Tips for writing your 500 Words story

Tips for writing your 500 Words story
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Dr.JohnParker,Singapore,Researcher
Published Date:01-07-2017
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Tips for wriTing What’s your 500 words sTory y y? Planning w riting Choose what to write about b e ginning, middle and end We want to publish a wide range of stories, from Think of your story as having three parts: a tragic to humorous, extraordinary to familiar, and beginning, a middle and an end. But that doesn’t everything in between. What’s important is that you mean that it needs to unfold in a linear way. write from your own experience, and make us feel t h e beginning like we are right there with you. When you are writing online, it’s crucial that you It’s also important to stick to the theme. We will be capture your reader’s attention in the first few releasing a new theme each month, so you’ll have sentences. Here are some great ways to open a the opportunity to share all kinds of stories with us. story and ‘hook’ your reader: b rainstorm • C ut to t he chase – try opening the story at A blank page or screen can be daunting, even the very heart of the action, a turning point, or for experienced writers. Start by brainstorming a moment of excitement or anticipation. Then your ideas. you can go back and explain how you got to that point. Put yourself back in the moment. What did you see, Example: ‘Swathed in a motel towel I scanned hear and smell? What was the weather like on that the corridor, with my knee against our door. I day? What were you wearing? What was going thrust one case with a right hand bowling action. It through your mind? flopped over. I strode forward with the second bag. Snap went the door behind me.’ Jot down your memories, phrases, and possible Rosslyn Thomas titles. Then allow time for your ideas to develop. https://open.abc.net.au/projects/500-words- Think about how to tell the story when you’re in the caught-out-28dn4ay/contributions/naked-in-the- garden or driving to work, not just when you’re sitting hallway-11qj6ey in front of your computer. • P aint an at mospher ic scene – entice your reader h o ne in with a vivid description of a place or a feeling. Before you begin to write, remember that 500 words Include details about the sights, smells and is only about one page. Your story will be stronger if sounds, to put us in your point of view. you explore a single moment in depth, rather than try Example: ‘The surface of the Caribbean was to cover too much ground. a fl t and calm, and as I swam, a tiny bow-wave Try summarising your story in two or three preceded me. On the horizon I could see a ship, sentences. This is a great way to figure out where the very small in the distance but in reality a large heart of the story lies, and will guide your decisions naval frigate. My ship, I slowly realised.’ about what to include, and what to Michel Dignand leave out. https://open.abc.net.au/projects/500-words- caught-out-28dn4ay/contributions/sprung-04hy4uc 1 1 1 abc.net.au/open stor ourTips for wriTing your 500 words sTory What’s y y? • Use suspense or s ur pr ise – set the reader a dd a title and des Cri Pt ion up with a mystery that will be revealed, or catch Spend time thinking about a catchy title and short them off guard with a statement that is contrary or description that captures the essence of your story. unexpected. We’ll feel compelled to read on to find Don’t be too coy – a reader wants to know what out more. they’re in for if they click and read on. Example: ‘My father walked out through the Choose an image front door when I was five...I don’t remember my You don’t have to include an image with your story, grandmother’s arrival some years later, although but a good image will attract more readers. You can it ultimately proved to be a far more signic fi ant choose one of your own photos, or search online for event.’ a Creative Commons image. Robbie Rowlands https://open.abc.net.au/projects/500-words- e diting caught-out-28dn4ay/contributions/doors-43og4gi t h e middle r e ad it aloud This is where the action happens. It’s up to you to This is a sure-r fi e way to discover spelling and choose what you reveal in the story, and when to grammar mistakes that your spell-check missed, and reveal it. Which elements can you express in a quick to test how your writing flows. sentence or two, and which parts do you want to draw out, so the reader experiences the Are there any sentences that are overly long, or feel moment as it unfolds? clunky when you read them aloud? Are there times when you’ve used the same word or phrase more t h e end than once? Does the order feel right? Is your opening Leave us with something to think about. Share your strong? ree fl ction on the events you’ve described, or what impact the experience has had on you. You can e l iminate, eliminate wind up the story in a couple of sentences, but it’s Can you find any phrases that could be expressed important to leave the reader feeling satise fi d. more simply, or any information that isn’t essential to the story? If in doubt, leave it out w rite sim Pl y Your story will have more impact if your writing style g e t feedba Ck is simple and direct. This is especially important Show the story to a friend. You don’t have to take when you are writing online. feedback on board, but sometimes a ‘second pair of eyes’ will see something you didn’t, or come up with Avoid complex sentences. Well-chosen nouns and a great suggestion that will improve the story. verbs can be just as descriptive as lots of adjectives and adverbs. If one word can convey the same thing g r ammar matters as three, go for the shorter option. Small mistakes in spelling, punctuation and grammar will spoil the impact of the story. Vary the Pa Ce Vary the length of your sentences and paragraphs to Have one last check through before you hit the keep your reader engaged. Use shorter sentences submit button. and paragraphs to draw attention to an idea, a turning point, or a discovery. 2 2 abc.net.au/open stor our

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