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!
- 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!
- Keep the flow going. Pace is always a must. If you’re bored so are your readers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!