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    Write A 'One-Day' Story and Make an Impact

    Anybody's life could change in one day. A wake-up call after a long period of depression, an unexpected mail from a long lost friend, an engagement proposal, a woman's unexpected conception, a tragic incident that almost claimed one's life, the discovery of treachery -- all these can change anybody's beliefs, perspective and life in general in one day. In a split second, even.

    As a writer, you are challenged to effectively write about a story that happened in just one day. It is not very easy because you need to effectively illustrate the events in your story in such a way that you will make a significant impact to your readers and make a strong point in the end.

    You will establish and expose a character by showing to your readers only a single day or a few hours in his/her life. Ultimately, you will move your story from introduction to climax in as short as 10 to 15 pages only.

    Here are some tips that can tap your creative nerves and inspire you to work on a one-day story:


    1. Look into your theme and conflict.

    When a story idea comes to your mind, it is more likely about a conflict and not a character. You don't say, "I'll write about a young girl" but "I'll write about a young girl with a life-threatening disease." That's because conflicts are actually inspiration from which we can generate the theme of our stories.

    The theme is the main framework of your story. Your plot, setting and characters must be consistent with your theme to make a solid point. Upon identifying your conflict and theme, explore the many possibilities your story can bring.

    By now, you are ready to create the outline of how your story will progress.


    2. Captivate readers with your starting paragraph.

    You certainly don't have the luxury of time to build up your story. Hence, at the beginning of your story, be sure to sound interesting enough to keep your readers with you.


    3. Capture moments.

    Freeze important scenarios in your conflict that will illustrate the way of thinking and attitude of your characters, especially your main protagonist. Here, you'll be establishing his/her character and at the same time you'll be inviting your readers to empathize with your protaganist and understand what s/he's going through.

    In the case of the young girl with a life-threatening disease, you can create a scene where she encourages her parents to be strong for her. Capture this moment and illustrate it very carefully. Study how you can come up with side stories involving the parents and their feelings, while remaining focused on your protagonist.


    4. Let every line be punchlines.

    As you capture important moments in your story, imagine the dialogues and the exchange of lines between your characters. Choose your characters' lines carefully. Effective lines will help you to remain focused in your theme while your story is moving.


    5. Make a remarkable twist.

    The denouement or the resolution of the conflict is the deciding factor for some readers on how to rate your story, as to whether it's been effectively written or not.

    Just as you have been creatively straightforward in the early parts of your story, you should be artistically direct to the point in the exposition of your denouement, likewise in concluding your story. Finally, after you've written your first draft, review your material and make revisions if you feel it's necessary. Proofread your work and polish its format and spelling so your publisher would have an easier time evaluating your story for publication. Once you've started drafting one-day stories, you'll have an easier time coming up with more stories and interesting conflicts. You'll be more enthusiastic in your craft, ergo, you'll keep getting better as a writer.

    Copyright © 2003 Arlene M. Paredes

    Arlene M. Paredes writes short stories, features and essays. Her first nonfiction book will be released this year. She maintains an online journal as a form of writing exercise. You may contact her at lhen@postmark.net.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from Amazon.com and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

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