Flannery O’Connor and the magic gesture: how literary short stories work (tip 79) Reply

In our last video, we considered the similarities between short stories and jokes. We said that, just like the punchline of a joke, whatever happens at the climax of a story is unexpected, but in retrospect seems obvious and inevitable. In this video, DD Johnston develops that idea and think about what it is that happens at the climax of most successful literary short stories. (We say ‘literary’ short stories, since in other genres the endings of stories can sometimes be more about plot resolution than character transition.)


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The secret to using metaphor (tip 67) 2

A commenter on a previous video noted that “You can get carried away saying ‘this is like this and this is like this and this is like this.’ It can reach the point where you just want to say ‘shut up and get on with the plot.’” It’s a fair point and I agree that in most instances you need a good reason to use a metaphor. Usually, for a metaphor to be worthwhile, it has to do at least two things. Find out what in our latest video.


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