Most people have an opinion that writing novels is a bigger and more difficult task than writing short stories. While this is true to some extent, it certainly does not mean that anyone can write and more importantly succeed in becoming a short story writer. Writing short stories is an art and only those who have practice, patience, and a passion for writing, can produce short stories which they can pride on. If you have a desire to write short stories, we have help you begin with these guidelines:
- Start with reading and reading lots and lots of short stories. This will help you grasp the style and pattern of short stories. You will also learn how to draw and define your characters, structure your plots and choose right words for your story.
- Try to get as many ideas you can about the plot of your story. The inspiration for the story could come from anything from a small local event to just some interesting personality in your neighborhood. Carry a notebook with you wherever you can and write down snippets as and when they strike your mind.
- Once you get the story idea, draft your story according to a proper format. Your story should be divided in proper Introduction (Introduces characters, setting, time, etc.), Initiating Action (The point of a story that starts the rising action), Rising Action (Events leading up to the climax/turning point), Climax (The most intense point of the story/the turning point of the story), Falling Action (your story begins to conclude) and a Resolution/Conclusion (a satisfying ending to the story in which the central conflict is resolved – or not -). However, the story does not necessarily have to follow the same pattern and series every time. You can always introduce novelties in it.
- Characters make up a story. So, design your characters with care so that they feel believable, realistic and such that the readers can associate with them. Draw inspiration from people you know and borrow their attributes. Make sure your characters personalities are not perfect. In real life, nobody is perfect. Everyone has their flaws.
- Decide how you will narrate the story. The narration of the story could either be in first-person (“I”), second-person (“you”), or third-person (“he” or “she”). What needs to be known is the fact that the first-person narrators can only tell what they know (which will be limited to what they see firsthand or are told by others), while third-person narrators can either know everything and explore every character’s thoughts, or be limited to only that which can be observed.
- After you have sketched your plot, and designed your characters, start by drawing the outline of the story and then go on to choosing the right words to describe each part of the story. When you are in the process of writing, make sure to keep the flow going. Set aside a time to write each and every day, and make it a goal to finish, say, a page each day. Even if you end up throwing away what you wrote on that day, you’ve been writing and thinking about the story, and that will keep you going in the long run.
- Any story writing will be incomplete without revising and editing the story and correcting the spelling and grammatical errors. Do not hesitate to make changes if you find portions which are not good enough.
- Get reviews, opinions and criticisms from your friends and well-wishers. Give them time to read it and think about it, and give them a copy that they can write on. Thank your reviewers for reading your story, and don’t argue with them. Incorporate whatever edits, revisions, and suggestions you feel are valid but you don’t have to follow all the advice you get.