Spring term is here, has been here, and I was fortunate enough to get into a fiction creative writing course at my college. The teacher is pretty decent and I plan on bombarding him with questions after the next class but I also want advice from all of the wonderful writers here.
My dilemma is I have to write two, ten page stories. I have one story laid out pretty well, but I've never exactly finished a whole story unless you count short flash fiction type pieces. I'm wondering how you guys would fill out a ten page story. I know that this amount may seem like nothing to most of you, but I'm an incredibly new writer. I'm still trying to absorb all that I can.
So, how would you plan out a ten page story? How would you execute it? Do you let the story judge how it's told? Do you judge how it's told? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
I'm no great coach. You will get better feedback from others here, but I would say take the flash fictin you write and flesh the characters out more, show us more dimensions to them. Describe more and you might get to know them better and not be able to stop at 10 pages. I'd say just write, write, write and go back and see what you have. I bet you will get to 10 pages easy.
Nikki Geurlain was talking about Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet in another place. You could pretty much use that to get a rough idea of what should happen where within your 10 pages. A quick google search and I think they have the beat sheet here:
10 pages is like roughly 2500 words, if you want to think about it that way.
Thanks guys. I appreciate it.
It's kind of hard to write to a word limit. I find that a story has its own natural length. I tend to write unrestricted for the first draft, and let it be what it will be - often end up trimming down to meet a word count later.
Sounds like your problem is increasing the word count though. I know where you're coming from here though, when I started out most of my pieces were much shorter, and with confidence I've felt I can handle more complex stories.
One way of fleshing out an existing shorter piece would be to look at the overall story arc, and ask what you can do to raise the stakes. Consider the conflict - what would make the situation worse? If you ask 'what does my protagonist want?' try to put an obstacle in the way of him achieving that. Also force him to make a choice, but not necessarily between right and wrong, but between two wrongs - if there's consequences either way the reader is bound to be interested.