Short stories can be a great way to pass an hour or two and to become lost in time for a while. But what about the process of writing a short story? As the name suggests, it’s a short story and usually averages from 1,000 to 7,500 words. It’s longer than flash fiction and shorter than a novelette/novella. It can be great fun to write as it does not have the complexities of developed characters, plots and subplots that you expect from a novel. It usually consists of a beginning, middle and end however not necessarily in that order. As it is a short story, the writer should grab and hook the reader from the opening and bring them through the story and drop them with an exciting or even unsuspecting end.
A short story cannot cover in detail large periods of time or full character development and often revolves around a particular moment or event in time. Think on an idea for a short story. Where did it spring from? An overheard conversation, an unforgettable moment in your life or the circumstances surrounding an event. The writer develops the idea, knitting together the conflict and the impact on the characters, environment or event.
The writer can decide to tell the story from which ever point of view they choose. Like flash fiction, short stories can be a good way to practice different styles and writing techniques. Begin writing and let it flow naturally. There will be times when the writer will become stuck and feel the story is going nowhere. At this point the writer should stop and write more on another part of what they believe could be related to the story. If it fits, the writer can knit the pieces together, however be careful not to have unrelated or unconnected material in the story. It is a short story after all and the reader is expecting it to be quick and an invigorating read.
Unlike a longer piece of fiction there will not be room for character development and growth, however there must be some source of conflict or something that pushes the story ahead. What is the problem the writer will present? Make it interesting. Add in some wit along with a twist to surprise the reader. Remember to show what is happening to the reader and bring them into the story. Have emotional writing and connect the reader.
Have you an idea for a short story? Write it down and develop it. As the story grows so will your love for writing it.
Image: Stone Bridge Press
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