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10 Second Tip:
Stuck on a SHORT Story?


Stuck on what to put in your story?
-- This is the list of things I check off when I create a story:

Do you have a Setting in mind?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
- Sci-fi
- Historical
- Modern day
- Fantasy

Do you have ONE big main event for the story to focus on?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
- A battle
- An escape
- A love scene
- An act of revenge
- A sacrifice
- A treasure to claim
- A magic spell
- A transformation

Do you know what you want to SAY with your story?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
- Love sucks.
- Friendship is forever.
- No good deed goes unpunished.
- A snake can only ever be a snake.
- Sometimes you have to take chances.
- Magic makes things worse, not better.

Do you know where you want to END your story?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
- A wedding?
- A funeral?
- A bloody battlefield?
- An empty street?
- The bottom of an ocean?

Do you have your three central characters ready?
-- Just to make things interesting, any one of these three could be the Hero, the Villain, or the Ally.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
- A main character that personifies what your story is trying to say?
- A main character that personifies an opposing opinion of the same topic?
- A buddy / friend/ love interest of one or both to personify Joe Normal stuck in the Middle?

Why did I mention Characters last?
-- Instead of making a story for my characters, I do the opposite. I make characters for my story.

Some people can come up with a cool character and then build a story around them. Sadly, I am not one of those. I can build a back-story just fine, but my back-stories are never good enough to be the Main Story. A back-story is how a character GOT his Issues. The main story is how they FIXED those Issues. See the difference?  

Anyway...
-- When I'm stuck on a story, I try thinking on these questions and often, they'll jog something loose.

