What is the purpose
Like all stories, they teach the reader a lesson or raise awareness of an issue the author is passionate about. The author has the power to take their story in any direction they choose, as long as the story flows and makes sense.
Choosing the main character
When first writing up any short story or novel, a character must be the center of it. With social change, it is important to key in character development to strengthen the moral of the story. For example, if the social change is about police brutality, the main character could have witnessed or experienced an altercation with the police and then wanted to do something about it. Since that life–changing experience, the main character pushed for something they felt passionate about.
Outlining your story
Next is to create the story outline. Every story is composed of a beginning, middle, and end. This outline doesn’t have to go too much in detail, but it should be descriptive enough that the story makes sense when you start writing your short story or novel. Going back to the previous example, a simple outline could be that the main character witnesses or experiences an altercation with the police, they go out and protest and gathers people to join them, and a possible ending to this story could be that someone of higher authority listened to him and made a new law or did something to stop police brutality in their town. Going into detail about how this unravels will be explored later on.
Where does the story start?
Like in an essay, you would want to grab the reader’s attention. Like some novels, they start their work in media res, meaning they start in the middle of the story. While the story progresses, the reader gets caught up with what happened before the event. For instance, if you decide to do this approach with the social change concerning police brutality, the story could start while the main character is involved in some way in the altercation with the police. The thoughts of the main character would be indicated and any actions that character is doing about it. You would also incorporate your “backstory” as to what happened before leading up to this event. Not only is the reader in the loop of what is going on currently in the situation, but it gives a creative twist on how to tell your story.
Finishing your draft
Everything after writing your hook is straightforward. Using your outline as a reference, drafting your short story or novel should be completed. However, there may be bumps along the road because of writer’s block, but it’s okay! For social change, many people told their stories about how they wanted to make a change in society and did something about it. Just getting all your thoughts down on paper is more than enough when writing your first draft. Writing just the draft of your story may not take a few hours, maybe days, or few weeks, but keeping in mind and having at least a beginning, middle, and end of your story is better than nothing.
Editing your story
After that initial draft, it is time to go back and edit. Here, you can change how the story goes or how it will end. You, the author, have the power to take your character in any direction you choose. For social change, the main character should follow a path where the action is being taken for something that is affecting society. As mentioned previously, the main character can set up protests and hold events to raise awareness of police brutality, and that more should be done by government officials to hold these types of police officers accountable for their actions. This process of editing can take time as well, but when discussing social change, you may be in a time crunch due to it being a prominent issue that needs attention.
It is always helpful to receive feedback. It is strongly encouraged. Your work will be released to a large audience, so your work should be the best it can be. It can be also helpful to ask someone to look over your work and give you ideas on how to improve your story. Having a fresh set of eyes looking at your work will help identify any mistakes you may have missed or overlooked.
The process of writing is not supposed to be linear. After writing your initial draft, you will fall into this cycle of constantly revising and editing your story until you are satisfied. However, it comes to a point where you have to break that cycle and eventually publish your work. Especially if the work is about a prominent issue and action needs to be taken immediately, then this no time to constantly revise and edit. As long as the message of social change is being delivered, the short story or novel is ready to be released to the public. The message of your short story should be clear. Hopefully, it is powerful and inspiring that others who read it may be inspired to be involved in that change, too.