WriterDojo S2 Ep12: How to Tell a Story in 5000 Words

The market for short fiction is larger than it ever has been, with new anthologies coming out constantly. Having written short stories and novellas for many years, Hosts/Authors Steve Diamond and Larry Correia return to tackle the question- How do you tell a story in 5,000 words or less? 

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WriterDojo S2 Ep13: Character Growth & Development
Baen is having a sale on my eBooks

17 thoughts on “WriterDojo S2 Ep12: How to Tell a Story in 5000 Words”

  1. For those wondering, OpenOffice Writer tells me Detroit Christmas is 12,493 words (including headings), and Bubba Shackleford’s Professional Monster Killers is ~8094.

  2. How to hook an audience in one sentence, an example…
    “The building was on fire and it wasn’t my fault.”
    -Harry Dresden.

  3. Great content guys. Two things:
    1. From my days in USAREUR; the difference between a Fairy Tale and a War Story: the Fairy Tale starts “Once upon a time…”, the War Story starts “This is no shit…”
    2. Right on about Stephen King, the shorts rock, the novels not so much.

      1. Thanks! It has Space Mormons mentioned in it but I promise they are all bad-asses and you would be very proud.

  4. On the subject of cold intros, a lot of us that were kids in the 70s-90s initially missed out on the cold intros of a series that was really a master of it, because the cold intros were mostly cut when the show was syndicated…. Star Trek (the original series). All the later ST series were relatively weak with their pre-credit openings, but holy crap, the ST:TOS openings dropped you right into the action a lot of the time, once the restored/remastered (model/screen FX replaced by CGI) versions hit video.

    1. And don’t forget the original Star Wars.

      Apparently the first cut of it started out with Luke just watching the battle on the ground and when the rest of Lucas’ director friends saw it they said boooriing… and told him to start with some action.

  5. Thanks to the dojo title, I’m afraid my mind decide to filk “Kung Fu Fighting”:

    Everybody is fiction writing
    Your fingers typing fast as lightning
    Although the plot is a little bit frightening
    It’s the short of the life that you’re writing

  6. Excellent work as usual. What’s funny to me, is when I write short stories I often will write out what i have in my head, then end up chopping off the first third, which is more exposition and background. I find that actually helps me conceive the full universe of the story more, but leads to superfluous writing. I probably need to figure out how to flesh out that background in my head without spending 4,000 words on it.

    I will say, I was disappointed in Steve for not taking Larry’s remark about “You can kill a lot of things in 5,000 words” and running with it.

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