feel inspired to give some tips on short story writing.

I’m quite pleased because at the same time this changes from my usual posts on poetry writing tips.

Here we go:

  • A short story typically takes the form of a brief fictional work.
  • It is usually written in prose.

 

Characteristics of the short story

  • Length: Well, a short story is first of all… short

 

Short stories typically range from 1,600 to 20,000 words.

 

Short Story writer Edgar Allan Poe even suggested that a short story should take 30 minutes to two hours to read.

 

  • Subject: Short stories usually focus on a single subject or theme.

 

Subjects or themes may range from something as mundane as a daily activity or as thrilling as a ghost tale.

 

A single, easily contained plot is one of the hallmarks of the short story and helps shape its other characteristics.

 

  • ‘In medias res’: Short stories usually take place in a single setting and begin ‘in medias res’.

 

This means ‘into the middle of things’ in Latin.

 

In general, short stories tend to begin and end abruptly, with little to no prior information and no major lapses in time.

 

As they involve just one plot line and are limited in word length, there is little room or need for the extended developments we frequently find in novels.

 

  • Limited number of characters: Due to the limitations of the genre, short stories typically focus on just one or a couple characters.

 

As short stories usually cover such brief periods of time, even a single character may never be fully developed.

 

As you see, short stories are less complex than novels.

Usually, a short story will:

  • focus on only one incident
  • have a single plot
  • have a single setting
  • have a limited number of characters
  • and cover a short period of time.

 

In longer forms of fiction (novels or plays for e.g), stories tend to contain certain core elements of dramatic structure:

  • the exposition
  • the complication
  • the rising action
  • the climax
  • the falling action
  • and the resolution 

 

Because of their short length, short stories may or may not follow this pattern.

Some do not follow patterns at all.

For example, modern short stories only occasionally have an exposition.

As with longer stories, plots of short stories may have a climax or turning-point.

However, the endings of many short stories are abrupt and open and may or may not have a moral.

But of course, as with any art form, the exact characteristics of a short story will vary by author.

So don’t hesitate to experiment and add the little spark that reflects your personality…

 

Rachel Martin

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“Why I Enjoy KDrama” By Liana

I was the girl behind her specs who always pondered how her classmates could be so expressive about their emotions. Like they’ve got every right words in their tongue. They could explain a situation while you could film it in your mind. They’ve always been carefree, accurate, reproductive and fascinated about the characters of their favorite shows. I wanted to feel included and slay like they were. Actually, movies didn’t please me that much and Indian dramas are almost the same. I also feel like “eww” when I watch them. I wanted something more than watch the marital problems which are caused by either an ex or the arrogant mother in law; I wanted mystery combined with romance and action. This was when I discovered kdrama. 
At the start, I was a bit hesitant as I was perhaps lazy to watch it or I was choosy because of my previous experience but the urge to become one of em left me with no choice. 
The first kdrama I watched was “The Descendant Of The Sun“. The actress was a doctor and the actor was a soldier. Being the captain of a South Korean Special Forces unit, on their first date, the latter refused to answer many of the actress’ questions due to confidential matters. Being strong, the girl didn’t protest but this didn’t stop here. The following dates, the actress was left alone as her date ran to his job on one call. Afterwards the doctor and the soldier meant to plan their life ahead but everything changed due to the oaths they did. One did the Hippocratic Oath which is meant to save the life of a person no matter who he is and the other made an oath to kill based on his background.  Honoring their oaths, they broke up. But in the end like in most of dramas, they make arrangements for a happy ending.
 
This drama taught me how a vow must be respected and what it takes to respect a vow. Now, due to kdrama, I’m able to discover more, not just about me but about many things. Due to kdrama, I’ve come across many facts about South and North Korea which will surely help me. The most important part is that I’ve got a way to relax and I’m able to manage better.

Liana: Our New Rising Star

Dear readers,

 

I’m beaming with happiness today…

 

… and I’m so proud to announce that we’ve got yet another new writer

 

-a girl this time.

 

You would have observed that till now all our writers have been young boys.

 

That’s why I’m writing in such a passionate manner today.

 

I’m delighted to have a young girl in this all-boy team at the time when I’m reflecting a lot on woman writing (Remember my post “The Laugh of the Medusa?).

 

So, on behalf of the youngwritersandpoets team, I very warmly welcome the amazing Liana to our team.

 

Liana is a blessing. She has come at the right time.

 

Liana is more than ever motivated to write and share her inner thoughts and ideas with us.

