Sunday, March 1, 2009

Writing and Visual Imagination: Short Stories


1. Click here to read the 5 rules of short story writing. Note each rule and describe (specifically) how you intend to abide by (or break) each rule.

2. Click here to read a different set of rules. Note each rule and describe (specifically) how you intend to abide by (or break) each rule.

24 comments:

Val G. said...

1. I'm probably going to have trouble following this rule. I'm not even going to bother saying that I'll just stick to one or two characters per story, because I tend to put in more than I need, and I'm ok with that. However, I will try my hardest not to switch the points of view. Even when I do switch it, it's by accident so now that I'm aware of it, I shouldn't have a problem following the rule.

2. I can stick to this rule pretty easily. The only time I'd consider breaking the rule is if I thought covering a long amount of time was necessary for the story.

3. I will absolutely follow this rule. For some reason I always write too much, so after everything I write, I'll try to get rid of the things I don't need.

4. It's pretty hard not to follow this rule. Most stories tend to flow with a beginning, rising action, conflict, falling action, and conclusion. I'm not going to go out of my way to stick to this, because I don't think it's necessary.

5. This is definitely going to be the easiest rule for me to follow, since I usually break the rules anyways.

CFisk said...

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
- I'm going to abide from this rule and only have 1 or 2 main characters in my short story. Also, I will only stick to 1 point of view throughout the story.


2. Limit the time frame.
- I'm going to not follow this rule to an extent. I want to start the story in the present and then go back to the past but only about a day in the past.

3. Be selective.
I'm going to try and follow this rule.

4. Follow conventional story structure.
- I will also try to follow this rule, I may not have all the componets for story structure (rising action, etc) but I want to have one major conflict in the story.

5. Know when to break the rules.
- I'll follow this rule because I want to make my story unique and not just a short story thats like every other short story.

Rachel said...

First set of rules:
I am going to abide by the first rule because I only have two to three characters. I am also only going to be using one point of view for the story. For the second rule, I will abide by this too because my story will only be taking place within an hour or two. I think I will also abide by the third rule, hopefully, by building action. I am also planning on following the fourth rule of keeping to a story structure. The fifth rule is to break the rules sometimes, and I will probably do that, too.

Second set of rules:
I have a theme for my story that I think people may be able to pick out. The second rule is like one in the other set, which is to have a short time span, and I will have that. And again, I will have few characters. The fourth rule is to be succinct in the story, such as no expanding on certain things because it would be unnecessary. I will try not to do this, but I don't know if I can. Then the last rule is to stay on point. I will try my best to stay with the plot line of the story, without going on tangents.

Rachel I.

Mike said...

1. I plan on only having two main characters and only using the point of view of one of the characters. The rule states to limit your characters and that short stories only have room for one point of view.

2. The second rule says to limit the time frame. My short story takes place during one day and does not stretch into a long time frame.

3. Every line should build character or action. I know that I have a limited about of time to develop the story, so I don't plan on focusing on wordy imagery.

4. I plan on following the normal story structure and I plan on having a climatic event occur.

5. I won't follow all these rules COMPLETELY, however, I am going to try and follow their basic ideas. I may drfit a bit away from the typical structure.


1. I know what theme and moral I want my short story to tell, however, I'm not sure if it's going to come off clearly. I like for people to take their own ideas from my short story.

2. As stated before, my short story is only taking place in one day.

3. My story only has two characters, as does the painting.

4. I'm going to try and avoid uneeded descriptions and redundant wording.

5. I plan on keeping focus on my chracter's narrative. The story is not going to direct to a different meaning or a new theme.

Marissa M. said...

1. Use a few characters and stick to one point of view.
I will definately only be using a few main characters, and i will only be using one point of view.

2. Limit the time frame
I will also be limiting the time frame because obviously with a short story, I can't be talking about a long period of time.

3. Be selective.
I will try to have every line either build character or advance the action; I am not really sure if this will be completely possible, but i will try because with the limit of how long my story will be, this may be helpful.

4. Follow conventional story structure.
I will most certainly be using the conventional structure of a story that we have always followed throughout school. My story will include an exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and a resolution.

5. Know when to break the rules.
I do not know if i will need to break any of these rules to tell my story. I am not very good at writing stories so i will probably try to stick to the basic rules without any tricks.

marier said...

