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Insight about Writing a Short Story
Short stories are the shorter version of novels and fall between thousand to five thousand words. These word restraints challenge the writer's creativity. Crafting a story with a theme, well-developed characters, a plot, and an ending is complex. The limited number of words also limits our ability to develop a character or emotion fully. But that does not mean it is something to be scared of or stay away from.
Writing a short story is easy when you understand its basic structure. Introduce conflict at the beginning of the story. Next, make the situation worse for the main character. Then finally, in the end, resolve the conflict. This is the basic structure of the short story. In addition to this structure, there are a few points that a writer needs to pay attention to.
Before writing, you need to know what you will write, the themes, or the conflict. Then, most writers sit down and start writing. But if you are like me, who needs to plan everything meticulously, you would want to plan out your story beforehand. Decide on the mood or tone of the story. Is it going to be a happy ending or a sad one?
If you are not getting any ideas for your story, you might want to try the writing prompts. They are an excellent way to get the wheels in your mind going.
The other most crucial thing is to decide the ending first. It shapes a goal for the writers. The writing does not go off track when one knows the destination.
The opening should be impactful. The word limit is small, and there is no time to drag out the story. And, if you can, try writing about just one aspect or instance of the story.
The key to characterization is to keep the character list shorter. There is not much space to craft several well-developed characters. Plus, writing excessive characters might become congested. The readers will get confused and overwhelmed.
Even crafting the main character, one can use dialogues to form the characters instead of lengthy descriptions. When deciding on the back story, it is better to suggest it rather than go into excessive detail.
Conflict and pace:
Remember to introduce the conflict of the story as early as possible. It will make an impactful and engaging beginning.
The story's pace should be fast—no dragging moments or filler moments. No main character admires the flower unless it adds to the story. In a short story, each scene matters and propels the story forward. Hence, eliminate any filler scenes.
The best way to gain knowledge about writing is through learning from masters. Read more and try to understand the techniques they use. It will give you an idea about the basics of short stories. In addition, it might inspire a vision for your piece.
Writing short stories tests our imagination and creativity. It is an excellent exercise and, if done well, generates impactful pieces. Remember to edit your work and have fun. Short stories are indeed a great way to exercise your existing skills and learn new ones.
Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Manik Chaturmutha