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Old 08-11-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
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How to Write a Short Story in an Hour

How to Write a Short Story in an Hour
I found this video over at youtube and have been watching it. The author has some good points I think.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:34 AM   #2
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Looks good, but man, he sure drags it out. It really doesn't start until about 12 mins in....

I disagree about 'inspiration hurts your writing' -- He's simply wrong. You ABSOLUTELY SHOULD write when inspired but let it cool and edit just like everything else. But you should never rely on inspiration ONLY as the means to write creatively. If you have inspiration, USE IT!

Definitely some good stuff in the middle.....but yeah I felt it a bit drawn out.

Last edited by kennyc; 08-11-2013 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:30 AM   #3
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Looks good, but man, he sure drags it out. It really doesn't start until about 12 mins in....

I disagree about 'inspiration hurts your writing' -- He's simply wrong. You ABSOLUTELY SHOULD write when inspired but let it cool and edit just like everything else. But you should never rely on inspiration ONLY as the means to write creatively. If you have inspiration, USE IT!

Definitely some good stuff in the middle.....but yeah I felt it a bit drawn out.
Yes it was a bit drawn out I agree. I think he did it that way though so that the viewer would have time to think about the concepts he was covering during the course of the video. I do agree with you that inspiration has probably got its place though I also agree with him and you that if any writing is going to get done you can't rely on it to strike. Sometimes in the course of writing a story I could see an author getting stuck for how to reach the next part of the story (especially if it's a long story or novel) and having inspiration provide a solution. Of course whether or not that solution works well should be something to review during the edit.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:42 AM   #4
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I'm sure part of the "dragging it out" is just me. I've been at this a while and for someone new to writing, it's probably much better to allow time to absorb and think about it.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennyc View Post
Looks good, but man, he sure drags it out. It really doesn't start until about 12 mins in....

I disagree about 'inspiration hurts your writing' -- He's simply wrong. You ABSOLUTELY SHOULD write when inspired but let it cool and edit just like everything else. But you should never rely on inspiration ONLY as the means to write creatively. If you have inspiration, USE IT!

Definitely some good stuff in the middle.....but yeah I felt it a bit drawn out.
You saved me even bothering to follow the link. With my link speed and download limits anything over 10 minutes has to be something very much out of the ordinary for me to bother.

But I would similarly disagree that inspiration hurts your writing - but the thing to understand/remember is that inspiration rarely comes from nowhere (though when it does it can be worth taking a really good look at it). Inspiration comes from doing, and it comes to those that are actively looking for it. (It might come to others, but if they aren't paying attention then it doesn't really matter.)
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:07 AM   #6
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I'm sure part of the "dragging it out" is just me. I've been at this a while and for someone new to writing, it's probably much better to allow time to absorb and think about it.
I think that holds true for whenever someone is learning something new. As adults we take walking for granted for example, but for a toddler it's a different thing entirely. And the same pattern continues on from there through out life.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:11 AM   #7
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You saved me even bothering to follow the link. With my link speed and download limits anything over 10 minutes has to be something very much out of the ordinary for me to bother.

But I would similarly disagree that inspiration hurts your writing - but the thing to understand/remember is that inspiration rarely comes from nowhere (though when it does it can be worth taking a really good look at it). Inspiration comes from doing, and it comes to those that are actively looking for it. (It might come to others, but if they aren't paying attention then it doesn't really matter.)
Yep. You have to sit down and actually try to come up with an idea if you are going to come up with anything at all I think. To expect inspiration without work would be like expecting to earn a paycheck without bothering to go to work.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:50 PM   #8
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what I'm really looking forward to is a video on "how to make videos on writing that succeed"
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:05 PM   #9
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what I'm really looking forward to is a video on "how to make videos on writing that succeed"


A bit my thought too.....but it does have some good points, though as I said not much different than any other writing instruction book/class/video

1) Get an idea
2) Add a complication
3) Dramatize/action in response to the complication
4) Must Know your Ending
5) Use the Notes you made to write the story
Elements: Intro Development Provocation Action Resolution
6) Trust the reader
7) Never take a woman on a hunting trip cause they can't stop talking.

Oh wait that last one was from my step 1.

and as I said I disagree with him about inspiration. If you got the inspiration, use it! You can edit it and clean it up later as you should be doing anyway!
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:37 PM   #10
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sure, inspiration and perspiration as goes the saying

guess inspiration alone serves well hobbyists like me, but not professional writers with a schedule
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:49 AM   #11
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sure, inspiration and perspiration as goes the saying

guess inspiration alone serves well hobbyists like me, but not professional writers with a schedule
Yep, I understand it's hard enough for a pro. writer to make a living writing so they couldn't just wait round for inspiration to strike I'd guess.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:06 AM   #12
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For me, there is a strong connection between inspiration and a mug of strong, over-sugared coffee.

I'm torn about concepts like writing a short story in an hour or a novel in ninety days, though I decided to give the latter a whirl as sort of a self-experiment. A few years back, I would have categorically denied the usefulness of such approaches, but I'm beginning to wonder if I don't greatly underestimate the value of deadlines even, and perhaps especially, for creative writing.

I do quite a bit of technical writing in my job, and used to review games and software a couple decades ago for print magazines, and I can't quite deny that some of the better stuff I wrote was the immediate result of tight deadlines that could not be extended no matter how much I squirmed or whined.

The same may be true for creative writing. Writing drivel is probably more helpful than not writing while waiting for inspiration to hit. You may wait for a long time. Caffeine-induced muse aside, I find that once I actually get my uninspired butt up and start writing, even if it feels like wading through a swamp, eventually I reach a point where new ideas do come up more fluidly. Perhaps the brain is, in essence, just like a muscle.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #13
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The other thing I wanted to mention about this video is his discussion of 'appropriate' / 'inappropriate' topics/situations/stories. It rang a bit of a bell for me because I've been reading/studying many other fiction instruction books/articles/works. Two things just today. A discussion in "Reading like a Writer" about Chekhov and objective writing - letting the bad guys be bad etc. making fiction real not having a moral or 'correct' perspective and also an essay by Charles Baxter called Dysfunctional Narratives which covers some of the same ground of how a writer must be 'objective' and just tell the story, let the characters do what they are going to do whether it is moral, ethical, right or wrong....
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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I thought the appropriate/inappropriate part of it made good sense. If you're too over the top or too bland in your idea you are going to lose the reader quickly. In other words you have to have some sort of conflict but it has to be a conflict that makes sense within the context of the story.
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