Friday, October 21, 2011

Short Pieces on Short Stories -- A Story

A story begins with a moment, slightly out of the ordinary, one you might not notice until a narrator points it out to you.  The moment may be locked in a pounding succession of other moments, each flashing past with steam engine power; or it might be a moment of stillness: the hover of a wing, transcendentally frozen, hesitating over a fat red worm.

It could be a moment when eyes lock across a room – strangers’ eyes or family eyes, or the eyes of two garden gnomes, silently saluting.  It could be the moment when a bullet ejects from the muzzle of a handgun and etches a trajectory across the air, into a brain.  It could be a moment of insight, when Jack looks at Jill and understands gravity; or it could be one of those inconsequential moments, when steam rises from a cup of tea and whirlpools in front of your eyes.

A story always begins with a moment:  Now, or Then, or Once.



Dave King said...

The best stories do, I agree. I heard an author once relate how the first story he evr wrote (as a child) began: "Crash! The captain's head struck the deck." He still thought it the best opening he'd ever written.

Arnab Majumdar said...

It's been a while since I've been writing stories; today was the first time when I thought along those lines.

I always like to think in new directions. :)

Arnab Majumdar on

Elisabeth said...

And that moment, Isabel is usually full of so much. You can almost tell the whole story in that single moment.

jabblog said...

It's trying to make the moment captivating that proves the difficulty;-)