Writing a short story that is destined to become a breakthrough is not as easy as it might seem. Given its length, you don’t have much space to use all the tricks that make novels a real success. Therefore, if you are a freelance writer and time is money, here are the tips you should save and apply to your writing when creating a short story.
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Tips to help you create a brilliant short story
1. Be brief
Even though this tip might seem a little too easy considering that a “short story” is supposed to be short, there are always things to cut out of it at the end. You might want to clarify something or insert several paragraphs of great philosophic thoughts. But we are begging you not to do it. This will not make your short story successful. It will only increase its volume but not its value.
Therefore, once you finish your writing, go through the story and cut the words, phrases, sentences, and even paragraphs that your piece of writing can absolutely live without to stick to the ground rules of short story writing.
2. Be clear
Once you start working on the story, make sure that a reader is only there to get the “saucy” part of the piece. If you have too much “water” in the text, it is likely to lose the interest of the readers and be left unread. So, if there is a conflict or drama at the center of your short story, get down to it. In case it is not disclosed properly, the story will leave no significant impression in the mind of a reader. Thus, make sure to unfold the main idea of the story well.
3. Only add essential details
Since the story you are working on is supposed to be short, there is no room for details that go over and beyond what is needed. That is why the author should only mention things that are relevant to the target audience right at this moment of the story. Do not pack it with a lot of background knowledge or events that took place years ago. It should be very accurate and concern the progression of events that are topical at the moment.
4. Add all the senses into the situation
Some writers recommend addressing all of the senses of a reader to make them feel the story. What we mean here is that there must be some kind of smell, taste, some voices or just noise in the background as well as touching and visuals to refer to in the text. This method makes the readers as involved in the story as possible. So, instead of just reading it, they are living it. Describe the body language of the character to attract readers and make them love the story.
5. Don’t try to sound too smart
Use the language that you would normally use. If some words are not common for your vocabulary, then drop the idea of attracting larger readership by playing someone you are not in real life – an academic writer wearing huge glasses with an enormous dictionary on their bed table. So, stick to the writing style that is natural for you and matches your personality.
6. Be dramatic
Readers love it when writers tell exciting things. It touches them, it addresses their core values and makes them think about things they don’t usually think about. They say that stories we cried about are the most memorable, which makes them the most successful. Therefore, whenever looking for material for your next short story, opt for things that will make people cry and share it with friends to make them see the depth of it too. However, don’t fake it: art should not be only aiming to make people cry. It should still be authentic and real.
7. Be fun
Finally, after you appeal to readers’ feelings and senses, it is time to let them have a good laugh. Real life is hard enough so we generally don’t like reading stories that make us think of the misery of life. That is the reason why people often choose short stories to make them laugh. Something fun to think about, or something hilarious that happens to us often and is funny, but we never notice how absurd it is. Wit is what it takes to attract readers and let them fall in love with your style and every line of your piece of writing. That is why we added fun as one of the key elements to writing a good short story. Use your sense of humor to let the readers chuckle at the end of the story
Sophia Clark is a creative writer from New York who loves to share her thoughts with readers. In her free time, she enjoys writing fiction as well as reading it. Her big dream is to publish a novel one day.