Enjoy!
Stuck on what to put in your story?
-- This is the list of things I check off when I create a story.

~~~~~~~~~~
Posted as a submission by popular request! (All two of you.)

DISCLAIMER: As with all advice, take what you can use and throw out the rest. As a multi-published author, I have been taught some fairly rigid rules on what is publishable and what is not. If my rather straight-laced (and occasionally snotty,) advice does not suit your creative style, by all means, IGNORE IT.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ookami Kasumi
[link]

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:iconminamotosanada:
Minamotosanada Featured By Owner Edited Sep 23, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I am in the process of reading all these tutorial's and as such I was wondering if you have any general advice for someone just striking out?

I'm starting to think maybe I should have posted this comment on the gallery folder instead.
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:iconmonstermanga1022:
monstermanga1022 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist

It's actually kind of funny because I also create the story before the characters, but I only just realized it :)

Sometimes I create a story around a pre-made character, but it is SO much easier to do it the other way

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:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Professional Writer
Ah... Great minds think alike!
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:icon1st-hashirama-senju:
1st-Hashirama-Senju Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013

This will help if I ever get stuck on a short story.

 

There are several interesting events in the Naruto series that are told but not shown. So I thought of making short stories for those events to show what might have happened. And also there are several minor characters, some only given names in the databooks, which would make for an interesting main character to do some stories about.  

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:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Professional Writer
I do that myself; write stories for unexplained events, or stories that circle around minor characters. (Of course, all my stuff is about events that will never be explained because they're all Adult encounters.) LOL!
Reply
:iconleighad:
LeighAD Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
I prefer to go this route: setting --> characters --> then plot --> fix characters. I find it easier to plot when I've got a motive, goal, and basic personality in place to drive the action of the story.

I like your approach to a lot of things. You do a lot of things the way I'd like to do them, if only I had figured them out myself.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Professional Writer
I like your approach to a lot of things. You do a lot of things the way I'd like to do them, if only I had figured them out myself.
 -- This means that given enough time, you Would have figured them out yourself. :)
Reply
:icondoodlezap:
DoodleZap Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013  Student General Artist
This really helped.
Especially the part about making a character to fit your story instead of making a story to fit the character.
That was the problem I was having.
Thanks for the help!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Professional Writer
I'm glad the essay proved useful.
-- Making characters to fit your story fixes a Lot of problems before they even come up, such as How you're going to end the story.
Reply
:icondoodlezap:
DoodleZap Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks again!!!
Reply
:icontheredclouds:
TheRedClouds Featured By Owner May 3, 2013
The idea of developing a character to fit a story as opposed to a story to fit a character is such a simple but brilliant idea! Thank you for the tutorial!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Professional Writer
My pleasure!
Reply
:icontwistedalyx:
TwistedAlyx Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Is the ONE big main event usually the climax? (Maybe an example from a Grimm's fairy tale? Because those stories are so iconic, I find those examples EXTREMELY helpful.)
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Writer
There are usually 3 big events in a story:
-- The event that forced the character into adventure.
-- The event where they make their biggest mistake.
-- The event where they face the results of their mistake. Often where Hero confronts Villain AKA: who they Could have been if they hadn't fixed their mistake. This event is normally considered the story's climax.

In Beauty & the Beast:
- Event 1 is where Beauty's father plucks the rose then AGREES to trade his daughter for his own life.
-- Event 2 is where Beauty begs to Go Home.
-- Event 3 is where Beauty faces the results of leaving: a dying Beast.
Reply
:iconjason-renard:
Jason-Renard Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012
I really liked that this tutorial is a simple and checklist-like. When you want to get something done fast, you tend to skim instead of actually taking your time to read, so it helps!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2012  Professional Writer
I tend to do a lot of checklists in my tutorials. Mainly because the notes I collected over the years are cut down to only the sheer basics, which tends to be a lot of checklists.

Checklists are just plain easier to use.
Reply
:iconmwezii:
mwezii Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
In the name of Amaterasu, I simply adore your tutorials! I love the attitude you put in them an' all that. And they're useful, especially for rpers trying to turn to short stories.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2012  Professional Writer
I'm glad you like my essays.
-- I try to keep the BS to a minimum, but sometimes my personal frustrations do leak in.
Reply
:iconmwezii:
mwezii Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The personal stuff can help it be interesting. Add a little zest~
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Professional Writer
Well, at least in my tutorials you definitely know what techniques I Don't approve of, (The Evil AS, Head-hopping...)
Reply
:iconmwezii:
mwezii Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes. xD.

Which, not using those in writing is pretty senseful. Unless you're the writer of My Immortal. Then nothing makes sense. ^^
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Professional Writer
Don't mention that author. Please.
-- I still have no clue how they got that or the previous books published. Seriously.
Reply
:iconmwezii:
mwezii Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Lmao
Reply
:iconprowl54:
prowl54 Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2011
omg this helps so much!!!!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Professional Writer
Excellent!
-- I love being helpful. :)
Reply
:iconprowl54:
prowl54 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011
yay! I made you feel helpful!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011  Professional Writer
Yes, you did.
-- You're so sweet ~!
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:iconprowl54:
prowl54 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011
Hooray!
Reply
:iconlizzallen:
lizzallen Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this! I write short stories and there are many times when I am stuck. I tried this method and inspiration came easily along with a new story idea! I love your tutorials! Thank you again!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2011  Professional Writer
Excellent!
-- I love being helpful.
Reply
:iconileandrayoung:
IleandraYoung Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
And this! I will use this too! It may actually help me get started!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011  Professional Writer
Excellent!
-- I love being inspiring.
Reply
:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:heart: This piece has been featured here --> [link] :heart:
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011  Professional Writer
Thank you so much! I'm honored.
Reply
:iconemmyisazebra:
EmmyIsAZebra Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure!
Reply
:iconpan-zareta:
Pan-Zareta Featured By Owner May 1, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I'll have to remember that. Here is another tip: power walking is a good way to wake up one's writing muse. Course, the only drawback is, one needs to grab pen and notebook and write it down once home. Otherwise, one forgets the wonderful story composed in the heat of exercise.
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Professional Writer
Here is another tip: power walking is a good way to wake up one's writing muse.

Oh Hell, Yes it is!
-- As for remembering stuff, check out my journal on how to teach yourself to have a photographic memory specifically for story-telling. :)
Reply
:iconpan-zareta:
Pan-Zareta Featured By Owner May 4, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I just looked at your sig line. Just how fine is this smut?
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner May 5, 2011  Professional Writer
My smut is fine enough that it's paying my rent. :)
I'm a Professional smut writer.
Reply
:iconpan-zareta:
Pan-Zareta Featured By Owner May 5, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
wow *goggles in awe*
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner May 6, 2011  Professional Writer
It's not a career for just anyone. I'll never be rich, but I don't need to leave the house to go to work. :)
Reply
:iconnh-cheater:
nh-cheater Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011
thanks!!!!
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Professional Writer
My pleasure.
Reply
:iconhacques:
hacques Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*thunder of understanding strikes*

Oh my! This is reaaaally useful! :heart: Thank you! Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Professional Writer
I'm thrilled you like it!
-- I love being helpful.
Reply
:iconspstitches:
SPStitches Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2010
Quote: "Instead of making a story for my characters, I do the opposite. I make characters for my story."

That's...genius. It doesn't sound easy but I tried it out on a chapter and :omg: It makes the story go along so much easier. I love it! :dummy:
Reply
:iconookamikasumi:
OokamiKasumi Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2010  Professional Writer
LOL!
-- It's just the practical thing to do, at least with the way I come up with stories.

I'm glad you liked it.
Reply
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