There Must Be a Change

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For a story to rivet the reader, the characters must change from evil to good, happy to sad, selfish to compassionate, or a similar change. Otherwise, the story reads like a bland planner entry. Short stories, in particular, must show the change quickly. Flash Fiction under 500 words needs the reader to understand the main character is a lout and will become less of one by the end.

Guarantee: if a writer finds a story or character stuck, likely nothing has changed in a while.

This is why there are so many worksheets and tools aimed at showing how a character matures, changes, or fails to change. All of the possibilities are laid out so when the writer gets stuck, they can go “Ah Ha”. I wondered what happens next.

I have mentioned I used to pants along hoping for character insight to fall down from heaven. Inspiration does fall down on my keyboard. It just happens to arrive in a character sheet.

Short stories also benefit from this approach. The character must make a change or the story must take the reader down a path with a hidden surprise. Otherwise, the whole story lacks any tension and fewer readers.

 

Michael S. Sommermeyer

Michael S. Sommermeyer writes fast fiction, observations, poetry, mysteries, fantasies, and science fiction. He focuses on oddities, unbelievable facts, strange phenomenon, discoveries, and the people who wander uneven worlds. He ponders the dreams of mythmakers and explores what the every person dreams about. He writes fiction for http://wordsmithholler.com and has written scientific and technical writing for a number of magazines.

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