Writing Objectives
discussed in
Off Center in the Attic

Your Writing Objectives

Writing objectives must be clear before you begin to write. That is, will you write a short story, a novel, or maybe just a flash, which is the shortest of prose? If you have an idea for a plot, ask yourself how much do you already know of this proposed story. Do you know the characters? Can you plot enough action to make it a novel? And very important, is it a story that people will buy?

Off Center in the Attic

Over the Top Stories

by Mary Deal

Having answered those questions, or have a reasonable idea of where your plot may take you, will help you decide what length of story you will write.

 Perhaps your writing objectives are to write short stories. Three things can happen here. 1) You write your short story and feel satisfied. 2) Your short story has taken on a life of its own and become more than you imagined. So you end up with a novel. How wonderful! 3) You’re determined to write only short stories, due to lack of time and whatever else steals your writing time. So you write your short story and feel pleased with it. Then you realize you have the seed plot for a longer piece – a novella or even a novel. Perhaps not the short story you just finished but an idea has germinated from one of your other pieces. Congratulations! Your Muse is speaking to you.

 Only one rule exists, whether you write short stories, flash, novellas or novels. That rule is: WRITE!

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Short Stories and Flash in Off Center in the Attic

  1. Acting in a Coffin - A director plays a prank that backfires on a movie set.
  2. The Wallflower - A woman compares herself to one who is the life of the party.
  3. Pupule - A neighborhood gets a lesson in humility from a crazy old Hawaiian man.
  4. To Soar - What a bird drops.
  5. Out of Body - A man is shot and his brain goes through a metamorphosis.
  6. Looking for Life - Never the right one.
  7. Most Wanted - The killer of young boys remains at large.
  8. Grandpappy’s Cows - Antics of backward backwoods relatives.
  9. Boy at the Crossroad - The making of a monster.
  10. Cafeteria Science - How to lose your lunch.
  11. Indoctrination - A daring woman wants to experience something different and gets her wish.
  12. Explosive Day - No escape.
  13. The Smell of Death - A clue to the dying.
  14. Legacy - A woman in mourning changes her life to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
  15. An Urgent Message - A plea to a writer.
  16. Rituals - Neurosis as a way of life.
  17. Watched - Being watched can kill.
  18. The Swimmer - A man losing his sanity.
  19. Thanatos - The urge to die.
  20. Alien Footprints - An invisible perpetrator.
  21. Vibratory Rates - Visitations from heaven and hell.
  22. The Voodoo Kit - A Jamaican hex follows a woman home.
  23. Pekoe - A newborn kitten abandoned in a portable toilet.
  24. Great Lady of Wisdom - A holy goat.
  25. The Last Thing I Do - The end of making memories.
  26. Future Winner - A little-known artist gets a break.
  27. Innocence - A high school girl on the verge of betrayal by her innocence.
  28. Sister Fly - Karma
  29. Homeless, Not Heartless - A man and his dog.
  30. Roots - What you may find when tracing your family tree.

Some Story Writing Tips

When deciding what type of story to write, please do not limit yourself by word count. Do you believe you can set out to write a story by determining how long you wish the piece to be? Write it.  Let it speak to you no matter the length or brevity. The only writing objectives your should have is to flesh out those plots roaming around inside your mind. Those story ideas will already be telling you into which genre you’ll launch your writing career.

 Another idea for you to ponder is that you should writing in different formats. That is, try all dialogue, try all narration, try 1st Person, and so on. Your writing objectives should have no limits. Writing shorter pieces will help you greatly in learning in which genre you feel more at ease and truly fit. You’ll learn in which tense you’ll write; 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Person perspective. All these will be discussed in the Articles section of this site. But don’t be limited by any rules in the beginning. Understand what the terminology means and then, just write and see what you can produce.

 A couple of the short stories in the above list are long short stories. Most are intermediate, with a few brief pieces and a few tiny flash pieces. A good mix for a collection that makes a whole book. A very easy and enjoyable read. One of the shorter stories is presented here: Writing A Short Story

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