April 30

Creative Writing 20: Difference between story and plot

We’ll soon study the difference between what otherwise may seem like overlapping terms. In a more literary sense, they are different.

The story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” will help us make this distinction. Study it for the writer’s style – written in 1890 – to see if you can determine this difference.

There’s also an audio narration you might enjoy listening to – it includes sound effects.

April 30

Creative Writing 20: Writing Workshop “55-word story”

from Write Moves text pgs 169-170

Write Moves: A Creative Writing Guide and Anthology - Broadview Press


Dip your toe into story structure by writing a “55-word story”, a fiction narrative exactly ten sentences long.

  • The first sentence must have precisely 10 words, the second sentence nine words, the third sentence eight words, and so on until the final sentence composed of a single word.
  • All acronyms and digits must be spelled out (“28” is “twenty-eight”, which
    counts as two words).
  • The 55-word story must include a setting, a character in conflict, and a resolution (or sense of “ending”).
  • To compose, write the numbers 10 through 1 (the number of words allowed in each sentence) down the left side of your page.
  • Draft the story first as a list of sentences then transcribe your draft into prose format (see the example below).
  • Notice that each time a new character speaks, the story is indented.

Here is a 55-word story called “Wax and Wane” written as an example:


“Say that again,” she whispered, tickling fingers through his hair. (10)
“God, you’re beautiful,” he gasped, watching moonlight ignite her. (9)
“Say it again, Duane,” she whispered, fervently ablaze. (8)
“You’re beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, Diane – Beautiful! (7) The sofa seemed to float transcendentally. (6)
“Say it again,” she whispered. (5) Duane shifted the comforter. (4) The moon waned. (3)
“You’re beautiful.” (2)
“Really?” (1)

April 13

CrWr20: Short-form Writing

Having taken ELA for many years, you’ll have a background understanding of many elements involved in developing stories. Within this Creative Writing course, though, we are able to expand that understanding and understand more specifically some of those elements, such as different plot structures than the familiar one you’ve commonly studied. (See image)

Text Handout: Pgs 17-22

Section Work Resources/Links:

      1. Pg 1: List of popular titles developed in fiction
      2. Pg 2: Testing the Worlds Collide Theory
        Example: Resident Alien tv show (trailer video)

    1. Pg 2: Genres of Fiction – 2 minute audio podcast on the “shortest [story] in the history of literature (embedded below)
    2. Pg 3-4: Defining Fiction Genres:
      1. Image to the right: What are the most popular fiction genres
    3. Pg 6: Video Kurt Vonnegut’s “Shape of Stories”
      1. Author Background Search
      2. YouTube video “Shape of Stories” (embedded)




Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: What are the most popular fiction genres?