First set of rules:
1. I will stick to one point of view, having only one protagonist.
2. The time frame will remain in the present, but have references to past events which the reader will not need to know background information.
3. Not every line will help build a character.
4. The story will not stick to the typical or conventional story structure. There will be no noticable rising action, and there will be a minor climax, but there will be no denouement.
5. I will break some of the rules of short story writing.

Second set of rules:
1. I will have a clear theme.
2. My story will have a short time span.
3. I will not have too many characters.
4. Not every word will be used towards putting across the theme.
5. The theme will not be as clear or as direct as others, but there will be a story line.

Kristina K. said...

First set of rules:
I intend to follow four of the five rules. I will stay with one point of view and have few characters. I do not want to have more than four minor characters. The time frame will usually be only 1 day maximum. Anything more than 24 hours in my short stories will be rare. I always follow the general story structure as I find it hard to not include conflict, rising action, climax, and resolution. As rule five states, I will most likely break rule three and not be selective. I have little discipline when it comes to editing and will probably end up with unnecessary sentences that do not build character or action, but that I feel are necessary.

Second set of rules:
Like the first set of rules, I will follow most of the second set too. As stated above, I plan on limiting my characters and sticking to a small time frame. I will probably not make every word count as I have a tendency to add sentences that do not contribute to action or character development. I will aim to make my story have a clear theme, but I usually leave loose ends purposely, for the sake of interpretation. The same goes for the focus of the story. I will probably digress some, but still intend to follow a narrow subject line.

Val G. said...

(second set of rules)
1. I will make sure the theme is clear.

2. As long as it's a short story, covering a short time span is easy to abide by.

3. No. I like having more than just a few characters.

4. I'll try my best to not write more than I need to.

5. I'm terrible at focusing, but I'll attempt to do it because I know it will improve my writing.

Meagan B. said...

#1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
-I have two characters in my story; a husband and a wife. However, I change the point of view halfway through the story. I did this to show a change of time and to get the other person's feelings about the situation at hand.
#2. Limit the time frame.
-My story takes place over a few months time. I felt that if it was any longer than the story would be missing much detail.
#3. Be Selective.
-I believe that every sentence in my story describes the situation and enhances the plot. Some sentences describe emotions while others describe situations.
#4. Follow Conventional Story Structure.
-My story has a conflict, rising action, climax, but no denouement. I chose not to include a denouement because I wanted to leave the reader wondering what happened next.
#5. Know when to break the rules.
-Personally, I think I broke the rules in the appropriate way in order to make my story more exciting and dramatic.

CFisk said...

1. Have a clear theme.
- I'm going to follow this rule, and try to create a clear theme in my short story

2. An effective short story covers a very short time span.
- My time span will only be about a day long, so i will follow this rule

3. Don't have too many characters.
- I'm going to follow this rule, because I plan to have only about 1or 2 main characters

4. Make every word count.
- I'm going to try to follow this rule.

5. Focus.
- I think I'll be able to follow this rule becuase my short story will only have one main storyline that it follows.

KMorris said...

First Set of Rules:
1. The first rule states that when writing a short story, you should only focus on a few characters and limit yourself to one point of view. In my short story, I am following this rule and writing mostly about one main character.

2. I also plan on following the second rule, which advises you to have your story take place during a limited time frame.

3. I think that the third rule is really interesting and will be helpful when writing my short story. When I am editing my work, I will definitely keep this rule in mind to keep it from becoming redundant.

4. I don't know yet how well I will follow the fourth rule. I agree that the beginning and ending are the most important part, but I might manipulate some of the story elements to make it more interesting.

5. While writing my short story, I will keep in mind that I am allowed to break these rules if it enhances my story.

Second Set of Rules:
1. I agree that it is important for my story to have a clear theme and purpose, so i will keep this rule in mind when developing my story.

2. This rule is very similar to the rule in the first set, and i plan on following both.

3. This rule states that having minimal characters allows you to focus more on the theme, which i also believe is important.

4. Since this will be a short story, I agree that words that do not relate to the theme are unnecessary.

5. For my short story, I plan on focusing on a narrow story line in order to make my message and purpose stronger.

Kady F. said...

