The approach to write a Short Story as proposed in the Handbook is either to limit the scope of the argument or focus on a Single class or Variation.
Figuring out what to do with a Short Story I have written recently, I was looking for a solution to give it a rewrite.
As I couldn’t find a single Class I have tried something else. I combined Dramatica with the Snowflake method.
With the approach I didn’t get a complete story (according to Dramatica) but I got a lot of additional background info and details for my second draft.
The approach works like this..
I start to write one sentence for my story idea. This gives me short synopsis for the entire story.
Based on my short synopsis, I write at least one sentence for each Throughline concern (OS, RS, MC, IC). This gives me a good understanding of the dynamics of my story.
With the OS Concern in mind, I write at least one sentence for each act for my main story.
Try to focus each sentence on the story driver (plot point) and ask yourself, how the OS Concern becomes a problem for everybody.
Now ist time to assign an OS Signpost to each act. I just follow my instinct. Whatever Signpost (based on the OS Throughline) fits best - gets assigned to an act.
Just to summarize, what we have right now:
- a story idea with a short synopsis
- a summary sentence for each Throughline (in total 4)
- a summary sentence for each act for my main story (OS Throughline)
- a signpost (based on the OS Throughline.. either Universe, Mind, Activity, Psychology) assigned to each act
Now I start with the first act and write 1 sentence for each Throughline (OS, RS, MC, IC). This gives me 4 sentences for act 1 and looks like ..
Act 1: This is the OS Sentence. This is the RS Sentence. This is the MC Sentence. This is the IC Sentence.
or like …
Act 1: The hero struggles to learn selling himself (MC Concern of Learning) in front of the crowed (OS Concern of Present) to get a promising science assignment (OS Signpost of Future).
I repeat this for act 2, 3 and 4. At the end of this exercise I have 16 sentences. When you write your sentence, try to keep the signpost and the respective Throughline Concern in mind.
When I am done I have a structure with 4 x 4 = 16 sentences. This is a nice framework to start writing my first draft from a much more informed perspective.
Writing my Short Story I focus on 1 perspective (MC) but adding here and there small pieces of the other Throughlines as well.
Thanks @mlucas, when I read your post I just realised this is what I am doing with my Short Story.