MY CHAMPION, OUR CHAMPION FROM REBECCA THOMPSON
Betty. When you passed away, I was sad. Sad you were gone. Sad that I had disappeared on you yet again. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye. I wish I could look at you now and say thank you, deeply and meaningfully.
I have a folder full of emails from you. Pages after pages: reminders, meeting minutes, advice, grammar lessons, competitions. I love the personal emails. You embraced me, encouraged me, pushed me, valued what I penned. Even when I vanished for a year or two I filed those emails. Why? Because you believed in me even if I was hiding and silent. I avoided me, but you wouldn't.
You were beautiful, kind, gracious - a forceful presence in our writing lives. I loved your unflagging devotion and your energetic passion. When I feel timid about my writing, I only have to think of you, and doubting voices fall away.
Dear Betty. Deeply, meaningfully, I THANK YOU for being a champion for all the Writers of Chantilly.
SHORT STORY CHECKLIST
1. Does your story have a plot type? Is it PURPOSE ACHIEVED (through ingenuity, courage or a special ability?) or MISUNDERSTANDING, DISCOVERY AND REVERSAL?
2. What is the story question in one sentence?
3. What is your theme, the moral statement you want to make? Is it developed through the story's action?
4. Have you shown the story problem within the first page? Is there action in those first paragraphs?
5. Do you have conflict through an antagonist, nature, or the main character's personal flaw?
6. Does the hero solve his own problem?
7. Is the story told through one person's viewpoint?
8. Have you avoided solving problems through coincidence?
9. Does the story build through several scenes to a climax in which the hero seems to have lost the battle? Then, does the solution follow quickly?
10 Have you checked every word, sentence, paragraph to see if it belongs or can be improved?
Master these elements and you'll write a better short story. Master them and writing the novel will be even more manageable.