A short story has its own charm, it may not keep you occupied for hours but the pleasure derived from a well-crafted short is like Tequila. It packs a punch. Incidentally, both are my favourite 😉
The amount of effort and craft is no less than for a regular novel. In fact, more so since you have fewer words to get your message across and make an impact.
My short fiction Generously Yours is the first one I published and it made me introspect and accept that I like a lot of short fiction and write it too. More will see the light of day soon. Maybe it is the influence of greats like Enid Blyton, Saki or Hector Hugo Munro, O’Henry and Ruskin Bond that I devoured endlessly.
Shorts are easy, easy for everyone. The reader and the author, short fiction allows you to experiment, write quickly and give the reader an option to read more in a limited time. My suggestion to all of you is to be bold and send out your stories into the world. Contest, magazines, anthologies, short story books, and indie-publishing – all are waiting for your tales. It is the perfect step for your next big book.
Here are my favourite strategies to stitch a spectacular short story. They are guidelines that I follow to write the perfect short story –
- Read as much as you can – If you want to write the best, first read the best. Absorb the stories, read them, reread and understand what makes them so good and the subtle nuances. Then practice writing.
- Write in one go – Go with the flow and write nonstop until you finish. Since it’s a short, you can do it without distractions spoiling your flow. The red, green lines on word, the sounds outside, the ping of the messages, just shut them out, ignore them and finish the story. Revise and correct it later.
- Spiffy dialogue and clean tags – To make a conversation pop you need to rise above the obvious, ‘he said and she said’ dialogue tags. They are the most over used and obvious ones. Make every word matter.
- Evoke emotions – Make it heart tugging, an emotional story that makes the reader feel connected to the story. Sad, happy, deprived or angry, you need to show the emotional side of your characters.
- End well– Your aim is to get to a resounding conclusion for your story. Ensure its done right by portraying an emotional incident that tells a tale in itself and represents a bigger picture.
- Drama and suspense – Add the different flavours to your storywith a hint of thrill, a bit of intrigue or some emotional, suspenseful drama. All stories can do with a few highs and low to keep the momentum of the story.
- Hint of a back-story – Not long winding explanations but just a little information of why we are talking about who we are in the story. You don’t want to bore your readers but make them eagerly turn the pages.
- Edit, edit and edit – As an editor I cannot emphasise enough the importance of an error free, well-written story. Anything you publish needs to be your best. It is a part of you, reflects about you. Make sure you check for errors, typos, repetitions, and other mistakes. After a thorough self edit, hire a professional, it will be worth.
Hope these help you get your ideas into perfect little stories and into the hands of your readers.
Happy reading & writing – you can’t do one without the other.
Inderpreet edits manuscripts, writes for her love of writing and reads endlessly. An Army brat, she now joins her adorable Army hubby across the country. Books, editing, writing, and blogging keep her busy whenever she gets a breather from mothering her ‘too tricky to handle son’. She recently published her first short Fiction, Generously Yours – His Gift From Beyond on Amazon.
A sprinkling of fiction, a dash of books, and a bit of opinion add to the eclectic mix that is her blog Eloquent Articulation where you can catch the latest.