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How to Get Your Short Story Published
There are loads of techniques that can help to get your short story published – using the right dialog, characterizations, tone, mood, action plot development, your pacing and so on are just some of the vital parts to any short story. However, when it comes to literary strategies, many authors are simply unaware of what to do, so, if you are writing a short story that you want to be published, run through this checklist before you submit it.
Do you have a strong opening line? Is your first paragraph enticing? Is your style confident? Does it set the tone for the whole story? Is it too obvious or is there some kind of a mystery to it?
Have you written your story to ground the readers by appealing to their five senses? Can they hear/smell/see/feel/taste what is going on?
Does your description give your readers a clear understanding of the plot and the characters?
Are the goals of your story supported by the description and dialog? Has your description been researcher thoroughly? Is it accurate? Is it evocative?
How have you written your story – show, not tell? Reveal/imply, not explain/state? Does your story give off an air of urgency or immediacy?
What about your characters? Are they unique? Will your readers remember them and believe in them? Have you made your characters’ motivations clear? Do any of their personalities clash or complement that of another character? Does this serve to enhance the central conflict?
Think about your dialog? Is it effective? Is it believable (depending on the genre of your story)? Is there a good balance between realism and efficiency? Is the tension built up through the dialog?
Have you developed your secondary characters as well as you did the main ones? Have you made them less interesting than your main character/s – you don’t want them overshadowing the story. Do they add to the story or can they be removed?
Have you paced your story evenly? Is it controlled? Have you written an engaging start or have you given too much detail of the backstory? Have you ended the story properly? Is the action all on one level, up and down in a controlled manner or all over the place?
Does your ending fit the story? Does it have the element of surprise? Have you taken the tension level above that of the rest of the story?
Have you written using a unique voice or copied that of another writer? Have you written in an insightful way? A mesmerizing voice? Are you implying anything impressive in your writing?
Have you read your story out loud, at least once?
Has it been looked at by a professional proofreader? Even top authors require a proofreader and, often, it’s the best writers that see this and use one – the new authors are the ones that think they don’t need help.
If you run through this list of techniques before you send your short story to wherever it is going, you can be sure you stand a great chance of being accepted.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Anne-Marie Reynolds