Bridge to Story

You’ve Crossed the Bridge to Story


Do you need a further push? Okay here are some to consider for your next project.

Remember, scenes must have a purpose, otherwise you are writing by accident. And that will only get you half way to your goal of a good story.

See the Exercise page for this week for the final word on Character, Dialogue, Narration and Setting.

Example Toggle


Here are a few examples to kick start your own writing.

The Six Word Story:

  • He died. Okay? I said it. (EJ Runyon)
  • For sale: baby shoes, never used. (E. Hemmingway)

Fifty-five Word Stories:

A Trekkie finds Love

In April, at the employment office, the pretty girl said, “I’ll need to copy your driver’s license, please.”

I smiled. “Will my Romulan one do?”

She leaned close and whispered, “Sorry,” (I could smell the sweetness of her perfume) “but they only take fake ones here, with California on them.”

It was a June wedding.

Flash Fiction:

(I love this one, written by Mattie Hensley)


Lost that steer today Tommy. I’ll have to remind Jake about that part of the fence. It’s that older border of the pasture; that fence we put in when Nadine and I just moved out here, before the Beaver dried up. And those cottonwoods in the bed were still green. Their branches made great fence posts, Tommy. We fixed them good before you got bad but to be honest, they need replacing now. That steer just pushed right through, poor dumb creature got caught on the wires. Dumb cuss was mad as a hornet when we found him, hiding in that field between the cattle-guard and the mesa where the train tracks are. The train going by scared it enough to move it out of the ditch, but, damn…the sorry creature had a whole fence post wrapped round its back legs. A whole cottonwood post fibrous and bloody. The wire stretched like fishing line back towards the pasture. Dumb, dumb, dumb. You know how those steers can get. We told Nadine not to wait supper and borrowed your pickup. The steer started, hearing the engine of that beat up red truck. It didn’t have enough strength though, Tommy, just blew snot on the gamma grass. He didn’t even lift his head. Tommy, those plastic railings, tubes just kill me. I feel like a pallbearer already.


National Novel Writing Month:


Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.




The reasons are endless!


You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight.

Lesson Exercise 1 Toggle

Lesson Exercise 1:

Here are questions to ask about the various elements of your stories:

Dialogue - is it believable?

Read it out loud and listen. Or have some one else listen. Are you 'telling' outright what can be revealed in circumstances, character reactions or actions instead?

Characters - are they real enough?

Are you cutting your favorite character too much slack? Showing them to be too perfect, lacking in the frailties that make for a well rounded character? Stop that. Make them more real.

Settings - do they reflect more than the scene?

Are you letting your settings reflect the state of mind or predicament your characters are inr? Let setting work double duty.

Narration - too much?

Unobtrusive. Remember the word. Are you falling into the trap of too much summary narration when you could be drawing scenes for your reader? Remember: the Visual, Physical and Visceral. Edit accordingly.

Plot - is it weak or missing?

Stories are moving things. They follow a path and move characters from pole to pole. Even the most internal  storyline must have movement, plot allows for that movement. Always ask, "And then what?"

Congratulations – You’ve made it across the Bridge to Story! You’re now charged with sitting down and writing. Get to it.