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5 pages/≈1375 words
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Creative Writing
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English (U.S.)
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Original Short Story: The Identity and the Promise (Other (Not Listed) Sample)


Instructions for the Original Short Story
Throughout this unit, you will be working towards writing your own original short story (in social realism, contemporary time/style). It is expected that your short story will be at least five (5) complete pages in length, double spaced, with standard margins and font (1-inch margins, Times New Roman 12).
If you use a traditional pyramid plot design, then you might establish the setting, as well as an action of your main character or telling dialogue between your protagonist and another character. You may use subtle foreshadowing at the start of your story. From the Exposition, the story's Complication sets in, preferably by p. 2. From there, you develop the character's crisis or dilemma--what does your character want? What is her/his motivation? What is getting in the way? Think of this section of your story as an extended scene in which the character confronts her/his limitations, indecision, fears, obsession, doubt, etc. Next, craft the story's unfolding, falling action, and resolution. (Avoid a clichéd or predictable or "happily ever after" ending. No "killing off" the story character(s); nor should any character awaken from a coma or dream. Think through your main character's actions/thoughts while reviewing various short story endings as models of craft. Some end ambiguously; others with a character's epiphany. However you end your story, make it part of your intentional story design or craft.
Note: We are engaging in two “writing exercises” to help you practice elements that will contribute to this short story during this unit.
You may use parts of these exercises within your final story if they prove useful


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The Identity and the Promise
           It was on Wednesday evening. Malcolm put down the bible after leading the community church through the second reading during the worship service. He walked down the aisle to the third row of chocolate brown-coated pews to join the other believers. Nods and smiles accompanied him as a sign of appreciation and admiration for his service. Malcolm was a young man considered an example and role model to his peers. As it was that day, he never missed any church service, including Wednesday evening prayers. He settled down to listen to the sermon by the pastor; on his right side was the clinical officer of the community dispensary, while on his left was a lady he had always admired called Cara. The clinical officer shook his hand, uttering, "God bless you, son," while the lady smiled. Cara was working at the church canteen, serving believers and non-believers who needed something to calm their stomachs. The pastor and the church at large were concerned about Malcolm's welfare and plans in life and even volunteered to choose a wife for him, even though Malcolm was still far from marrying. His dedication to service in church placed him in the limelight. No one expected anything below being a child of God from him. "So today, saints, Jesus invites us to choose our identity; may we all desire to please him and ever to be like him, in Jesus' name," the pastor concluded his sermon, and the congregation joined in a response song. After the service, the congregation rose, shared in the words of grace, and walked out.
           Malcolm waited patiently on the pew while the elderly members made their way out. He looked carefully at the pulpit, observing the cross in the middle and the candles lit by the sides. He looked like someone in a trance before the soft, melodious voice suddenly shook him up, "Malcolm, are you not going home today?" That was when Malcolm 

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