So you want to be a writer but don’t have the attention span to write a novel? Perhaps the short story is the genre for you. It sounds simple enough. After all, it uses the word “short”. And yet here you find yourself sitting in front of a blank word document for hours. Which brings me to my first article..
How to Write a Short Story
There is a certain art to the short story that the novelist doesn’t need. When you are considering how to write a short story you must realize that, just like in a novel, your reader requires you to create a world, fill it with relatable people, and develop an engaging/meaningful plot. The difference is that a short story author has to wrap all of that up in a neat little package using just a few hundred words. This in involves a great deal of forethought.
Therefore, writing a short story begins in the planning stage. Many authors compare writing to giving birth. Sticking with that metaphor, your story needs some prenatal care. You must select a genre of story, a plot, and create characters. Ask yourself questions to get the creative juices flowing: Who is my target audience? What should my reader be feeling? When do these events take place (this is especially important in historical fiction)? Where is the story set? Why should the reader care about what is happening in my story? How can I convey the characters’ emotions to my reader?
Skip to the end…
In a short story it’s important to remember not to start at the beginning. In fact, in your revision phases you’ll likely chop more and more from the beginning of your story. It’s necessary to jump right into the action to conclude a short story in a satisfying way and in a reasonable number of words. Details are important however, so it requires some discernment to know what is necessary and what can be left out. Ask yourself: Is this necessary to advance the plot or develop this character? Can I make still make my point and keep the reader interested without it?
Finally, it’s important to remember to just write. Not everything that comes out of your head will be a masterpiece. But developing writing skills requires practice, so write often! And when you’re not writing – read. The best authors are people who love books, and if you want to get into writing short stories then you’ll want to read a lot of short stories.
We live in a fast paced world with a growing demand for short fiction. Just remember: short fiction takes time.Read More