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Basic Sentence Structure:
The old-fashioned way still works - TIME, MANNER, PLACE: e.g. 'It was early morning when Joe posted the missing-person flier on the library window.' Changing it is fine, as long as it is realised that the emphasis also changes: e.g. 'When Joe posted the missing-person flier on the library window, it was early morning.' This might be used to add importance to the time, perhaps being followed by: 'Come midday, there were fifty throughout the town. By six that night, Joe had run out of posters and was exhausted.'

A story should only be as long as it needs to be. Don't use padding to make it longer. If it does seem too long, go through and edit out any unnecessary waffle, especially purple prose: this refers to text which may contain big words that few will understand, or flowery narrative that an author might like because it sounds good and wants to keep in. Never be too possessive! If it doesn't fit, trash it! Think about it like clothing - would you wear your favourite Marilyn Manson T shirt to a church social?

The Fiction Writer's Edge:
Take an ordinary situation, then ask: WHAT IF...? David and Goliath, Meet Joe Black, Pet Semitary, Little Red Riding Hood, etc. These scenarios seemed unlikely to occur or impossible to resolve happily. Sliding Doors posed the questions: what if she got on the train? What if she didn't? What if you got up one morning and the Sun didn't rise? A good writer can make anything seem possible.
For an example, take a look at my short story, "A Gift From The Grave," the idea for which was born of a simple thought: what if someone discovered a secret drawer in an antique writing desk...?

Who is The Writer?
1st person is ideal for walking through a story, seeing everything as it happens; and personal opinions can help the reader understand the narrator's viewpoint better. It is, however, limited with respect to events occurring somewhere else at the same time which can only be described when they are eventually discovered. Also, what other characters may be thinking can only ever be assumptions.

2nd person is a reporting mode best kept for relating past events that the writer or a character has experienced, either in part or whole, and is now reviewing - like the boy doing the narration in the movie "Mad Max".

3rd person is the easiest with the widest scope. Using this method, the writer is all-seeing and Godlike, able to know every character intimately, including what they are thinking; and can relate current, even future situations that the 1st and 2nd persons might have no knowledge of.
When in doubt, stick to the 3rd person; and use past tense.

This is about you: the way you write, but more importantly, how you like to write. Choose or develop a style that you feel comfortable with, otherwise your words will be forced and stilted. Should you decide to experiment by trying a specific style that satisfies a particular market, be prepared for adverse criticism. Trying to be someone you are not rarely works.

One last piece of advice - make your story real by becoming a part of it. Believe it, live it; and be determined that it has to be told!

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