1. Get your story Peer-Reviewed!
-Have someone you know, and trust, look at your work to let you know if your missing spelling or have grammar errors. Who knows, maybe they will find that you forgot to write a whole paragraph.
2. PROSPECTIVE IS KEY!!!
-Much like my tips for poetry, in your short fiction focus on the point of view. The power of POV is almost more important in short fiction than poetry.
3. Sensory Details, Sensory Details, Sensory Details!
-Heighten the reader’s senses with sensory details. Short fiction has more word count to play with then most poetry. Use this to your advantage and really dive into the sensory information surrounding your story.
4. Broaden the viewpoint.
-Do not just focus on the sight the POV gives, try considering other factors. If you are writing from the POV of someone looking at an old picture think about the time difference the two have. What underlining plot does this give the story? What senses do time force your reader to experience?
5. Have a clear plot.
-You won’t believe how many people forget to have a plot to their story! Don’t be one of them. Your story can have as many amazing details and senses as possible, but if it does not have a plot it isn’t a good story.
6. Surprise yourself!
-While you should have a plot to a story don’t make it feel like you're writing an academic paper. By rule of thumb if you are writing and find yourself surprised by were the story went, then your reader will be just as surprised. It may feel like the story wrote you at times, but it’s that feeling that just may get your story published.
1. Pick an image.
-Sounds basic right? Well when you want to write a poem about a certain image it is almost imperative you know exactly which image you want. For the Hot Dish Challenge, we provide the images for you. Just pick one and start writing.
2. Don’t just focus on the story of the image, but instead think about the senses it provokes.
-Poetry is not just what you can see, but what you can experience through all senses. Focus not only on the sight of the image but also the sounds, taste, touch, and smell that radiate from it.
3. Be specific with your details.
-Piggybacking off of number two, be as detailed with your senses as possible. Don’t generalize these details, but do not feel like they all must be positive senses either.
4. Prospective is key!
-When you think and later write about your chosen image what sort of prospective are you going to use? Who is narrating, telling, seeing, or hearing this story? Is it the young child across the street? The older gentleman with a hate for phones? Is it you as you see yourself in the image? Prospective is key and can help you provide more specific sensory details to spice up your piece.
5. Pick a form that helps you get at these sensory details.
-Another way to help you write sensory details besides prospective is adopting a format that limits how you can write a piece. My favorite form for beginners is called the 10 to 1. In a 10 to 1 your first line starts with 10 words, then 9, then 8, until you get to a one-word line. This form forces a writer to consider word choice and gives the writer natural points of emphasis that they can fit into. There are other easy and more advance forms of poetry you can try that may help you get the sensory details out of your chosen image.
6. Let your imagination go!
-Just like number 1 this sounds basic right? Surprisingly it isn’t! When you pick an image, an immediate reaction is that you have to write about the story the artist of the image wanted it to tell. Or at least the poem has to be about the most pronounced things in the image. This is not the case!!!! The image is there to serve you the writer. If you’re writing a poem based of the image of a house it does not have to be about the house. It could be about a bird in it, or the person(s) looking at the house.
7. Have fun with it.
-Trying to incorporate these different aspects into your poem may seem somewhat stressful or difficult but don’t feel like it must be. One aspect of this challenge is to not only challenge you, but to allow writers to explore different avenues of writing that appeal to them. Write to have fun!