How I Write Short Stories, Part 2 - Joanna Campbell Slan

How I Write Short Stories, Part 2

In Part 1, I chose a theme (getting lucky) and did some research. Now I need a conflict, some sort of friction, because conflict drives action.

Since this is a short story, and not a book, I need to keep it simple. A disagreement. A problem. A minor hassle.


Okay, what about someone who complains that she is chronically unlucky bumping up against the luckiest woman on earth? These words resonate with me because right now there’s a really stupid commercial on local TV where the announcer says, “I’m the luckiest woman on earth because I got to take a three day cruise to the Bahamas!” Her voice is totally annoying.

How would this work?

My readers love to “watch” Kiki teach a class, because so many of them are crafters, too. So what if I have Miss Lucky and Miss Unlucky in the same class? Certainly that could get troublesome. What if they get into a fight? A quarrel?

What if someone bets Miss Unlucky that she’ll become lucky with the right lucky charm?

Okay, I like that. But it seems a bit too easy. I want to bump it up a bit. How about a lot of lucky charms? What if an entire class contributed lucky charms and loaned them to our Miss Unlucky?

Now that sounds kind of interesting to me. How about you?

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