Guide to CXC English Short Story

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  • Topic: Short story, Essay, Writing
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  • Published : March 28, 2012
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How to write a CXC English A short story in 45 minutes

So, how do you write a CXC English A short story in 45 minutes? Well, there are a lot of techniques for short story writing. Many of which will posted here over time. In this post, I just want to give you some "quick and dirty" tips for writing good short stories when you are not so good at it and you are under the pressure of time in the CXC exam room.

Tip 1: Write about the things that you know well.
It is easier, faster and smarter to write about the things that you know well. When you choose a short story to write, try to stick to a story that you can connect to your own life and/or experiences. When you do this, you don't have to reach into your imagination so much. You already know much of the story because you have lived it yourself or you know someone who has.

Tip 2: Write about one short event or short experience.
Write about one event, one moment in time or one emotional experience. When you make your story take place in a short space of time, or focus on one emotional moment, it is easier to start and end the story in 45 minutes. If you don't believe me, check out the CXC best short stories, each one is about an event that happens in a few minutes.

Tip 3: Make your sentences work hard.
Every sentence in a short story has to work overtime. It has to "double up" on what it does. It has to tell the story and build the mood or theme of the story at the same time. It's not just, " the road stretched in front of him", it's, "the road that stretched in front of him, seemed to echo the emptiness of his future". See? In that one sentence I not only talked about the road but I also related it to the character's feelings and future. Please note that a sentence doesn't have to be long to work hard.

Tip 4: Use short sentences.
It is easier to read short sentences than it is to read long sentences. You don't want the examiner slowing down his reading to try to figure out what you...
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