Sunday, July 31, 2011

Short Stories

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:02 AM

An Amazon.com reader review of Algis Budrys's Writing to the Point: A Complete Guide to Selling Fiction

"Mr. Budrys claims to have the secret to writing fiction that will sell. His secret is very useful but short enough to include here:

Beginning: Must consist of introducing a character, in a particular context, with a problem. And if there are important yet unique/unusual aspects of the character that will be revealed later in the story they must be foreshadowed in the beginning.

Middle: Must involve the character attempting to solve the problem and encountering unexpected failure. During this attempt he begins to learn more about the problem and himself. The character must undergo stress which causes hitherto concealed facets of him to be revealed-that must fit in. The character must try to overcome the problem a total of 3 times on a rising scale of effort, commitment, and depth of knowledge of the problem and one's self. At the last possible moment, with maximum effort and staking everything, he achieves victory. This must be done by wagering everything in a do-or-die situation. Conversely the villain, coming closer to his goal experiences defeat snatched from the jaws of victory-because of some flaw in character.

End: Validation and foreclosure by someone who has no other vested interest in the story. They step forward and say 'He's dead, Jim' or 'Who was that masked man?' This serves to close the story in the reader's mind."

Here are two parallel stories suggested by yesterday's New York Lottery numbers:

Evening: 003 and 8997—

From an author born on 8/9/97:


For the 003, see



Midday: 004 and 1931—

From an author born on 1/9/31:


For the 004, see the ideogram


in Beyond the Limits.

See also the day of the author's
death and the next day.

Happy Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

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