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A short story is usually short-fiction story. Although most stories are no longer than 8,000 words, most short stories range between 2,000 – 5,000 words.
Micro Fiction: upto 350 words
Flash Fiction: 500 -1000 words
Traditional: 1,500 – 5000 words
Short stories also act as a great tool for marketing. Most contests related tow writing have contests for short stories.
If you’re confused, here is a word count for all types of writing:
Novella: 30,000 – 60,000
Novel: 60,000 – 100,000
Epic novel: 120,000 – 2220,000+
Most writers start off with writing short stories before they write novels. Why?
Tip: Write down the themes and genres you want to explore and set a goal for it (eg. one theme per day)
Don’t know what to write about? Not inspired by anything around you? Here are few ways to come up with short story ideas:
Locate memory: Most stories stories start with the memory of a person, place, fear, conflict that just doesn’t escape your mind. Identify that memory that and let it be the beginning to your short story.
Write it: Now that you know the source of your short story, make a rough draft without worrying about the grammar, cliches, etc. Getting a proper plot is the aim.
Create characters: Characters are often inspired from people know. Pick the most interesting, quirky people and mix and match their gender, age, looks, voices, tics, habits. You can also add characteristics of your own.
If you haven’t noticed, every basic story goes like this:
For one to have a great short story, it must be one. Read further to know how to write a short story step by step.
Read how many ever short stories you can. Read the classics by Anton Chekhov, Kate Chopin, Edgar Allan Poe, etc.
Familiarise yourself, evaluate how they wrote it – style, words used and try to copy style. Soon, you’ll know what style suits you and start working on it.
Start off by reading 3-4 dozens of short stories to identify the authors’ writing style and structure.
Remember that you can’t just develop a writing style over night. Be patient.
Find the emotion you want to give your readers they will remember your story by. It’s more than just a feeling. Think about the context you want to portray it in. Again, each emotion is distinct in its own way. For example, you might want to write a happy story. But a story about a girl finding her parents after many years is different from a man winning the lottery. Both fall into happy stories, but different kinds of happy.
Stories on love, redemption, freedom, heroic sacrifice justice is usually what moves readers.
All writers outline their story before they begin to write. Outlining saves time and helps you stay more organised. Creating an outline for a short story is much easier compared to a novel.
The outline should consist:
You need to get your readers hooked by grabbing their attention so think carefully about how you want to begin your short story.
Starting your story with something like “My life was flashing infront of my eyes. I knew this was going to be the end and closed my eyes wishing it would get over soon.”
What was the end? What happened? How did the protagonist get there? Make your readers want more.
Remember that you’re writing a short story and not a regular novel. Read every sentence at least twice to make sure it’s not too wordy or else you will just end up wasting space.
You might think that you can have a lousy ending, but no.
A strong beginning needs a strong ending. Don’t be in a rush to finish it off. Take some time, write few endings and see which works best. Think go yourself as a reader and have something no-one saw coming.
Your ending doesn’t have to be wordy. It can be in a way that your readers will understand what’s going to happen next. For example, you’re writing about a girl who’s meeting the love of her life at the end after they separated for a decade, you end the story with the her looking at him from through the window, and then slowly approaching to ring his doorbell.
The ending is understood. You don’t have to talk about their embrace, the tears, and them confessing their love.
Creating a title is not easy. It’s the first thing people see or hear about so it has to be perfect. Make sure it grabs attention and is memorable.
Here are few ways to create a title:
Read your story a few times to make sure it’s error-free before it’s published.
Keep an eye out for:
Don’t assume that this is your final draft. Get feedback and see what others have to say. Don’t share your story with anyone and everyone. Get feedback from writers like you or anyone who loves to read.