1.The first rule for writing a short story is to use few characters, and to stick to one point of view. The reason being is that there just is not enough room in a short story to have many characters, and with fewer characters, there is only a need for one point of view. I plan to have more characters than a few within my story, because the plot calls for more. However, I agree with sticking to one point of view because there is not enough room for more than one person’s thoughts.

The second rule for writing a short story is to limit the time frame for your story. I plan to follow this rule, because it makes sense that a short story only covers a shorter period of time. My plot only covers a maximum of one week, leaving more time for intense action versus time to fill in days.

The third rule includes being selective, which I will follow because being concise adds more to the overall story in the end.

The fourth rule indicates to follow the proper story format while writing. I believe it is very important to stick to a certain format for short stories, especially one that has been proven to work sufficiently.

The last rule is very ironic in saying to know when to break the rules. Keeping a short story in the same pattern and plot can be very boring, making a need to break the rules to create excitement, and I plan to try to do so.

2.The first rule is to have a clear theme. Especially in a short story it is important to get a theme across to the reader because of the limited time. However, I do not have a clear theme, it is up to the reader to think about the plot and figure out the intentions. My story is a mystery, and I believe the real theme would just be a mystery, or betrayal; however, it is still up to the reader.

The second rule states to have a short story cover a very limited amount of time. As I mentioned earlier, my story only covers the maximum of a week, and it retrospect that is a very short period of time for a story to take place.

The third rule indicates to have very few characters. My short story has many characters, but only one main character with one point of view. Concluding that I am not following the rule, but for future stories I believe that few characters do make better stories.

The fourth rule is to make every word count. Being concise with a short story is key in keeping your reader entertained. There is no need for extra words or sentences in a short story because there is just not enough space to have them. I have a complex story line, making it very vital for me to keep my sentences and word choice limited to only what is necessary.

The last rule is to focus. It is important to get a clear message across to the readers, and have an easy plot to follow. A short story is meant to indeed be short, and straight to the point. Though my story contains a bit of confusion, it has a clear focus.
-Kady F.
February 3,2009
Visual Inspiration A

Plattypus said...

Site 1
1. I intend to break this rule by flip-flopping between two points of view. I have a very specific reason for this, so it should be ok. Usually I stick to one point of view, but in this case it’s very important.
2. I intend to abide by this rule because I think if you can write about months and months of time, there cannot be much action in that time span.
3. I intend to abide by this rule, and try to have everything relevant to the story. Both characters are developed clearly and action is present.
4. I intend to follow this rule, but I had trouble developing a true plot for the story.
5. I intend to follow this rule because of reasons stated in my opinion on rule 1.
Site2
1. I intend to follow this rule for my story revolves around a theme. Granted, it may not be clear, but with time and editing it should be all right.
2. I intend to follow this rule; same as reason #2 from site one. My story covers the span of one week.
3. I intend to follow this rule, when there are too many characters the story loses its purpose.
4. I intend to follow this rule, but I need editing to make sure it happens. Sometimes I use unnecessary words, but I intend to clean up my writing.
5. I think I followed this rule, and I intend to do so. The short story should be concise and leave the reader with a feeling of completeness, not confusion or boredom.

liz f. said...

1.Point of View: I am going to have two major characters and switch back and forth between their points of view. There may possible be more minor characters, but they won't play a major role.
2.Time Frame: I am going to limit the time frame on the short story; however I am going to use a flash forward to make it more interesting.
3.Be Selective: I usually write long short stories so I am trying to limit the information to things that are only necessary to the plot.
4.Conventional Story Structure: I am going to follow the conventional short story structure but I that I am not going to have a resolution.
5.Breaking Rules: For the most part I am going to follow the rules but I think that having two points of view will be more affective than only one.
1.Clear Theme: There is going to be a clear theme in my story but I not going to spell it out; it won’t be too obvious.
2.Short Time Span: The time span in my short story will consist of one scene. Characters will also reflect back to other points in their lives.
3.Too Many Characters: To make my short story really strong I will only put two major characters so I can develop them better and readers can become more attached.
4.Make Every Word Count: Every word will be in some way related to the theme of the story.
5.Focus: There is a very narrow subject line in my short story and the story will be stronger if I stuck to that theme.

