Monday, April 27, 2009

The Ah Ha! Moment

This is it, writers. You've only got 500 words to go, and your short short story is complete. Or perhaps, you've now realized you've got the beginnings of a full-length story or even a novel.

Whatever you're writing, you will now want to bring us to a moment of discovery. This discovery might lead to your epiphany—the ending of your short story. Or it could lead to a larger conflict and a bigger story. It's up to you. Whatever you decide, your readers want a "ah ha!" moment right about now.

How to do this? I would take a look at your first 250 words. Inside the text there's an image. Something a little quirky, perhaps. It's definitely sensory and a little mystery. It makes you a little nervous—this image. You've been tempted to edit it out, but it's a good thing you didn't, because now, I would like you to take this image and repeat it at the end of your climactic moment. Let it spin and twist the narrative. Let it blossom into something unexpected. Give your protagonist a line of dialogue that reveals something completely new and yet familiar.

Have fun with this. Don't stress over it. Enjoy. Breathe. And now, your story is done! I can't wait to see the winner!

With love and luck,

Respond by sending your entry to When the contest closes, we'll announce the winner and post the entry on the blog. The winner will receive The Writer's Toolbox.

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