Creative Composition: Become a Writer
First: Examine the Short Story
As a class, we will read a few selections of one of the greatest storytellers of all time: Mark Twain. As a focus on this project, we will study a few of his short stories, namely, “Extracts from Adam’s Diary” and “Eve’s Diary.” If you have other specifics in mind, feel free to discuss them with me. For the present, however, we will study these related stories and discuss the elements of the short story.
These short stories are exactly what their titles suggest: they are the diaries of Adam and Eve both within and without the Garden of Eden. As you read, there is no need for offense,. Remember, satire is Twain’s forte. These stories are meant to be read together, as you will discover they each provide conflicting views regarding events and even conflicting views regarding each other. This is a great example to see a writer provide an added voice and extra set of eyes to paint a more complete picture before the reader.
Also, notice how time is depicted. Twain detailed an entire lifetime in a manner of pages. Short stories can take many different avenues. Some spend the duration of the plot in a single day, sometimes only a few hours, yet these examples give us forty years or more. The short story is a lot less limited than one would automatically assume. Do not feel the number of pages one takes to tell a story is any mark of restriction of restraint.
Second: Write your own Short Story
Do not be scared.
I am not asking for a novel, only for you to take a chance on that creativity you may doubt you even possess. Everyone should at least try. Use Twain as an example of a simple short story. As already mentioned, look at the way he uses time, voice, shifting points of view, tension between the characters, events, anything and everything. Do not feel you have to mimic Twain, but if you feel lost, look to his writing as an example.
Just a thought, write about something you love. Think of an idea, it does not have to be a fantastic, mind-blowing experience. Some of the greatest writings come from the simplest ideas. Do not feel inferior to this project. Just think of something you love, or an idea you become enchanted by. This is your chance to push yourself as a writer. Do not waste this chance to discover a talent or a love you never knew you had. Just try to feel real.
Third: Become a Published Author
Please, do not be afraid of this.
After you have completed your short story, we will have opportunities for peer edit in class, followed by an interview with me. Also, feel free to share your drafts with other literature teachers , who are also quite interested to see what you come up with.
Once you are happy with your finished product, it’s time to make it official. We will be using a technology called LuLu to publish these short stories. We will walk through the procedure in class, and then you will have the chance to play with your options and publish your story from home.
I created a book and found it very painless. The cite walks you through the procedure step by step. First, you choose whether you would like hard or soft cover, whether or not you would like a dust jacket, etc. Then, you are able to upload your finished document, and custom design your own cover. I created a book myself and found the entire process quite easy to understand.
Just an idea, however, is that you may want to team up with a partner or two from class and compile a book together. There is a minimum requirement of 24 pages for each book. It may be good idea to bring three or four short stories together, and compile instead a book of short stories. In this case, you may consider writing an introduction for this book, and remember to include a table of contents. Also, you do not have to pay to assemble the book. If you would like one after completing it, you may order one. I personally think that would be a great idea. You would always have this book to remind yourself you are a published author.
Good luck writing, and we will walk through the entire process in class.