As an aspiring fiction writer, starting by writing a short story might be a good idea. But before that, you will want to know a short story. Simply put – a short story is a short story. A short story can span from one sentence to about seven thousand words.
Typically, a short story revolves around a snippet or event of a character’s life.
There are a few reasons that authors choose to write short stories.
Short Stories Are Fun
Short stories are fun as these are very specific forms of writing that can also be a lot more challenging than writing a novel. The underlying reason is that as a short story writer, you will have to make an actual, concise story within a short story by using only a few thousand words.
Short Stories Can Help Improve Your Writing
As an aspiring author, you can use short stories to make your writing better. By writing short stories, you can indulge in a great way to practice your story-writing skills while vamping up your imagination and creative side.
Short stories can also help you write individual chapters, especially if you plan to write and publish a novel in the future – speaking of which, you might want to know how to self publish a book.
Compared to traditional publishing, self-publishing is an easy route. You won’t have to wait extensive years to get your book on the shelves – and you get to control nearly all aspects of publishing your book.
Short Stories Are an Outlet of Creativity
Also, if you are working on a longer manuscript, you can get a break by indulging in writing a short story and giving your creativity an outlet by jotting down a short story. By writing a short story, you can kick-start your imagination – especially – if you feel a little stuck with your manuscript.
We all know that writer’s block can happen.
You Love to Read Short Stories
You can, however, write short stories simply because you love to read them. Some people prefer short stories over novels. If you are one of those people, you should kick-start your writing career with a collection of short stories.
Short Stories Are in Demand
Every writer has their individual writing style, and not all writers are meant to write long novels. Also, try something new by writing short stories. Short stories are immensely popular – they are published in newspapers, blogs, and magazines.
There are also online competitions where aspiring authors participate in short-story writing.
Tips to Write Great Short Stories
Now that we have covered all about why you should write short stories let us talk about the writing process. Here are a few tips that can help you write great short stories.
Understand the Difference
Before you start to jot down words on paper, you will want to understand the basic difference between a short story and a novel. While these two types of writing share some common characteristics, such as they need to be grammatically correct and the entire plot needs to be coherent – both writings need to have a story,
However, both writing formats are different too from each other. While writing a novel, you can decide the length of your book – however – while writing a short story, you will be confined to a set number of words as there are limits.
Start Close to the Ending
If you are an avid reader, you might know that short stories are similar to newspaper articles. The story begins close to the end. Why? The answer is as simple as the fact that you don’t have unlimited words like a novel to reveal the details to the readers gradually.
You will want to give them the details upfront so they know whether they want to read the story or not.
Of course, you will want to make your story exciting and captivate the reader’s attention from the beginning, which is why you will want to focus on your opening lines and paragraphs. Make it as interesting and captivating as possible so that readers cannot help themselves but be drawn into the story.
You get the point – you will want to pull the reader into the story – from the very start by making the plot obvious.
Maintain the Pace
A short story has to operate at a fast pace – again – you will be running out of words, which is why you will have to keep up the pace.
You already know that a short story opens close to the end – the final conflict – so you have to catapult your readers headlong into action from the very first page.
Suppose your short story revolves around a murder. In that case, you will want to start with a shocking revelation that a character has been murdered instead of approaching the conflict gradually – as in a novel.
Use Fewer Characters
When writing a short story, you will want to keep the number of characters small. It will become very difficult to develop a large number of characters and integrate their lives into a short story. It will also be hard for the readers to keep track of many characters in a short story,
Ideally, a short story needs only three characters – the hero/ heroine, the villain, and the relationship character.
You will want to integrate characters mindfully in your plot and give your readers someone to cheer on, someone to hate, and someone they see as a character to advance the protagonist or the antagonist.
You will aim at strengthening the character and reader relationship by giving the character a passion that the readers can relate to. Also, give your character a weakness – so that your readers see the character as someone like them.
Your short story can even have only one character, and the story will unfold through the monologue. Building a short story from a single character is an amazing way to write a short story. It is important to mention that you need to give your reader someone to root for.