Situations, the next step

Yesterday, I told you where stories, at lest for me, begin.

Today we are going to look into the situations that begin a story.

A situation is a moment where thing can, will and have happened.  In order to have a story, then you must have something interesting  happen otherwise, why write it.  It might be the daily schedule of a person, it might be a fire, it might be just two people talking on the bus, but something has to happen.

A situation might take a bit of work to get to however. Sometimes it takes half a novel to get to it, other times it slaps you in the face from the start.

In flash pieces, the situation is brief, to the point, and often very cut off from anything else.  Short stories can and often do take in a bit more of the whole picture.  Novels take in a whole lot more.

Depending on what you are writing and how long it will be will determine how much lead up you have to the situation.  With 1,000 words, you don’t have much wiggle room.  One hundred thousand words will let you dive into the back story with detail and play it all out to the end.

A lot of times a novel can be reduced to just one situation.  If you look on the back of the book, you will find great examples of how each author uses them to create a story.  The short blurb that most books have will give you a very brief overview of what the story or situation is about.  If it grabs you then the author was successful in catching your attention with the situation that he or she chose.


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