SETTING: Suspense is building, and the stakes are high. Your character must hurry up before it is too late.
3 HIGHLIGHTS: (include): a noise, something behind a closed door or a blocked pathway, and uncertainty until the very end
SUBMISSIONS: Submit your story below
WORD COUNT: 750-1,500
DEADLINE: Always due on the 25th of each month.
3 OPTIONAL PROMPTS TO GET YOU STARTED:
1.) Your character notices that one of his or her keychains is missing. It was a special keychain from a collection. Your character has collected quite a few keychains from places where he or she vacationed. The only suspects are a friendly neighbor boy who cuts the lawn, a nice cleaning lady, a responsible dog walker, and your character’s own family member. Whodunnit? Who is the troublemaker?
2.) Your character is a teenager with two younger siblings. Their parents have died. You decide which long lost relative arrives to take care of them. After a series of unusual pranks from the relative, your character must find a new caretaker. Will they ever trust anyone?
3.) Your character used to be the mayor of a town. The town attorney wrongly charged him with obstruction of justice. The county judge banished him to live in the forest. He began to build tiny homes and sold many to people from faraway places, gaining wealth. The attorney and judge fear he will return with vengeance to rule over them. You decide if your character can win his hometown. You decide if the main trickster is a barber, banker, realtor, or landscaper.
You can find additional optional conflicts on pages 139-140 in “Writers 750 Emerald Workbook,” written by H.M. Schuldt.
3 ITEMS THAT MUST BE INCLUDED
1.) A noise
2.) Suspense: uncertainty until the very end
3.) Something behind a closed door or a blocked pathway
Types of cliffhangers include the following: a loss is identified such as a lost relationship or a lost shelter; a dangling carrot is something desperately wanted but out of reach; a glimmer of hope with a slim outlook, an almost impossible situation; a physical threat of someone in immediate danger; a ticking clock with a sense of urgency before a deadline; an accident with unknown consequences, unknown results; unexpected news with possible trouble ahead; and an unanswered question is the most common cliffhanger.
A story map is helpful for the writer to know where he or she is going with the story. A story map is more involved than a basic tradition of introducing a conflict, developing rising tension, reaching a climax, and ending with a resolution. A story map begins with a hook that draws the reader in. A conflict is introduced which creates a turning point. Rising action is developed; what is at stake? Obstacles get in the way; a sense of urgency is felt leading up to the climax. Falling action wraps up the story and leads into a good ending.
Noises can add suspense to the story at just the right time. For example, a ticking clock might remind the reader that the character better hurry up and get something done before something bad happens. A countdown can also remind the reader that the character is in a race against time before something is permanently lost. You can use a certain noise throughout the story to signify the need for conquering a dilemma. At night, a noise can add suspense. A clink, bang, whistle, or music can add curiosity. Other noises include: a knock, footsteps, creaky door, TV, saw, cupboard shuts, window opens, humming, static, snapping twigs.
WORKSHOP GUIDELINES – Skip over this section if you are familiar with the Writers 750 Program.
GENRE: Fantasy, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Crime, Comedy, Romance, or a mixture (No erotica)
The main purpose of this workshop is to practice the skill of writing fiction, explore conflict and character development, write a new short stories, and receive good feedback.
RULES & DIRECTIONS –
• Type in English – a minimum of 750 words; a maximum of 1,500 words
• Post your title and word count total in the first line of your story posting.
• ONE entry per person, must be the writer’s original work, a final revision, and a new piece of writing. No multiple submissions. Make sure to post your final revision.