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  Course overview

This short, 3-minute presentation provides a quick overview of what the course will cover.

Video transcript

Course overview - the three minute tour

We start by thinking about what a short story is and 'how short is short'? In this section of the course we define the short story and consider some different genres. There is also a short exercise to get you thinking about the kind of stories you want to write.

Next, learn how to identify your market. This is one of the most important elements of short story success. We will look at:

  • finding your market before you start to write
  • some short story markets, and
  • consider other ways to publish your stories.

Then, in the next section we move on to the question all writers get asked: where do you get your ideas? The answer is anywhere and everywhere. I will talk about how stories can spring to life and go from idea to publication, and you can try out the cook-up-a-story idea generating exercise.

In 'Short Story Elements' you will learn the nitty gritty of putting a story together. We will start at the beginning by looking at how to create a great opening. Then we'll add the essential ingredient every story needs: conflict. We'll also look at:

  • plotting and structure – and what the difference is
  • using flashback, viewpoint and tense
  • how to create believable characters, and
  • dialogue, plus
  • settings and description.

Finally, we finish at the end – by finding out how to bring your story to a great conclusion.

THE END

Except it's not really the end, because then you'll move on to... editing. Find out how to get rid of the unnecessary stuff and cut out what doesn't work. I'll include some proofreading tips too.

Then you'll learn about how to submit your story. You'll find out what you'll need to do to get your story to a magazine editor or a publisher, including:

  • how to prepare your manuscript
  • send it to an editor, and what to expect next
  • and how to deal with rejection.

And finally we wrap up by discovering how to keep writer's block at bay and keep on writing, and writing, and writing - because writing regularly is absolutely essential.

Plus there are stories and plenty of handouts for you to read. So head on over to the next lecture, and let's get started.