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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Novel Vs. Short Story Writing: A Closer Look

Have a question? Agree, disagree,
with me? Leave me your opinion.

The Novel

Writing a novel is an
exciting undertaking.
It takes passion,

First, with a novel,
narrow down ideas.
What will the novel
be about. Select
the idea with mass
appeal. Specifically,
what kind of plot?


Plot is the problem in
the novel. A book
length work can handle
more than one problem.

Usually, there's a major
problem, and one minor
issue. As you become
more experienced, you
can include as many
problems as comfortable.

Who will have the
problem? Male?

Show-Case The Plot

The problem, plot, starts on
page one.

"Why start the problem
on page one?" You

It gets the attention of
the reader. The reader
will want to know what
happens next, possibly
care about the character,
or is interested in seeing
how it's resolved.

So, on page one conflict,
plot, begins.

You can always go back,
and explain how the main
character's circumstances

Actually, let the character
or other characters in the
novel explain it.

Character Profiles

Make character profiles.
Describe your character.
Long hair? Bug eyes?
Always smirking. Tastes?
Dislikes? Educational
level? Put anything in it
that you feel the character
is. Or, include details
about him/her that's
pertinent to the story.

Character profiles are
information to keep close
at hand. When writing
about various characters,
you'll forget something
about one or the other

I, often, referred to character
profiles. My novel, Grave
Street House, had characters
from different backgrounds.

I'd forget how a certain
character reacted
to specific circumstances.
I'd pull-out the profiles
to refresh my memory.


The main character is the
protagonist. The character
opposing the main character
is the antagonist.

The protagonist isn't a
perfect person. He/she
has flaws. Perhaps,
he/she talks too much,
isn't brave, and/or stares
at walls.

Likewise, the antagonist
isn't all bad.

Secondary Characters

Stir-in other characters
as needed. They are the
secondary characters.
The secondary characters
play small roles in your


The theme is the
message of your novel.
It's a statement made by
you through your work.

The theme of my novel,
Grave Street House, was
you get back what you
send out, bad or good.


Set your completed work
aside for, at least, seven
days before editing.

You are emotionally
involved with your work.
You have to take time
away before you're
able to critique it.

The break allows you
to come-back refreshed,
and full of new ideas.

Short Story Writing

This discussion is
about short stories,
five to six hundred


As with a novel,
you pick an idea
to write about.

A problem, plot,
must exist for the
main character,

Space is limited
in a short story,
and one problem
is addressed.

Character Profiles

Each character is

"Why?" You asked.

You are better able
to tell the story. If you
forget a character's
flaw, look it up.

In a crisis, how should
a character handle the
circumstances? His/her
character profile reminds


Every short story, too,
has a theme. It's your
comment about the world,


Place the short story
in your desk. Take a
break from it.


It's time to start
writing your short
story, or novel.
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About Me

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Marcella Glenn is a freelance writer who has written news reports, worked in an office, reviewed movies, published a newsletter and had her novel, "Grave Street House," published. She, too, is a Writing Consultant as well as a Personal Coach.

She has tried to go down some of life's other paths. A few paths were a mail-order business, the publishing of a pen-pal newsletter and selling plastic-ware. Only, she was back writing before realizing what she was doing.

She'd critique titles, paragraphs, news reports, that no one submitted to her. She'd stop herself, eventually. Marcella Glenn seemed to be enjoying the act of writing. This is how she knew writing was more than a hobby.

Let it be a lesson in your life too. Is writing calling your name? Or, acting? Teaching? Are you interested in engineering? Have the courage to go for your dreams. Simply, believe in yourself.

Meet Marcella Glenn on Twitter:

Grave Street House Interview
Authors Show Radio Announces Interview Lineup For Week Of February 16, 2009
Internet Radio features five new authors each week
February 16, 2009
Every week, The Authors Show, radio version features interviews with up and coming authors from around the world. This week The Authors Show radio features Marcella Glenn, author of  'Grave Street House'.

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