Type and genres of short stories
A Short History of the Short Story
Giving your story a title
Seven step plan for short story writing
Children's stories index
Write a short story in which the first letter of the first word in each sentence spells out your name
Being inventive and creative is all the rage - watch some of the game shows on TV. The wonderfully arcane and bizarre QI with the equally wonderful, equally arcane,
equally bizarre Stephen Fry as host is a great example.
Stephen will come up with a weird factoid and then the panelists - my favorites are Ross Noble,
Alan Davies and David Mitchell - create off the wall scenarios that are as funny as they are unlikely.
Without such people, the show would be a non-starter - who would want to watch a prog in which a person
read out facts from an encyclopedia - which, without the creative guys right and left of the equally creative Fry, would fall flat on its face.
As it is, it's one of the most hilarious programs on TV. The main reason, I think, why it's so popular is because
of its unpredictability; the man reads or shows an insect that proliferates by entering another beast's body and
then eating it alive from the inside - how dastardly is that - and then our guys, Noble and company, start mind blowing - Noble is arguably the best at this, chiefly because his ideas are so ridiculously far fetched it takes pure genius
to come up with them in an instant.
Noble might then say, I'd like something along these lines
That's cool, if we could just get one into David Cameron, the PM, we would all be fine. And so on.
Then Alan Davies would follow up quickly with, That would be the first insect to get a knighthood! And so it would go on until
Mr. Fry threw in another spur to creative thoughts.
Basically, what the guys do is to take words and ideas and then twist them inside their heads until they arrive at
something outlandish and funny - the more outlandish, the funnier. That is the appeal of the prog - to me at any rate.
I don't appear on such programs - nobody has asked me - yet! But the use of the imagination to come up with odd stories is something I like to play around with.
I don't claim to be the originator of the following method of writing an extremely short story, but I have dabbled
with it and I think you can too.
All you need is your own name - to begin with. Just write each letter in a vertical line.
like that, and then write a sentence against each letter, thus.
R- Round and round in my head, the ideas flew.
O- Orbiting words created phrases and then sentences.
B- Beneath them came other ideas, until I had enough ideas to begin thinking of a story.
E- Exactly one minute later - that's how quickly my mind works, I cam up with a story title.
R- Rarely has a story line been discovered in such an oblique and odd way, but it worked.
T- To move on and write these ideas down, I'll need to wake up - oops -gone!
Get the idea. Why don't you try? Here's a slant on that idea; take a famous name from history - HORATIO NELSON and then try to come up with a story that connects to the famous admiral - you could
use any word - here's a good one -
- if you can't write a story with that, you are in trouble.
Thinking of using all the letters of the alphabet, you could do worse than use this.
THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY DOG
I think the way it works - like the arcane facts in QI is that it imposes some discipline on your mind, and in doing that,
spurs it on to create.
Perhaps we need something to move us to push us to motivate and inspire us to create and be creative.
Just sitting around waiting to come up with something creative isn't always the way to go here.
What the mind needs is surely something to focus on, and this method certainly gives you that - again, as do
the factoids read by Mr. Fry!
I tried it and it works, though I don't think this is anything ground breaking, it is new to me and therefor it is creative.
Here's one I made earlier, as all the best cooks say.
“Ridiculously expensive” was what we thought.
Others had looked at the property and had quickly vanished.
Before we entered the house, we both sort of knew we wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Even so, we looked at each room as if we were very interested.
Rather than disappoint the young couple selling the flat, we smiled and made encouraging noises.
The place was actually quite nice.
Looking in each room, we began to like it.
Eventually, we reached the point where we were expected to say, “Yes” or “No”!
So far, it had all looked nice.
Looking at each other, my wife and I both nodded.
In fact, we had begun to smile at each other.
Eagerly, the young couple asked us what we thought.
Financially, we were well off, but still careful how we spent our money.
Ignoring the asking price for a moment, we began to sound positive.
Even at 200,000, it was a steal, I thought.
Laughter came from the next room.
“Do you know what’s happened?” the young man asked.
“I haven’t a clue,” I answered.
Nothing surprised me.
“Gemma and I have just won the Lottery – you can have it for half price!”
Now you try!
ROBERT LESLIE FIELDING