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This is a brief (400 word) guide to writing and assessing short stories. Especially my own. Some writers object to a structure for stories. That is fine as long as you realize that no structure is a structure still. You just write and hope to pull the reader along. Readers, speaking for myself and one or two others, like to know where you’re taking them.
Structure is what holds your story together. It’s like an itinerary. If you don’t have one, you’ll end up somewhere and you’ll have to happy with where you end up when you’ve run out of words. Readers may decide, at any time, to let you go on ahead without them. That’s what’s so democratic about writing. You can’t make readers stay with you on the bus. They can get off, put your book down and even more brutally, dismiss you with a mouse click. A structure will entice the reader to stay with you to the bitter, sweet, surprising or whatever end you have us awaiting.
Finally, leave readers wondering, not what will happen next in your story, but what else you have in store. Leave them hungry.

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