How to write a short story
The short story is one of those things that can be molded and shaped in very short length of time, allowing writers of every level to use the short story as a medium for dabbling in writing or perfecting their craft. There are many variants and processes on how to write a short story, but there are a few standard practices that will make any short story take shape nicely whether the writer is experienced or a novice. So below you will find 5 tips on how to write a short story from the very beginning when the story idea forms to the end of the edits and a complete short story is written.
- Research – When contemplating writing a short story some of the best ways to learn how to write a short story to know exactly what a short story is and how they are formed. Read a few short stories to familiarize yourself with the structure of a short story, the length and the usual ideas that are expressed through a short story. This will aid you in learning how to write a short story as well as possibly give you a few ideas on where to take your short story.
- Plan and Write Down Your Short Story Ideas – Before the actual process of writing the short story begins it is start to put all your short story ideas into one notebook, computer file or the like to reference back to when you begin writing. This will also allow you to flesh out the ideas for the story and create a plotline that you can follow to help you in the process of learning how to write a short story.
The Basic Structure of How to Write a Short Story – Just like with any other story, the ways on how to write a short story are similar and you need to follow a few clearly defined plot-points when you begin writing:
- An Introduction – This is where you introduce your characters and begin laying the plot-work for the short story. You want to begin with an opening line that sparks interest or what is known as a hook (something that captures the readers’ attention and gets them to keep reading). Having a hook is one of the best ways to ensure that your short story is off to a good start.
- The Beginning of the Action – Here you begin to slowly build the suspense, getting the reader to begin to become enveloped in the plot and the eventual resolution. The Climax of the Story – This is where you want to build things to a head, resolving the main plotline of the story, before slowly letting the suspense taper off into the next segment.
- The Cool Down – This is where tensions and suspense is still fairly high as the story’s climax has passed but the “revelation” of it is still fresh in the mind of the reader. You want to keep the suspense at a steady drop, not letting it completely fall right away. The Conclusion – Here you completely cover all plot points and make sure to leave nothing of the plotline unfinished. Resolve any lingering problems and issues before giving the reader a satisfying ending that will resonate with them after they have put the story down.
- Revise and Edit – A short story in general shouldn’t be over 10,000 words or shouldn’t be considered a short story. A short story in its simplest of forms in a story that can be read in one sitting and if your story goes over the word limit or can’t be read in one sitting (and you wish to continue with the premise of it being a short story) some plot editing may need to be done to reduce the overall size of the story. Once the length is in line with a short story, read through and revise your short story to your satisfaction. The story should read fluidly and move from scene to scene like clockwork. Make sure that it has the 6 standard plot-points such as an introduction, climax and conclusion to make sure that you have followed the clearly defined and proven ways of how to write a short story.