Thursday, August 03, 2006

To Make a Short Story Long

Many writers overwrite. I’m not one of them. One of my struggles is making a story long enough. If you fall into the same camp, here are a few tips I’ve found to make a short story (or book) long:

1. Look for places where you’ve summarized a scene. Dramatize it instead.

2. Look for scenes where a character has a lot of interior monologue. Bring in a second character for them to talk with.

3. Look for time gaps. What happens in them that you could make into a scene?

4. Add another character. Perhaps someone your main character doesn’t want to see, or wasn’t expecting to see.

5. Add a subplot. Are there any existing characters you could give scenes? Maybe your villain?

4 comments:

Kevin Lucia said...

Nope, I'm from the other camp. I don't know how to STOP writing. I just keep going and going and going and going until my hand is paralyzed by writer's.... typer's?...cramp!

C.J. Darlington said...

So, Kevin, maybe you can write about "How to make a long story short"?

Kevin Lucia said...

Trust me....I wish I knew! I would love to try and enter short story contests and submit to digest magazines to try and build up a resume...and maybe make a few bucks on the side...but I just can't seem to keep things within folks' guideline requirements.

Katie Hart said...

I know what you mean. I had such a hard time stretching a 37,000 word book to an approximately 45,000 word book (really 44,551, but who's counting?). My first novel I had no problem with getting 115,000 words. I think all the reviews I wrote in between the two tightened my writing a lot.