tips to writing short stories


Are you working on your short story writing skills? Writing Short stories is the best way to get into the writing game. Short stories help you test your creativity and hone your writing skills before you get into something bigger.

In this informative piece, we will take you through on how you can develop your writing skills so that you can write short stories effectively.

Before we get into the main course, here is a caveat:

Short stories are fiction pieces within the range of 8,000 to 10,000 words (except for micro fiction which can be less than 500 words). There are longer forms of short stories that are about 20,000 words in length. 

Most respected writers in the world today started off by writing short stories. Thus, short stories will give you a break into the literary world and help you gain your desired audience.

Many readers prefer short stories because they are easy to read. Thus, you can make an impression on the minds of your audience with a concise but eventful short essay.

Also, learning how to write short stories helps a student develop brief writing skills which will come in handy when writing essays and homework assignments. 

Mastering the art of short writing will go a long way to sharpen your overall writing skills and prepare you for more significant writing projects.

Short Stories Don’t Follow the Conventional Novel-Writing Process

That’s why they are called short stories. You don’t have to go through the process of creating significant and minor events, character profile and story structure for your quick writing project.

Everything has to be spontaneous, with more surprises until the end. This doesn’t mean that you should not plan your story; all you need is a few characters and one or two significant events to piece your story together.

A short story needs lesser work and more creativity. Your aim is to leave your readers wowed by your story, so you need the right emotion to achieve that.

Now let’s get down to business. Here are six skills you need to develop to help you write effectively.

1. Write in One Sitting

Try to write the first draft of your story within the shortest possible time. Write short stories in one sitting and novels within the space of three months. You should not worry too much about plotting as long as you have a good story to tell. 

The first draft often serves as a discovery process, so you should see yourself as an archaeologist whose primary concern is to prove that ancient cities are buried within the earth but waits excitedly and patiently to see how they look.

2. Good Dialogue is Key

You can write a good dialogue only when you have an in-depth knowledge of the characters and have equally done much rewriting around your story. 

The characters in your account must have unique voices, and you can achieve that if you make sure what they say in dialogues truly represents who they are. In order not to distract your readers, your speaker tag should merely go with “he said” or “she said,” And avoid the use of words like “she exclaimed,” “he announced” or “she spoke vehemently.”

3. Write about Death

Death is a natural phenomenon, and any good story should involve death. Check up all the stories you have read so far, and you will find they contained this theme. 

The Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings, Charlotte’s Web, and even Harry Potter all had death scenes. Include death in your stories and let it stand out.

4. Create Suspense and Drama

Suspense makes your story attractive and your readers eager to know what happens next. However, to do that, try to make the fate of the protagonist hang in the balance. Don’t reveal everything to your readers at once or you will end up making them know what come next already.

5. Edit like a Pro

Even professional writers write about three or more drafts before their story is complete. Your first draft is like a secret trying and error which should not make it public. Your second draft is to work out the structural changes, plots, and character development, while the third draft is for deep polishing to make the story come out perfect. Without the first two drafts, don’t make the mistake of polishing your work.

6. Share Your Work

Your story writing comes out better when you know people will be reading it as soon as it goes public. If you want to know how your story will fare, don’t hesitate to share it. 

Nothing else reveals your areas of strength or weakness like receiving feedback from those who read your story. You stand a better chance of writing a better story next time after you might have experienced the possibility of failure. 

The best way to share your story is by entering a writing contest. It makes you sit up when you know that you have a deadline to meet and a prize waiting for you if you win. 

Perfecting your short story writing skills will help increase your chances of acing all your college essays and develop a career in writing.

If you, however, need someone to guide you through on how to develop your short story writing skills you can sign up at a qualified essay writing service and have advanced writers prepare a few essays or short stories from scratch.