Hello fellow writers! I write a lot about full length books on this blog, but this post is for those of you who want to focus more on short stories. Short stories are wonderful for those who don’t have a lot of time or energy to dedicate to an entire book. With shorter stories, you can satiate your writing bug while still having time to do your every day responsibilities. Another perk about writing short stories? You can eventually turn them into a series of shorter books! So, if you want to explore this shorter form of writing, for eventual publication or just for practice, get ready! I have some tips for writing short stories that will help you as you go.
When you start your short story, you want to make sure you are clear on all the facts. You don’t have a lot of room to drag out any details; everything has to be front and center. So, first of all, you need to know what your protagonist’s goal is. What are they fighting for? What is the basic point of your story? Once you have that figured out, you want to think about what will cause stress or unexpected consequences in your short story. What twist will come up that will create an obstacle for your protagonist? After you come up with your twist, you have to decide how your story will end. You don’t have a huge page count to make your whole story take place, so it is important to know these main plot points in order to keep your story within the realm of the short story.
Tips for Writing Short Stories: Cutting Content
I know you will want to include every single detail that has run through your mind in regards to the story you want to write. However, since you are making it a short story, you undoubtedly have to cut some content. Focus only on writing things that help you tell the story. Leave out travel scenes and use words like “Later that day…” instead. Don’t have characters retell events that you have already described in your writing. That is simply redundant and doesn’t help further the plot of your short story. The most important parts of your short story are your characters. They are the life that makes your story relatable and interesting to your readers. It is them that your readers care about. You want to create a backstory and character sheet for your short story’s characters even though you will never use some of the information. In order to create a compelling, realistic character, you have to know everything that makes them, them. In your short story however, you want to focus on their appearance, their actions, their personality traits, and their inner thoughts. If you focus on those four aspects of your characters, you can create a realistic character within the confines of a short story.
These tips for writing short stories should help you as you begin the writing process. They are the basics that every short story writer needs to know, now you just have to run with them and make them work for your writing. If you need help writing your short story or need more tips for writing short stories, contact me at Write One Publications.