The Dessert Tray
Okay, improv class is over. You watched maybe ten different scenes, and some of them were pretty good. Perhaps one or two were really great. Which ones stuck out in your mind…and why? I’m guessing the standout actors had the ability to make you care about them and how they resolved their conflicts.
That’s the secret to a great short story, the kind where your eyes are glued to the page as you read, and you sit back afterwards with a little gasp. You think about the characters before you drift off to sleep, and into the next day, and you can’t wait to tell your buddies about the totally awesome golden nugget you discovered. Your tail wags as you ponder how the story could be made into a movie…and you start casting actors in your mind.
So what makes readers care? Flawed characters are inherently more interesting than the ones coated with Teflon. Unexpected vulnerability is more memorable than clichéd weakness. Cool settings are fabulous, but it’s the players who matter. I wrote a story once about a guy so perfect my writing group wanted to kick him into a ditch and give him Murder on The Orient Express treatment. Although I was shocked at the time, that blunt feedback was a gift that taught me a valuable lesson.
Download S.G. Rogers’ short story Apocrypha HERE, free as part of Musa Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas celebration. Look for S.G. Rogers’ Asgard Adventure series (April 2012), beginning with The Druid. Nordic mythology gets a modern twist in The Druid, in which an adventuresome woman meets an Immortal hero from the pages of a book—bigger than life and twice as Elvish. To learn more about S.G. Rogers, visit her blog at www.childofyden.com.