Ideally a story should linger, even haunt you in some way (not in a scary way, but bother you, perhaps; at least make you think about life) so that even a year later, you’re still thinking about that story. Also, I’ll be looking at character motivation, development and change (no change, no story!). Are there conflicts on more than one level? Are the characters memorable? Settings clearly defined? An opening that hooks the reader? Any tension that’s pulls the reader from the beginning to the end? An ending that I didn’t see coming or that resonates in a way that I wasn’t expecting?Robert Raymer, who is (along with Eric Forbes and myself - okay so now you know!) one of the judges in the MPH-Alliance National Short Story Prize 2009 has blogged some excellent advice for anyone planning to submit an entry.
Lucky Sarawakians who get to attend his workshop in Kucing - wish we could have him over here!
(Photo by Georgette Tan.)