 

As our writer Foolchund Saahil puts it, “her quotes are filled with optimism”.

 

I would add that her writing is beautiful, mature, insightful …

 

… and absolutely mindblowing.

 

I’ll let you see for yourself.

 

Comment and let us know what you think.

 

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Munisami Yosen: New Voice Uncovered

Dear bloggers and readers,

Today we have the immense pleasure and honour to welcome a new member to our team.

His name is Munisami Yosen and he is, as others in our team, an aspiring writer.

As you know, I’m always delighted to see young people get into writing, sharing their ideas and expressing their feelings.

I wish to specially thank Munisami Yosen for putting his trust in us and sharing writings that reveal his deeper thoughts and feelings. 

Here are some of his splendid words he is sharing with us:

Comment and tell us what you think.

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P.S. I know that one of his cherished dreams is to publish a book.

So all my best wishes to Munisami Yosen and again many thanks for joining youngwritersandpoets.

“The Laugh of the Medusa”

Saahil Foochund’s recent post on Simone de Beauvoir made me think of another French feminist I particularly appreciate: Héléne Cixous.

I must say I have always admired these two feminists, as for me they have dared to talk and write about topics deemed as “dangerous topics”.

Hélène Cixous has notably written an article I personally enjoy and never tire of reading. The article is entitled “The Laugh of the Medusa”.

She wroteLe Rire de la Méduse” in 1975, and it was translated into English as “The Laugh of the Medusa” in 1976 by Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen.

Well, I’m sure you must have heard of the classical figure Medusa and how she has been represented through ages.

Medusa in Greek Mythology was born a Gorgon (a monster), girded with serpents, vibrating tongues, wings, brazen claws, and gnashing teeth.

In later myths (mainly in Ovid) Medusa was the only Gorgon to possess snake locks. Also, gazers upon her face would turn to stone:

medusa

But Cixous’ Médusa is different- she laughs and has the potential of leading to new directions for women, particularly for women’s writing.

You must surely have observed that throughout history women have been excluded from any kind of writing that would allow them to participate in the making of history and culture.

Throughout history, writing has always been associated with men.

It has been considered as an instrument of patriarchal expression.

Well, “The Laugh of the Medusa” presents possibilities for women to reclaim their identities to writing.

It argues for new ways of thinking about women writing and literature.

It urges women to write and document their experiences.

It discusses the possibilities of écriture féminine that would lead to social change.

It advocates an overthrow of the biased canon of literature (male-dominated literary canon).

Just like Hélène Cixous, I believe women should write themselves out of the world men created for them, as Cixous wonderfully puts it, to deconstruct the discourse that regulates the phallocentric system.

I believe women have a lot to say and should recognise their need for a voice and expression.

Fortunately, things have somewhat changed since Hélène Cixous wrote this article.

We now have a number of well-known acclaimed women writers and literature is no longer a man’s world.

Let’s hope that the trend continues and that those women who are still writing in secret dare to come to light.

 

Before ending, I would like to share with you some quotes from “The Laugh of the Medusa” I enjoy going through again and again:

 

Woman must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies-for the same reasons, by the same law, with the same fatal goal. Woman must put herself into the text-as into the world and into history-by her own movement.”

 

“I wished that woman would write and proclaim this unique empire so that other women, other unacknowledged sovereigns, might exclaim: I, too, overflow; my desires have invented new desires, my body knows unheard-of songs….”

 

“And why don’t you write? Write! Writing is for you, you are for you; your body is yours, take it. I know why you haven’t written. (And why I didn’t write before the age of twenty-seven.) Because writing is at once too high, too great for you, it’s reserved for the great –that is for ‘great men’; and it’s ‘silly’. Besides, you’ve written a little, but in secret….”

 

“Write, let no one hold you back, let nothing stop you: not man; not the imbecilic capitalist machinery, in which publishing houses are the crafty, obsequious relayers of imperatives handed down by an economy that works against us and off our backs; and not yourself..” 

 

Add a little comment in the box below to tell me what you think!

 

Rachel Martin

An Eternal Symbol of Inspiration and Change

Hello readers,

Today, I want to share with you the life of a famous author which is linked with nowadays controversial issues about Feminism and notions of Feminity in contemporary society. Since the scandal of American film-maker, Harvey Weinstein, many women have dared to express them openly on sexist acts and sexual aggressions, something which they would keep to themselves to avoid scandalise their reputation. There has been widespread revelations on the hashtag of #metoo or #balancetonporc in French, encouraging every women to denounce these serious offences of the law often taken too lightly.