C. Worrall said...

1.) Rule one: Use few characters and stick to one point of view. I plan on writing my story in the form of letters, receipts, news articles, etc. (Althogh I'm still not sure, I may change my story while I'm writing it.) My story's only going to be 1-3 characters and two points of view. (There are going to be two people writing letters to eachother.
Rule two: Limit the time frame. I plan on making my short story cover a time span of 1-2 weeks.
Rule three: Be selective. Every letter, receipt, news article, etc in my story is going to be from a different day, so they're going to be covering each day's events, building to the ending.
Rule four: Follow conventional story structure. The first and last lines of my story are going to be the strongest (or atleast I hope so) in the story.
Rule five: Know when to break the rules. I plan on breaking some of the rules, but not so much that my story is horrible.

Second website:
Rule one: Have a clear theme. I think that from the beginning to the end you'll know what my story is about, from what is used+said in the story, from the picture I got the inspiration from.
Rule two: An effective shott story covers a very short time span. I said before that my story is going to cover a timespan of 1-2 weeks.
Rule three: Don't have too many characters. I'm going to have either two or three characters in my story.
Rule four: Make every word count. Because it's a short story + only covering a few weeks I don't want to include lots of adjectives describing every little thing. Everything in the story is going to build up to the end.
Rule five: Focus. ^^^

Jessica F. said...

1. Use few characters- I am using this one because its a short story and I only need a few characters
2. Limit the time frame- If I spread the time frame out over a long period then the story would drag on and on.
3. Be selective- using sentences that get to the point faster.
4. Follow conventional story structure- having a conventional story line is easier to right.
5. Know when to break the rules- breaking the rules leads to a better story.
1. Have a clear theme- if you have a clear theme through out the story then it will be easier to follow
2. An effective short story covers a very short time span- having a short period of time makes the story not drag on.
3. Don't have too many characters- if there are too many characters then it can get confusing.
4. Make every word count- If its too wordy then it can be annoying and boring.
5. Focus- If the story stays focused then it will not be confusing.

Gerbil said...

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
Find economical ways to characterize your protagonist, and describe minor characters briefly. I followed this rule in my story by having 2 protagonists and 1 antagonist, (prudence, bailey, and Aubrey.)and I fully described prudence and Aubrey. But, when It came to Kenya and kylene, I barely explained then because they were just like, ‘backdrop characters’.
2. Limit the time frame.
Though some short-story writers do jump around in time, your story has the biggest chance of success if you limit the time frame as much as possible. It's unrealistic to cover years of a character's life in twenty-five pages. (Even a month might be a challenge.) By limiting the time period, you allow more focus on the events that are included in the narrative. In my short story, it is prob. About an hour of time, maybe even 45 mins.
3. Be selective.
As with poetry, the short story requires discipline and editing. Every line should either build character or advance the action. If it doesn't do one of these two things, it has to go. William Faulkner was right to advise writers to kill their darlings. This advice is especially important for short-story writers. What? I-I don’t even know…uhm maybe??
4. Follow conventional story structure.
As with any type of writing, the beginning and the end are the most important parts. Make sure your first and last lines are the strongest in the story. Okay…I have a good hook I think…it will make you want to read more…I think…oh god.
5. Know when to break the rules.
Keep in mind, however, that telling your story is still the most important thing. If breaking a rule allows you to tell your story more effectively, by all means, break it. Otherwise, think twice, or at least be honest with yourself if the innovation fails. Yeah I broke rules I think because the fill-in sentences need to like go…that’s just…face.

liz said...

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
-I agree with this rule and i intend to abide by it because having more than 2 or more main charcters is hard to keep it in order. In my short story i will probably only have 2 to 3 main characters.

2.Limit the time frame.
-I agree with this rule too and i intend to abide by this rule. My short story will only span over a time frame of a week maybe less.

3.Be selective.
-I agree and disagree with this rule because most lines should advance action but every line doesn't need to do that.

4.Follow conventional story structure.
-I agree with this because the first line should be the hook and should hook the reader and make the reader want to finish the story.

5.Know when to break the rules.

Anonymous said...

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
I intend to use few characters. I have only used four and I think that is a reasonable amount. I only used one point of view throughout the story.
2. Limit the time frame.
My time frame is pretty short. It is a span of about 2 to 3 weeks but there is a jump.
3. Be selective.
Most all of my lines build character but my story has little action in it.
4. Follow conventional story structure.
I used almost all of the components of story telling.
5. Know when to break the rules.
So far in my story I have not broken many rules.

Emily B.

Anonymous said...

