Short Story Self Conference
In your journal follow the
instructions below. You may or may not use this information
directly in your story, but it’s important to clarify the background
information for yourself as the author. You may not know all this
information; if not, make up details that would best fit your story.
Describe each main character in a paragraph. Give them a first
and last name, age, physical description, clothing, distinguishing
habits and ideas even if you don’t mention those details in the
story. Give each a hook like glasses, Bulls’ cap, lisp or
sneezing allergy that fits the character
Describe the minor characters in a sentence. The minor characters
are usually stereotypes (the bus driver, the neighbor, etc.) because
you don’t want them to stand out too much, but you might give each of
them one characteristic that makes them rounder.
Describe each scene. Place the story in time (hour, day, year) as
well as place. Time or a limited time can often be an element
that gives the story tension.
What is the Major Dramatic Question? Where do you make it clear
in the beginning of the story? How well do the complications
relate to the MDQ?
Describe the point of view. Mention which person and from what
perspective in time.
Describe the conflict. What is the main character’s problem or
need and what is in the way of it?
Describe the two or three complications. Are they in the most effective
order to create rising action?
How satisfying is your conclusion? Does it answer the MDQ?
Does it fit the character and story? Does it contain some
surprise without being illogical?