When I first started writing, I didn’t start selling. The manuscripts went out. And came back. And went out. And came back. And so on… until I read an article that contained a short story template. I followed that template. Why not? I couldn’t do any worse than I was already doing.
Lo and behold. I started selling. Even when an editor didn’t buy my manuscript, they wrote nice comments saying it was obvious that I was a professional writer and that they’d like to see more of my work.
The only difference was that template. So I’m going to share it with you now hoping that it will help you, too, if you aren’t yet selling.
1) Describe a main character in one or two sentences. 2) Describe a second main character is one or two sentences. 3) If there is a problem between them, describe that problem in one sentence. 4) Describe in one sentence the problem that will be the focus of your story. 5) Describe in one sentence a scene in which your main character will be forced to begin dealing with the problem. 6) Describe in one sentence the resolution to the problem.
The beginning of the story is where the problem emerges and the main character must deal with it. The conclusion is the resolution. The rest of the story consists of the scenes between the beginning and the resolution.
So there it is. This template is short and simple and it works, And if you expand each part of it expoentially, instead of a short story, you have a novel.