How To Write A Short Story

 

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Writing short stories is not an easy craft to master. You don’t have the luxury of lengthy pages to explain your descriptions, dialogue, and events. Even though writing a short story has similar basics to writing longer fiction, it can definitely be more challenging.

You need to make sure every sentence, every action in each scene, is working towards your end resolution. However, writing a short story is a great exercise for any writer planning to write a novel and is an enjoyable short read on any given day.

Here’s an insight on the steps to writing a short story and the similarities and differences from a novel to make your short story writing easier.

  • What’s your concept?

To write a short story, you should probably start by having an idea of what you want your story to be and what it does to readers. When looking for a concept, look for inspiration in your surroundings and focus on what you know.

You need to find an idea that readers can relate to and have a message you’re trying to send across to the reader.

  • Define your timeframe

Don’t try to jam a whole year of events in less than 25 pages. A short story limits you to a specific range of words so limit your time frame accordingly.

By setting a certain timeframe, you focus on working on specific set events without losing focus and letting things get out of hand.

 

  • Outline your scenes
Source: writersedit.com

 

Before jumping into writing, have an outline set for your scenes and a plot in mind. You need to have a clear idea of what is going to happen and how your story will end. Split your events into scenes, each with its own setting and characters to organize your thoughts and writing.

  • Wisely create your characters

Remember, this is a short story, not a novel so you’re limited to a few characters.You can come up with characters inspired from people you know or people you wish you knew. Most importantly, know your characters, their traits, and flaws and be sure to make them believable – characters your readers can easily relate to.

You can’t write a lengthy paragraph describing your character’s appearance or traits so you need to reflect your character’s personality through the events and the dialogues, which can be tricky.

Once you have your characters set and your protagonist decided, you need to decide on the point of view for your story. The most common narrations for story telling are either a first person narration using “I” or a third person narration using “he or she”.

I would recommend using a first person narration since you’d have a few characters, to avoid having your readers distracted by many points of views.

  • Use traditional story structure

Now you can start to write your story! Make yourself a cup of coffee, sit down and just write. Write your whole story in one sitting. Just get the story out there without worrying about grammar, punctuation or anything else.

Be sure to use basic structure though. Don’t take up too much time building up the action. Have the main character face a challenge they need to overcome. Reach the climax and then start writing towards the resolution.

  • Come up with a strong title

Finding the perfect title is vital to your story. Try to come up with an original that is inspired by the story or special phrases you’ve used in your story.

  • Compelling start and end

The standards for a short story are the same ones that apply to a novel. You need to have a captivating start to get your readers’ attention and have them want to finish your story, as you should also have a strong ending that satisfies your readers. This doesn’t mean it has to be a happy ending, just an ending your readers will accept and understand.

  • Start with your edits

Now that you have your story written out, it’s time to do some cuts! A short story should not be more than 25 pages with a maximum of 5000 words. A short story of 3500 words is the ideal standard because it is the most marketable, and a quick read at that.

Any dialogue, description or scene that isn’t adding to the story has to go. You have a limit of words to reach and can’t afford unnecessary wordplay. Try using verbs instead of adverbs for a better flow and less wording. Also, come up with smart metaphors that you can use instead of lengthy descriptions of settings or emotions.

  • Send your story out to the world

Now that you’ve edited and re-edited your story to perfection, it’s time to look into publishing it and start accepting feedback. Start submitting your story in writing contests that usually have online publishing rewards, or send it out to various literary or popular magazines, whether online or paper.

Source: publishin90days.com

 

You can even just send out your story to friends and family for feedback or upload it on writing platforms like Wattpad, Figment, Scriggler and other websites.

The point is, get your story out there! You worked very hard on it and you deserve to have your worked read and praised. By following these few steps, you will definitely master the craft of short stories!


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Publishing Tips

Writing a book is a wonderful achievement and it’s something that is truly your own. Taking your book to the next level and getting it published can truly be a major step and one that sends authors into a spin. However, while it might seem scary, it’s the next step for writers and it’s the only real way to know if people like what you write. Read on to find a few simple publishing tips that might prove useful for you today.

Have You Had The Book Professionally Proofread?

First and foremost, you need a new set of eyes to go over the manuscript and check for errors. Now, you might think you have looked over it a dozen times and it’s perfect but it’s easy to miss things, especially when you have written it personally. That is why you have to have someone look over the novel that has no interest in it, such as a professional proofreader. These are the ideal people to view the work with a fresh set of eyes and they know what they’re looking for. They can pick up on minor errors in the structure of the book as well as the grammar and spelling errors. This can help ensure your book is published perfectly and avoid negative reviews on the grammar and structure.

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How To Market Your Book

You’ve written your book, you’ve proofread it and you’re ready to publish, but what next? Well, you have to think about marketing the book so that people know about the book and want to buy and read it. When a book is marketed correctly it can become a huge hit and it’ll make all the difference. You have to remember, there are thousands and thousands of new books hitting the shelves on a daily basis and yours has to fight for readers. It’s not going to be an easy process but if you think your book has what it takes and you market wisely, anything is possible. Read on to find out how to market your book.

Put the Word Out On Social Media

Social media can be the ideal solution for those who wish to market their book. Now, even if you are using a publisher to handle things, it doesn’t hurt to put the word out there. However, if you aren’t going through a publisher and going for self-publishing, you must do more in order to get the word out. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook can be ideal as you tell followers or friends online about the book which might encourage them to read about it. You can post messages and they might in return re-post them which can get more interested. What’s more, you could create a little trailer for the book and post on media sites such as YouTube. It’s a great way to market effectively. 

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