One woman, like all these, dared to fight all the prejudices of her century and the prevailing sexism of 20th century French society. She is considered a pioneer in revolutionary feminist thinking and as a proficient writer ahead of her time, she outsmarted major French male novelists ; she is none other than internationally acclaimed writer, social theorist, political activist and above all feminist Simone de Beauvoir. Born on 9 January 1908 in Paris, she was to become one who would challenge all stereotypes of patriarchal society. Her father wished for a boy but even this did not discourage her. In her famous account of her childhood times named Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter or Mémoires d’une jeune fille bien rangée in French, she evokes her childhood filled with happiness spent at her grandfather’s place in Saint Ybard in the Corrèze region of France. Nature is considered as being her source of inspiration to become someone different and unique from the mainstream society.

At fifteen years old, she takes the brave decision of becoming a writer. When she pursues Philosophy at university, she is received second of her batch behind the one with whom she will share her whole life, French philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartres. She is also considered the youngest to have passed these exams at the times at 21 years old. Due to her deeply ingrained beliefs, she refused to marry Sartres considering his demand as ‘obscene’, however, they maintained romantic affiliations for fifty-one years and she even earned the name of Beaver due to the proximity of her name to this animal.

The author has faced many difficulties notably during the publication of her first novel, She Came to Stay or L’Invitée in French which was refused by many publishing houses and she had to wait eight years for this work to be published. Another popular novel of de Beauvoir is The Mandarins or Les Mandarins in French which openly exposed her relationship with the American writer Nelson Algren. She even won the Prix Goncourt of 1954 for this work. However, Simone de Beauvoir is widely accredited for laying the foundation of the Feminist thoughts and movement, through a major pioneering reference in Feminism called The Second Sex or Le Deuxième Sexe: Faits et Mythes in French. This work thoroughly analyses the inferior status given to women and assumed notions of feminity in a patriarchally structured society through her evaluation of myths, civilisations , religions, anatomy and traditions. She questions many deeply anchored beliefs and stereotypes concerning women. A famous quote of her work is often taken which says: ‘One is not born a woman, but rather becomes, a woman.’ She wants to point out the fact that society through gender socialisation defines the identity of a woman, that is, she does not decide her identity, rather; it is imposed by the male-dominated society. This work, progressisst of her time, has nevertheless been negatively welcomed by intellectuals of the 20th century such as Albert Camus or François Mauriac.

As a feminist activist, she does not halt there as she continues to strive for a better future for her counterparts. In the 1970s, she became part of the women’s liberation movement. She wrote and signed the Manifesto of the 343 also known as the Manifesto of the 343 Sluts, which was signed by many French women like actress Catherine Deneuve and her sister, which advocated the fact they recoursed to illegal abortion in France which led to creation of ‘la Loi Veil’ legalising abortion in 1974. Simone de Beauvoir died on 14 April 1986 in Paris at the age of 78 and is interred at the Montparnasse Cemetery next to Sartres.

Simone de Beauvoir stands as a strong and crucial symbol for the fight of every woman for her legitimate rights and recognition as a complete individual who should not be marginalised as an inferior status group from society. Feminist writers like de Beauvoir are inspiration to change into a more gender-balanced society.

Stay connected to know more of major authors, their life and also their fight for noble causes like Simone de Beauvoir’s struggle for women’s rights and freedom.

From: Foolchund Saahil

Poetry and Writing Tips

A new category has been created so as to guide new writers and poets of around the world more easily by finding the tips you required. Good luck to all those starting in the poetry field as well as other literary works. We wish you all good blogging and thank you for your appreciation and reviews.

From: Team of Young Writers and Poets

I Tried Writing in my Mother Tongue

Hello readers,

Remember I wrote about Mauritian Kreol in my last post while presenting to you an artist from Rodrigues Island?

Well, while I was composing this post, I thought about a poem in Mauritian Kreol I had written myself some years ago.

I must admit I had completely forgotten about this poem until now.

I wrote it at a time when I was still experimenting with different languages.

Surprisingly, although Kreol is my mother tongue, I’m not really comfortable with writing in it.

But I still tried…

So here I am…

…. sharing with you this poem I wrote.

It’s a poem about corruption (a serious problem in my country I must say).

I realized after that, that when dealing with a local issue like corruption, writing in the home language can be quite effective. 

What do you think?

Let me know in the comment box below!

- corruption-

Nelson-Mandela-on-Language

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