Write Better: Short Stories

Recently, my writer’s group decided to enter a short story contest. We each write a short, help each other with feedback, and submit. All the while pushing each other and celebrating our victories.

So now I got this challenge of writing a short story, and that made me think, what does it take to make a great short story. I found a lot of tips and hacks, but narrowed it down to just 8 of the best to help you write the best short you can! If you’re interested in the writing contest, rest assured, there’s a link in the at the end of this blog!

  1. This is NOT a novel. This is a SHORT story (or short), and while that sounds easier, it truly is not. In my situation, I have a limited number of words to tell an entire story. Even without a contest involved, a short story is never more than 8000 words. This being said, start with a catchy first paragraph!
  2. Keep the flow going. Pace is always a must. If you’re bored so are your readers.
  3. Keep the number of characters small. Take time to devolpe a few amazing and relatible characters that you can keep track of easily. Following too many characters can bore the reader and turn them away from more of your work.
  4. Make sure to hit on all the senses. Remember to show, not tell, and get reader’s emotions invested. Invest in the setting to help enchance the story.
  5. Create conflict and build tension, and have your ending in mind. Need help creating an amazing conflict? Check our archive for the segment on building up tension.
  6. Use meaningful dialoge. This is where I would add in a quick look at the main characters past. With limited space, I feel this is the best way to lay out a backstory with out using your entire word count to info dump.
  7. Know your audience! Even if its not your normal genre, take a moment to get a little info of the community. Get that fresh take on what you plan to write!
  8. Lastly, resolve your character’s drama and give the reader the closure.

See not hard at all. Now show me what you’ve got! Here’s that link https://www.servicescape.com/short-story-award

Now go write something!

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