Short Story School

Welcome to the 12 Short Stories School. During 2017 I wrote a series of craft posts related to short story writing. This school will be a very intense extension of those teachings. I will be teaching online classes on specified topics roughly once a month.

Class 3:

We need to talk…about dialogue.

Coming soon.





 

Class 2:

Show, don’t tell – It’s easier than you think.

Session 1:

Date: Thursday, 26 April 2018

Time: 21:00 (GMT+02:00)

Cost:  US $10

OR

Session 2:

Date: Friday, 27 April 2018

Time: 9:00 (GMT+02:00)

Cost:  US $10

OR

Session 3:

Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Time: 15:00 (GMT+02:00)

            Cost:  US $10

What will you learn?

We’ll be discussing a few simple tips that will help you show, as well as guidelines for when you should tell instead.

Why should you attend this?

When I heard the words “Show, don’t tell” for this first time I remember being completely baffled. It felt like this secret club I wasn’t part of. Everyone knew what it was. I made it my mission to discover this special trick. Well, when I finally understood and it was big ah-ha for me, I also realised it was much simpler than everyone made it out to be.

    • This class will help you understand “Show, don’t tell.”
    • It’ll help you identify “telling” in your stories.
    • It’ll show you how to “show”.
    • It’ll help you know when to “tell”.
    • It’s packed with examples.
    • You have a chance to ask any writing related questions.

 

First Class: 

The Ultimate Short Story Checklist – A cheat sheet for writers.

Date: 1 May 2018

Time:        Session 1: 9:00 AM (+2:00GMT)            

Presenter: Mia Botha

What will you learn?

During this class, we will work our way through a 28-point checklist for a short story. We will look at everything from opening lines to great endings and all the bits you need in between. The class ends with a Q&A session and you will receive a downloadable checklist to use for your next writing adventure.

Why should you attend this?

I can still remember the first short story I wrote and submitted. I was terrified. The whole idea of sharing my story, my writing, with other people was debilitating. I even put off finishing my stories so that I wouldn’t have to show them to anyone. And when I finally did finish a story I hid it away and didn’t tell anyone, but eventually, I came to realize that if I wanted to be a writer I had to start sharing my work.

I spent hours reading and researching short stories. I wanted my story to be perfect (they were anything but), but I started figuring out what I had to do to write short stories. Years later, I still love short stories. They are my passion. I have spent hours writing them and this checklist is a tool I use to make sure I’ve not lost the plot. Literally.

This isn’t a rigid list of rules that you must use. I am a great believer in ‘to each to his own’ when it comes to writing, but it does help to have a framework to refer to before submitting. A framework I wish I had when I first started.

  • This class will help you identify what is missing in your short story
  • It’ll help you figure out what to cut.
  • It’ll help you decide how much story you need.
  • It’ll give you an overview of the art of the short story.
  • It becomes an evaluation tool for your story.
  • Plus a chance to ask questions about writing.

Cost: US $10

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What the students said: 

  • On 23/03/2018 I took part in an excellent Writers Write Webinar; The Ultimate Short Story Checklist. It was advertised as a 40-minute session but Mia was so generous with her time, it lasted far longer. During the session, we discussed the beginning, middle and end of an SS and applied the checklist to 4 example Short Stories of varying lengths. The checklist allows you to verify if you have included the key points in your own Short Stories allowing you to improve any potential weaknesses. Not every point in the checklist may be present in your work but the more of them you can include, the better the story and ultimately the better effect on your readers. I eagerly await invitations to further sessions from Mia. – Paul Slater

 

  • I loved the class and thought it was a great value for $10. I learned a lot and now have a tool to help me to actually finish a story. And thank you for stressing the importance of writing my short story first, before I apply the checkpoints. That will keep my perfectionism at bay. – Karen Berg

 

  • As that was the first formal instruction I have ever received on short-story writing, I know infinitely more now than I did before!  I can definitely anticipate the value of the checklist for reviewing and improving the first draft.  It’s much more thorough than just looking for typos and plot flaws or loose ends. – Kathy Sanford

 

  • In addition to being an inspiring learning experience, Mia Botha’s Webinar “The Ultimate Short Story Checklist” is a stimulating condensation of all of the elements of short story writing. Mia supplements her straightforward exposition of these ideas with concrete examples of how they are used in the short stories of four well-known authors. Mia’s delightful, matter-of-fact presentation is of first quality as is her enthusiasm for her subject. I wholeheartedly recommend Mia Botha’s “The Ultimate Short Story Checklist.” – Jack Spies

 

  • The content was extremely useful for my story writing and I really appreciated the downloads, links and recording of the session in case I missed it or want to watch it again. I will definitely be joining your next class. – Fiona D’Silva

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