Inside the Shed
Sometimes we are really keen to tell our readers everything, to make sure that they understand what it is that we are trying to say. But in this case a useful piece of advice might be: ‘Think really hard about what it is that you are trying to say, then go out of your way not to say it.’ If you are able to do that, then it is likely that what you are trying to say will be less easily revealed and – when readers do finally understand – the effect will be subtler and more powerful.
So here goes…
- Imagine a young character, living in a house with a garden.
- At the end of the garden is a shed.
- You, the author, know that the character’s dog has gone missing.
- You know that the character loved this dog very much.
- You are going to describe the character wandering through the garden and opening the door of the shed.
- You are now going to describe the shed as seen through the eyes of your character BUT…
- …You are not going to mention the dog or the fact that it has gone missing.
Armed with this information and without thinking too much, just take your pen for a walk across the paper and see what happens…Find out more
You don’t have to tell young readers as much as you think
There is sometimes an assumption that younger readers won’t understand what’s going on unless the plot and the…Find out more
Drawing your childhood memories
We all have child’s eye views – many in fact. Some might say we’re already a step ahead…Find out more
‘Heart’ words vs ‘Head’ words
As writers in English, we are in a uniquely privileged position, being able to choose between two languages…Find out more
Head language and heart language
The short story, in its own kingdom between the novel and poetry, gets the best of both worlds….Find out more
What’s the worst that could happen?
Fiction is almost always about unexpected consequences. A character wants something, they take actions towards getting that thing,…Find out more
The 5 big mistakes people make when writing short stories
1. They waffle on like they’ve got all the pages in the world The stories that make the…Find out more