Home‎ > ‎Quick Writes‎ > ‎Prompt, Prune, Publish‎ > ‎


posted Jan 20, 2014, 7:24 PM by sheri@nsdeagles.org

Writers write about what they know.

The best writing is realistic fiction, or fiction that is believable because the characters you create behave in ways we can believe -- even if they are magical, they have "character" and "personality" and "values" we identify with.

So, think of things that have happened in your life -- an incident. Humor is always fun to use. Perhaps you tripped and the birthday cake plopped on the floor. You know, stuff that is funny NOW, but may not have been THEN.

Use that incident to write a short story. Use dialogue. Bring them on and let them scream  -- like our sign says. SHOW your story by making it happen again, step by step. 

Don't tell:  I tripped on my brother's shoe and the cake fell.

Show !   I proudly looked at my masterpiece: Perfect pink letters spelling "Happy Birthday, Auntie" on dark chocolate frosting. The candle flickered a second, but held its flame. I carefully picked up the tray and turned to enter the living room where everyone had just surprised her. I stepped slowly, making sure the cake did not slide. One step. Two --

I didn't see it, holding the cake up in front of me. I felt it, too late. My baby brother's new boot. I tried to kick it aside, but as I did, my left hand lowered slightly.

Just slightly.

Just enough for the cake to start sliding.

I pulled up my left hand and finished my step, pulling my right foot forward onto the other shoe! I stumbled, and the cake dropped, plopped onto the tiled floor with a splat that silenced every person waiting for me.

All eyes ....

See the difference?   Always SHOW, don't tell.

Add in some magic if you want, but the real story is just as good -- people will feel the humor along with you.

And, finally, prune and publish.