Short Story: Middle – try fail cycles

In a valiant attempt to focus on nano this year, I decided to chronicle my journey creating a humorous short story as a series of blog posts I could schedule over November. (And beyond Bawhahahaha)

At this point I have an idea, a character, an archetype, at least thought about the ending twist, reviewed some humor approaches, and wrote a first paragraph. I had a week to get a first draft and the week was almost gone.  At this point I had a day left. 

The middle of a short story are try fail cycles.  How does this work?  If I go back to my idea statement

  • Undead Soccer Player in the middle of Hell must find his head to play soccer.

My tries and fails were going to be about finding his head.  So he needed to look and be thwarted.

He could look around the living room.  No dice.  (I so wanted to work in a ‘roll the bones’ reference, but it wasn’t coming).  

He doesn’t remember where his skull is, so he had to retrace his steps.  He went to the last place he remembered and tried to get in.  

What could stop him from getting in?  Why a snooty ghost that was the hostess there.  Yes, I called her a Ghostess.

He got kicked out, what could he do?  He should sneak into the back to avoid the ghost.  That was a great try.  What can go wrong?  What if the cook caught him?  And his head was not even at the restaurant.  Now what?

You get the idea.  I didn’t give into the temptation to give him what he wanted.  That would be no fun.  

One piece of advice that stuck with me was most scenes should have a NO, NO AND, or a YES BUT for the characters goal of the scene.  The same should hold true for your short story.

What do you think?  How long should poor Max be without his head?

2 thoughts on “Short Story: Middle – try fail cycles

  1. A couple days at least. It might be fun to see what problems he runs into while headless. When I was on seizure meds I often felt like my head was missing. Back then I saw nothing funny, but my husband told me some of my responses were ridiculous.

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