- a sympathetic character
- a problem arises, ideally a complicated conflict
- the conflict escalates/gets more complicated
Short stories should have these 5 elements.
And how about some random tips to finish up? In no particular order:
- write what you're passionate about and let your characters show your passion
- infuse yourself in the story using voice
- protagonists should be larger than life, not fearful,
have an inner conflict(s) and be transformed by events of the story
- include subplot(s) that affect the overall story outcome/come together in the end
- make all non-protagonists do double-duty by playing multiple roles in the protagonist's life
- and finally, speaking of plot: torture your protagonist: figure out what's the worst thing that can happen to him/her and then make it happen.
Again, short stories would benefit from all these tips.
So, there you have it, what I gleaned from Mr. Maass. I must admit I did not agree with everything he said. What did you glean from him? What did you agree with? Or disagree with?
Do you have any other writing books you recommend?