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 How to Write a Story
Ever see those books  full of stories from average  people? They’re usually  called, Chicken Soup for the  TeenAger, Soldier,  Military  Spouse, etc. There’s also  books called Stories from  Iraq, Letters Home, Stories of  letters from Home to Iraq.  (You  get the picture). In  fact, you’ve probably been  given one. Or several. Maybe  you wrote a story for one.  Maybe it got published. Ever  wanted to submit a story?  Couldn’t get it published b/c  it was not uplifting enough?  Too gritty? Too real? Too  unpatriotic? Write it for us.  Send it to us. We like real  stories.   If you’re not a writer,  join the club! To help get  started, I created a form! I  know how you guys like a good  form, so you’ll be excited to  know there’s a Form-ula! Start  with the 5 W’s and an H…   Mix the answers to the fol-  lowing questions to tell your  story. But remember, don’t get  yourself in trouble by reveal-  ing things you shouldn’t! Make  up the locations! Don’t  slander people! Give them  alternate names. It’s o.k. to  say “the names are changed to  protect the witnesses.” Or  author.   Start by asking the following:  1-Who? This is Your point  of view, the dog’s point of  view, a massive scorpion’s  point of view (which could be  your big foot or hairy  behind). Who else was there? A  story is very different if we  know your companion was a  friend, boss, lover, or enemy  (or ooh, all  the above!)  2-What? What was happen-  ing? Presenting it chronolog-  ically (first this, then that)  is generally the easiest way  to start. Flashbacks, remin-  isces, etc. can be worked in  but be clear when the memory  starts and ends. It takes  practice to be an M. Night  Shyamalan. And a cool name. 
3-When? Day or night?   The season? Last year? ten  years ago? Which conflict?  Doesn’t have to be a war. You  can have a conflict with your  supply sergeant. Really. Just  imagine.     4-Where? You don’t have  to be specific if it doesn’t  matter to the story... “In  the jungle” is fine. And  don’t write, “one day while  fishing in Alaska this great  camel came along...” Putting  geographically incorrect  flora and fauna into a  setting kinda interrupts the  flow. Nothing screams Made  Up! like weird descriptions.  Unless it’s a dream. Or a  government setting...  5-Why? Why was whatever  happening happening? Why were  you there? Pleasure? Biz? A  mix of pleasure and business?  Uh-oh. Change those names.  6-How? This usually  requires you to describe  things. How was the goal  accomplished? How was the  action received by the crowd?  How cute was that bear cub?  (very cute) How long before  the mama showed up? (half a  minute) How high did you  climb that tree? (about  twenty feet)  Finally, an F, for Finish: Before you call it quits,  since you’re in the writin’  groove, go ahead and re-read  your story. Chances are  you’ll catch some obvious  mistakes, like a dangling  participle, gerund, or split  infinitives,  (ha ha)or words  that don’t quite say it like  it is...  Then let it rest   a day or two, and look at it  again. Sometimes a different  mood helps polish a piece.  But don’t change your mind  about sending it in! O.K. you  can if you want to...NO! Send  it! Send it! Send it!   
Don’t check a textbook (I doubt you’ll find this easy- peasy method in there)... or how to correctly use the term “easy- peasy”... baby steps, baby steps
These are machines dinosaurs used to write (just ask your boss)
Basics for the Blank Page if you can answer questions, you can write a story
(or Screen)
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Hill Country Veterans’ Network