Brainerd Writer’s Alliance

Brainerd Writers Alliance met Saturday morning at the Brainerd Library. Every month a different member is asked to present a short educational program. It was my turn and I shared my notes from a fall workshop given by Brian Malloy at the Pine City Writing Conference.

Mr. Malloy’s theory of the five steps of a short story:
1. normal situation of the character
2. complication to routine–rising action
3. Crisis turning point
4. Falling action–new normal in aftermath of crisis
5. resolution–change occurs

My current writing project is a series of linked short stories about a mythical Minnesota township in the mid 1940s. It was helpful to dig out the notes from the Malloy workshop and review the process again. Wish me luck! I still need another five or six short stories to complete the project.


  1. Saved, I really like your site! 🙂

  2. These steps are the same as classic 4-Act story structure for novel or screen writing. I feel such joy at finally “getting it.”

  3. hi nice blog^^

  4. It has been a pleasure for me to read this post. Good Stuff!

  5. Daryl Bahma says


    I worked with Kieth at Brainerd.
    I have written a book of short stories about everything I remember 1940’s to now. I am lost on the path to publishing???? Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks Daryl

    Daryl Bahma
    1215 SE 11th Street
    Brainerd, Mn 56401

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