That proofreading will probably reveal more errors that have to be corrected before you print out the real final copy. Henry’s “After Twenty Years.” It is a little under 1,300 words in length and is easily and quickly read. Henry’s “After Twenty Years” as a model for short story writing?
Interestingly, the writer makes good use of dialog that moves the story forward–not one-word lines of exclamations, or only a few words in a series of single-line exchanges, but paragraphs of several lines spoken by each character. You will find the link to “After Twenty Years” at the end of this post. Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.
It’s important to understand the difference between the types of short prose, whether you’re writing an essay, short story, memoir, commentary, or mixed genre piece. A short story is a work that the writer holds to be fiction (i.e., historical fiction based on real events, or a story that is entirely fiction).
Short Story Example: A writer is inspired by a car explosion in his town. Though factual, the personal essay, sometimes called a narrative essay, can feel like a short story, with “characters” and a plot arc.
He writes a story based on the real explosion and set in a similar town, but showing the made-up experiences of his characters (who may be partly based on real-life). A personal essay is a short work of nonfiction that is not academic (that is, not a dissertation or scholarly exploration of criticism, etc.).
Short Story Example two: A writer writes a story based on a made-up explosion, set in a made-up town, and showing the made-up experiences of his characters. In a personal essay, the writer recounts his or her personal experiences or opinions.
With each draft, you improve your story, and the more drafts you make, the better your story should be.
Once you have typed what you hope will be the final copy, leave it for a day or two–more, if possible–before returning to it and proofreading it.
Your writing should proceed through several drafts.
In the first draft, you simply write without hesitation or much care about grammar, spelling, and punctuation.