What A Twist!

I’m thinking about the short story project and wondering just how much room I have to work with in terms of a typical, three-to-five stage story structure. I notice that I overuse the trick of twisting expectations, and I say overuse not because there’s a quota on it, but rather because I’m not so good at it that the changes are unexpected.

The story of Shamgar, the Son of Anath, was written so that the reveal at the end was deliberately massively obscure and meaningless. The structure of the story was one where the revelation at the end was of information that transformed the narrative before it, with the retrospective thoughts of Shamgar about the story of Samuel, Saul and David from the Bible being recast as realistic political fiction.

Tricky thing was, Shamgar was so obscure that nobody realised the point.

1 Comment

  1. As I see it, twisting expectations is what short stories live and die on. Much like short films, they either have to be really funny, or hugely depressing (assuming porn is out of the question).

    Dunno if I’ve ever mentioned it, but that’s kind of why I’m not fond of short-format work. Also part of why I like that you chose a collected sort of format for your short story project, since it gives you a way to avoid that by building a larger setting as well.

Back to top