Best way to write a short story?

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jimthorne2
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Best way to write a short story?

Post by jimthorne2 » 15 Aug 2017, 20:56

I like reading short stories but have not figured out how best to write one or more. One person mentioned the idea to adding a 'twist'. Is a short story a single scene or a chapter or what. A little help here, please!
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BoyLazy
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Post by BoyLazy » 30 Sep 2017, 09:25

I would also want to know more about this.
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TheWriteAngel
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Post by TheWriteAngel » 17 Oct 2017, 22:46

I'm quite eager to learn the art of sort story writing. Would appreciate some advice in this area.

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DustinPBrown
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Post by DustinPBrown » 18 Oct 2017, 05:47

Hi!

When I write short stories, it's not about a single scene or a chapter. It's should be a complete story in and of itself with its own beginning, middle, and end. If you're familiar with novels, the concept is exactly the same, just compact and shorter.

That means everything needs to scale to size. I wouldn't recommend a short story in which you follow a war from beginning to end, or you follow someone's whole life. You also need to keep characters limited to those who are absolutely essential to the story. There's no point in throwing in your protag's 12 cousins and their backstories if they don't ultimately serve the story.

Really, I think a short story needs to be entirely character-driven. What I mean is that it should focus on one character first and foremost, in contrast to a novel which has the space to show full, satisfying character arcs for lots of different people.

For your questions, I would say that you definitely should not think of a short story as a chapter, since a chapter implies that the story isn't over. Your story needs to be over by the end of your short story. As to whether it's a scene or multiple, well that depends on what the story needs. I've read short stories that take place (in the story) in a space of a 10-minute conversation in one room, and I've read short stories where the characters go to like 10 different places and have multiple little adventures. It's all about what you can handle. If you don't have experience in writing short stories, then it might be easier to stick to something simple.

And twists? Well they can certainly help if they're done well, but I would absolutely not say that they're in any way essential to a short story. Some of the best short stories I've read had no twist at all.

Really, the best way to get a sense of how to write a short story is by reading lots of them, which shouldn't be a problem since they're so short! George Saunders is a favorite of mine for short stories, and Hemmingway I think is a better short story writer than novelist. Hope that helps!

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Post by jimthorne2 » 18 Oct 2017, 09:39

Wow! Thanks for the lesson. You have really condensed a lot of talk and given me some great pointers. When I write my short story I will be happy to share my result with you. Thanks again!
Jim Thorne

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Post by DustinPBrown » 19 Oct 2017, 06:01

No problem! Glad it helped!

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Post by Sushan » 19 Jun 2018, 13:33

short story is a slice of life. What I say is just describe a short incidence as it is and readers will see the story as they need. That is how a short story is made in my point of view
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