In death they found hope.
A good story keeps the audience focused on what’s happening, while allowing them to subconsciously recognize the underlying the patterns. As a writer it’s important to understand how and why a story works. I will often start with an idea, character, or conflict, and wait until the revision process to try and understand what pattern I’m trying to create, but that is only a preference.
A writing short.
Two people search through the dark, long hallways and open rooms, stacks of cardboard boxes and sealed cases full of glistening silverware and plates, photos in frames, covered in dust.
What were they doing here? The boxes were all empty, and the cases were all locked. They didn’t even have a crowbar. Odds were all the good stuff was already gone, but Jason kept looking, prowling like a cat, pawing at every drawer. Gail could hear the rats scurrying in the background, hiding between the walls, waiting for them to leave. A thin line of sunlight peeked in through the boards, inviting her back.
“I found it,” he called. She hurried to his side, and stopped.
On the bed lay a mound, covered only by a hollow sheet. Gail did her best not to see through it. Jason had no eyes for it. All he saw was the safe embedded in the wall.
Use Stories to see other pieces I’ve written.
Motive, Means, and Opposition
When people criticize a story as boring they usually mean there isn’t an engaging conflict. A good conflict gives the reader something to anticipate. To create a conflict, start with a character and a goal. Give the character a motive to achieve the goal; a means to pursue it, and obstacles to obstruct the character.