Our first annual short story contest is out (see the Contests page), and, we here at the Blackbird Review, felt it would be a kindly service to provide some advice to our aspiring writers. So we trolled the Internet and found this concise bit of advice over at Jerz’s Literary Weblog. They’re pretty solid.
- Get Started
- Write a Catchy First Paragraph (FIND THE HOOK!)
- Develop Your Characters
- Choose a Point of View
- Write Meaningful Dialogue
- Use Setting and Context
- Set up the Plot
- Create Conflict and Tension
- Build to a Crisis or a Climax
- Deliver a Resolution
All of these work for beginning writers. We would also add the following to the list:
- know the requirements for the story (5,00 words or less, typed, etc.)
- on the same note, make sure you know how to submit the story
- SPELLCHECK AND GRAMMAR CHECK THE STORY…should be a no-brainer. Only submit your best work. Never compromise on this.
- make sure you somehow connect to the contest’s theme of Spring Fever. We won’t tell you how to do it, just do it.
- and lastly, have fun!
Good luck! Check below for how many days are left until the April 13th deadline!