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A Brief Guide to Writing Short Stories Effectively
(writing short stories)
A short story is basically a condensed version of a book or a rapidly progressing story. It has fewer characters than a novel and covers less amount of time. A short story generally is around 6,000 words or 6 pages. Do your research and organization before you begin to write. Outline your plot and the background. Make sure they make sense and flow together. Individually list the events of the story in the order in which they occur. Create your characters. Not just their name and role in the story, but as if they were real people with real lives. By creating more information for your characters you will get a sense of what they would do or how they would be and convey that to your writing. By creating an outline you will have a point of reference to look back upon and make sure you have included all vital points of the story.
When writing a short story, you will need a captivating first paragraph. You have roughly 5 to 7 lines to appeal to your reads unlike novels that have the whole first chapter. This can actually make or break your story. You will need to grab their attention and keep it to make them want to read more. By starting the plot in the first few sentences it will make people want to know more. They will keep reading to find out who is involved and why.
Keep the timeline of events brief. You are writing a short story and the timeline should match that. A timeline of a day, a week, or maybe even a month is generally the span a story should cover.
Use character dialogue as a way to move the plot ahead. In a short story there is no time for general chitchat. By using the character dialogue you are deepening the plot as well as moving it along. Do not add unnecessary characters. By adding them you are wasting time one someone that is not linked to your story or its plot.
Provide swift and precise details to keep the story moving. Elaborate descriptions of characters, plot, or surroundings will only waste your words and are not essential to making a good story. Use short words instead of phrases that mean the same thing.
Building to the climax should be most of the story. Keep the conflicts building to the climax simple and easy to understand. You writing should be able to evoke the following emotions empathy, pain, hurt, despair, surprise, and desire just to name a few.
Since the story is only a few pages long in its entirety it is necessary to maintain consistency through out the beginning, middle, and end. Make sure the dialog and plot complement each other. Keep the same point of view through out the story.
You are almost ready to be published. After completing your own proofreading and editing, let someone else read it, a neighbor, your spouse, colleague, or a close friend. Even if they are not writers themselves they will be able to help point out any grammar errors. They will be able to tell you if something just doesn?t make sense. You are trying to fit a lot of captivating information in a small space; it is easy to leave something out.
Something you may not catch because you know what is supposed to happen, while your will not.
By following these simple rules, you will be able to write a short story that is captivating and effective. Writing short stories isn?t for everyone. Many writers like more detail and for short stories the space is just not available.
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