a writing trick

I ran across this years ago. Just used it in break I had and cranked out (a measley) 500 words in half an hour.

I think it was someone else responding to Lester Dent’s master plot. If you haven’t looked at that you should, it’s a guide to how to crank out 6,000 word stories that turns out to be fairly useful for other lengths as well.

Dent’s stories were in four parts. At the end of parts one, two, and three there was a twist; a disaster, a catastrophe, a new mcguffin, a new face of an existing character, whatever. Just something that means the hero is more confused and/or in deeper trouble. There’s more, but that’s what’s useful in this specific case.

Specifically: don’t write aimed at the end of the story. Aim for the twist at the end of the chapter.

yes, the ‘chapter’ I just wrote is too short. 500 words? feh – two pages. But it let me get the story rolling. It let me introduce someone who may or may not turn out to be important. (Yes, I’m writing by the seat of the pants. I’ve got a situation. I’ve got a protagonist. I don’t know if he’ll live or die by the end, or exactly how he’s going to get through this disaster. Makes it kind of weird if you want the truth. I’ve heard it called being a panster; writing by the seat of your pants.)

So it worked, it’s got more story percolating, and I thought I’d put the idea down before I go back and find out what happens next to Mike so if I need it again it’s easy to find.

And that means you get to take a look as well.

Have fun.


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