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.

I'm going to follow the rule of using few characters and stick to one point of view by making my main characters very interesting and exciting. Having main characters who are very different will make the short story more interesting.

2.Limit the time frame.

Sarah N said...

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
I think it would be easier to stick to one point of view and only a few characters, that way the story doesn’t get too confusing. In my story I am only going to use a few characters and only one point of view.

2. Limit the time frame.
In my short story I will limit the time frame that it takes place in. A larger time frame adds a lot of events that you have to work harder to keep track of. I want my short story to be as easy to read and understand as possible.

3. Be selective.
I’m not going to follow this rule. I feel a story should progress as it was going to and shouldn’t be played out and written in any certain way. If the action happens too quickly you won’t have time to absorb what happened, you’d have to end up reading it again to understand it.
4. Follow conventional story structure.
I agree with this rule and I will use it, if nothing happens for a period of time in a story the reader will lose interest and it will end very boring. The most famous stories wouldn’t have become so famous if nothing happened.
5. Know when to break the rules.
I will break a few rules to write my story, I agree with this rule stating that depending on the rule you break it can either make or break your short story. A story still needs structure and taking that away probably won’t help anything. But breaking a rule to tell your story is fine.

1. Have a clear theme.
I am not going to break this rule to write my story. It is important to me that the reader takes something from the story that the find in themselves. I want to give an underlying message but I want the reader to find their own message out of it, a message personal and relating to them.



2. An effective short story covers a very short time span.
I like this rule, a short story should be short and cover only one event in a characters life, but the event should be significant in some way.


3. Don't have too many characters.
If you have too many characters there will be too much to follow. I like this rule, short storys are short they’re not supposed to be books.Its important to me to only use the amount of charaters necessary to getting my point across


4. Make every word count.
I don’t agree with this rule, some additional unnecessary words may give the reader time to understand what is really happening. People don’t want to stop reading and pick it up again once they’ve figured out what they needed to. Additional unnecessary words help the reader to stay involved and figure out what is in front of them.


5. Focus.
It is important to stay on a path relating to the subject of a story, I am going to stay on a narrow path so that I don’t get off subject.

Kaisey said...

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
~I personally think that different points of view are interesting and add spice to stories, however, for short stories more than probably 2 points of view (tops) is soooo confusing. I just get lost and give up trying to figure out who is talking. The same thing goes for too many characters. I hate that in normal books never mind a story that is less than 25 pages. Its too confusing and just unnecissary to have like, 15 main characters.

2. Limit the time frame.
~ I definatly will be limiting the time frame with my story. It just makes it better in the long run. Trying to put detail into short stories is important, but if you have a limited amount of time to do it, then you really have to limit the time frame of the plot itself. Don't go Charles Dickens "tale of two cities" on it.

3. Be selective.
~ Definatly have to be selective. I ramble wayyyy to much normally so I'm gonna have to watch that aspect in my writing. :)

4. Follow conventional story structure.
I'll agree to a point...
I mean I like a good climax and plot line . . but I really really don't like conventional writing. I like creative stuff. :)

5. Know when to break the rules.
I absolutly CANT STAND cookie cutter writing. . .I never like to do it unless I'm pressed for time.

Mike said...

Thanks for the movie ideas. I haven't seen Pleasantville but I have seen Edward Scissorhands. I also want to see Revolutionary Road but it looks a little boring.

R. Hain said...

R. Hain Assignment (Comment on Kefor's blog about the rules of writing)

1. Use few characters and stick to one point of view.
· I don’t plan on following this rule because the use of different characters to me emphasizes the emotion of the sentence you are trying to say.

2. Limit the time frame.
· I do plan to follow this rule to an extent; I think that the first part of my story will follow this rule because the plot falls in one week time frame. At the end of my story I reflect back after a lengthier period of time to show

3. Be Selective.
· i plan on using this rule because no one wants to read the same stuff all over again 50 times in a short story they want different problems within the main conflict.

4. Follow conventional story structure.
· I didn’t use the conventional story structure because I started out with the hook and I changed the format to put the reader right into all the action.

5. Know when to break the rules.
· Break the rules when you know it will make your story better; I believe that I can break the rules; I feel that my story when finished could be rewritten with using rules and be just as good.


sorry it was late i saved it as a draft on my blog and i didnt upload it to your blog****