How to Write a Short Story
People who have a penchant for story writing, find it natural to express their thoughts and plot on pieces of papers. However, most writers wonder how to write a story or, how was a particular author able to write such an intriguing story. Well, the answer to the question is simple but extensive. Are you ready to begin your journey and master story writing?
Then read on to become a true story writer.
How to Write a Short Story?
In this section, you will get to see how to write a short story. Unlike a novel or a story, it contains 1,000 to 5,000 words. Moreover, there are various types of short stories such as fable, anecdote, sketch, vignette, etc.
Writing short stories can be challenging as you have to sum up the plot within the word limit. Hence, there should be a small cast of characters, a well-defined mood, a strong point of view, and a precise write-up. However, you are at liberty to experiment with a wide range of conventions. Or, to be more specific, you don't need to abide by traditional rules.
Mentioned below are certain short story writing tips that you can follow.
- Choose the Mood You wish to Evoke
This is the overall feeling or emotion you want to convey to your readers, and that is what all of the elements of your short story will strive to achieve.
- Focus on the Outlining
When you are trying to figure out the outline, you have to consider the point of view you'll use, the way you are going to begin the narrative. You also have to understand the transition, what occurs in the climax, and finally, the resolution of the initial issue.
- Apply the In Medias Res Method
The writing practice of in medias res is extremely important. Through this method, you can open up in the middle of an event or anecdote. That is, you provide the backstory. And you fill in the details as the story progresses.
- Know the Character
You must know your character well in order for a short story to be impactful. Character development is crucial in short stories because the characters also drive the plot.
- Make the Story Lively and Engaging
Don't squander time or space. Every detail in the short storey must be crucial. Think from the perspective of the readers. Do the sentences make sense? Are the sections related?
- Edit the Story
When you edit the short story, you should review the consistency of the story. Check for grammatical errors, punctuation or spelling mistakes. Most importantly, go through the story multiple times to find any loopholes.
These steps provide you with the perfect answer to your question, “How to plan a story?”
Long Story Writing is Easier with These Tips
If you are aiming to write a good story and your imaginations are running wild, then this section is for you. Here, you will learn how to start writing a story, carefully plot it and much more. The tips mentioned here will be an addition to the already know steps from the previous section.
1. Write the First Draft within Two Months
If you are writing a story having more than 5,000 words, then you should try to pen down the write-up within two months. However, if it’s a novel, then you can extend the time frame. Don't stress over plotting or outlining ahead of time. You can do that once you have a convincing story at your disposal. Your first draft is a learning experience.
2. Think about the Framework
Long stories depend on multiple aspects. Suppose the story is based on an adventure. You have to first create a set of characters. You have to describe how the plan (of the adventure) hatched, focus on the build-up (the lead up to the adventure). You have to think about the story, hurdles, twists, revelations, particular event, a reflection of life, 'all is well' ending.
3. Pay Attention to the Protagonist
Stories revolve around protagonists. Every protagonist must make choices, which is an important component.Furthermore, your character cannot be picture-perfect, that is, having all the desirable traits in a human being.
In order to make the story appealing, you have to showcase the hardships he/she has to endure. Make the character go through some adversities, test his grit, patience, dedication, etc.
4. Work on Making the Story Suspenseful
Readers love a story filled with elements of surprise. Incorporate dramatic questions. For instance, in the adventurous story, throw in some questions like, “The boat got completely destroyed? Will he make it?” Also, do not over-share valuable data, or it is bound to kill the drama.
5. Talk about a Tragedy
If you have read any novel, you would have found out that the story does not unfold ‘the perfect way’. There are ups and downs. There are heartbreaks, disasters, deaths, ‘drifting aparts’, betrayals, etc.So, inculcate this aspect in your story writing to give it depth.
6. Include Memorable Dialogues
After people watch a movie or read a story, most of them recollect the favorite scenes and dialogues. So, give the people what they want and also make use of the 'one liners' to make your story catchy. Hopefully, you have some idea of what makes a good story.
Short Story Ideas That You Can Use
Now that you know how to write a story, let us check out some short story ideas that will help set the ball rolling.
1. You borrow a book from a library. You get enthralled by the mysteries that are yet to be solved. You contact your friends, and the three of you embark on a new adventure.
2. It’s 2070. Robots are part of society. One robot, due to faulty programming, turns rogue and decides to end human civilization. It's up to Detective Malcolm to nab the robot and discover the dark truth that leads to the upper echelons of government.
3. Due to a warp in the space-time continuum, you get access to a wormhole. You travel 12 million light-years away. But the portal shuts down. It is a race against time as you have to find your way back to Earth.
4. You are a divorced attorney, butyour ex-wife still works in the same court. A case brings you two close, and you both escape goons and misadventures. You save each other. Will it rekindle the lost love? Will you get to the bottom of the case?
5. You have been playing the guitar for years. But, you are depressed about not being able to put out music and tired of the '9-5' job. One day, you quit your job and decide to pursue your passion. But, are you ready for the hardship?
6. You are a reporter. A lead tells you a shocking story about a mythological creature that is still alive. You decide to verify it, and you are stunned at what you observe.
However, if you want to come up with interesting ideas for a story, you have to read a lot. This includes novels, short story collections and story books.
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