October = Hallowe'en!
If you know me, you know that I love spooky stories!
What do you need to do to write a (spooky) short story?
Here are my hints and tips for short story writing.
- Keep it simple! Don't have too many characters. Usually one or two are enough if you are writing up to 350 words.
- Use adjectives and descriptive verbs (rather than a verb-adverb combination) to build atmosphere. He sprinted is much more exciting that He ran quickly.
- Use direct speech to carry the story on and give your characters personality. The way someone speaks can tell you how educated they are, where they are from and what they think of the other characters. Compare these examples: "'Sup?" "What's up?" "How are you?" "How do you do?" Check out punctuation for direct speech.
- Use a variety of linking words to carry the action forward or backward. And then... and then... and then... is dull and repetitive. First of all, secondly, previously, before that, then, later (on), all of a sudden, suddenly, until, (just) when, in the meantime, not until then, at that moment, only after that, as soos as, while, although, even though, so that, finally, in the end.
- Stories are usually narrated (told) as if the action has happened in the past. Use a variety of tenses to help you do this. Past simple for completed actions, events that happen one after the other, or which interrupt a long action. Past continuous for longer actions or for things that happen simultaneously (at the same time), for setting the scene. Past perfect for an event in the deep past (before other actions in the past). Past perfect continuous for events that were happening before the past perfect action.
- Use vocabulary appropriate to the theme. For spooky Hallowe'en vocabulary you can look at the following resources: Hallowe'en vocabulary word list, Hallowe'en vocabulary with definitions, My Hallowe'en vocabulary
- A story has to have a beginning, a middle and an end. That is the reader needs to get to know the characters in the beginning, then she/he needs to experience the conflict (a difficult situation which is, or leads to the main event/action) and finally to feel the pleasure of the resolution (finding a solution to the problem) at the end. Use paragraphs to make these distinctions clear.) I also found a great story map to help you plan ideas. (It has a Minecraft theme, but your story can be about anything!)
Here are some spooky stories for you to read and listen to. Perhaps they will inspire you!