The Ditchwalk Book Club is reading and discussing Rust Hills’ seminal work, Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular. Announcement here. Overview here. Tag here.
In the previous section Hills established the relationship between fixed action and moving action. Here Hills elaborates with examples and notes a basic difference between short fiction and longer forms of storytelling:
There may, of course, be several moved characters in a novel, but in the short story there is usually just one character on whom matters focus.
Again the practical benefit of knowing how to write a short story should be obvious. If you can tell a story that focuses all of its effects through one character, all of that skill is directly portable to the orchestral nature of the novel — no matter what kind of novels you write. If you don’t know how to hone your storytelling skills to their sharpest point you may get away with clever plotting or lots of shrieking drama, but you will fail to achieve the emotional potential of your work. [ Read more ]