Creating a story

Thank you for the feedback a la No Gangplank Feet. Interesting. On the strength of this and discussions with my friend in Achnasheen I'm going to aim at 'publishing' via the new Bryan Islip FICTION web-site, a totally new short short story  on the 1st of each month. It will take you 2-5 minutes to 'read and inwardly digest' as they used to tell you in the Services. In other words, some 400 - 1000 words.

It shouldn't be too, too difficult. Charles Dickens wrote at least one of his classic novels for publication in The Times at the rate of one chapter per one month. He always struggled with the deadlines and never failed to meet one.

My new web-site strap-line is going to be: "Bryan Islip - Writes Fiction Worth Reading" To make that a truism the stories must be unique and uniquely well written in the sense of their actually meaning something. How's that? Well, nobody knows how it works. Nobody knows how an arrangement of words and phrases in the form of a made-up story is sometimes capable of playing such exquisite tunes on the human soul (whatever, in turn, that may be!). We only know that sometimes it really does; that there is a chance when we begin to read a story that it can; that this one really will.

Over the next few days I'm going to use this blog to clarify my own thinking on the creation of a fictional story, hopefully at the same time bringing you into the heart of the process. Right now I have no idea at all as to what this story will be, but it's going to end up as #1 on the new web-site if all goes according to plan.

First I have to decide on three  factors:-

  1. The viewpont character
  2. The problem
  3. The setting
The viewpoint character could be anyone - male, female, juvenile or even animal: e,g, the President of the United States, a Carmelite nun, captain of the school's football team, Nellie the elephant. I'll choose ... Tommy Rogers, 45, postman.

The problem (his problem that is) could be anything. He falls off his bike, is falsely accused of tampering with the mail, they're going to close the local post office so no job for him, but ... it's 14th February, (Valentine's Day) so he is delivering all the love cards just after his wife, his one and only, has left him for another.

The setting could be a ski resort in the Alps (for Tommy Rogers read Alphonse LeClerk), a Birmingham tenement estate, a suburb of New York. But ... this will be a snowbound village Inn in Southern England.

Now for the difficult bit. I have to write a short short story with a beginning, a body and an ending. Watch this space! And when, hopefully, the 400 - 1000 words are completed I'll show myself and you how it could have been expanded into a 'proper' 3000 -5000 word short story or into a 200,000 word novel.

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