Top Tips For Writing Great Short Stories | Assignment Collections |


You’re a short story writer, and you have started writing. Great job! You may be getting information online on the various aspects that make up perfect short stories. That is good, but remember that gathering information will not make your story great or sellable. Simply gathering data from the internet will never make you great at writing short stories.

Writing short stories isn’t easy. You must plan out every word to ensure your writing is well-formatted and engaging. Depending on the tone of your short story, you will also have to choose a certain genre and writing style. The key to writing a great short story is engaging in one page or less. How do you achieve that? The art of writing short stories is not easily mastered, but with a little bit of know-how, you can be on your way to becoming a pro. Here are some tips on how to write stories well:

What Is a Short Story?

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that stands on its own to convey a message, capture a specific moment in time, or elicit an emotional response from the reader. All the parts of a short narrative—plot, character, pacing, story structure, and so on—must work together to achieve one aim. Thus they tend to be more concentrated.

5 Tips For Writing Great Short Stories

Writing a short story is a great way to hone your writing skills. It’s also a fun way to express your creativity. The following are five tips for writing the best short stories:

  • Taking One Sitting To Write

Get your story down on paper as quickly as you can. A short story is best written in one sitting. Try to finish your manuscript during one season (three months).

Don’t overthink everything by making elaborate plans or outlines. In other words, you can do that if you feel you have something worth telling.

Don’t stress if your story has holes or the specifics are inaccurate. You don’t even have to have names picked out for your characters yet.

The process of writing your first draft is one of discovery. You remind me of an archaeologist uncovering a long-lost city in the dirt. Even if you know where your city is buried, you won’t know what it looks like until you dig it up. In other words, start your shovels!

  • Cultivate Your Protagonist

The protagonist is the central figure in a story, and if they aren’t well-developed, the story suffers. Any protagonist worth their salt needs to be able to make choices. “A human being is a choosing being,” said Victor Frankl.

The decision that leads your protagonist into trouble and ultimately leads them out of trouble is necessary for a satisfying story. Use other character archetypes, such as the villain, the protagonist’s polar opposite, or the idiot. This sidekick character displays the protagonist’s weaker side to flesh out your protagonist and give your story depth.

One should create a character profile for every one of their characters. If you follow this advice, your fictional characters will feel more real, and you won’t mess up their identifying traits. Your point-of-view character needs at least a basic character sheet.

It’s important to remember that character growth isn’t just for fictional protagonists. Memoirs, personal narratives (in which you serve as the narrator), and even some forms of nonfiction necessitate a fully realized protagonist. The characters become dear to the readers’ hearts.

  • Express Your Ideas in a Natural Way

To write a natural, believable conversation, you need to know your characters inside and out and be willing to rewrite and rewrite until it sounds perfect. 

As in, “Does this seem like my personality?” If you answered “no,” you must revise your work. (In search of supplementary advice on how to foster positive personality traits? For further information, please visit this link.

In addition, “he said” and “she said” are the only acceptable alternatives for speaker tags. The use of distracting and superfluous speaker tags, such as “he exclaimed,” “she announced,” and “he spoke vehemently,” is discouraged. However, using “he asked” once in a while is acceptable.

  • Build Tension and Discord

Every story needs some conflict. Conflict is the engine that propels your story and the reason people keep turning pages. There can be no plot without some tension to keep the reader interested.

Conflicts can be divided into two broad categories. The action of your short story is the external struggle, the part that the audience can easily observe. However, it would help if you did not overlook internal strife.

This is when your story’s conflict and protagonist’s arc begin to shape as your POV character faces up against their demons.

A story isn’t complete without a good dose of suspense. The addition of suspense is beneficial to every story, not just thrillers.

Set up a dramatic question to heighten the tension. “Is he going to make it?” is a dramatic question. or “Will she finally meet her Prince Charming?” You can keep readers engaged by raising questions about what will happen to your protagonist.

To achieve this effectively, you must moderate the amount of data presented to the reader. Oversharing is the quickest way to kill the drama.

Professional writers typically produce at least three drafts before being satisfied with the final product. There are several names for the first draft, but “vomit draft” or “shitty first draft” are two of the most common. Stay quiet about this! The first draft is when you play with your story and figure out what it’s about.

Inevitably, the editing process will be the most nerve-wracking for any writer, but it must be done. While many beginning writers will rush to polish their second draft to erase the shame of their first, this is not the time to do so.

Instead, the second draft is where you’ll make any necessary structural adjustments (check to see that the story makes sense as a whole), fix any glaring plot holes, or, if you’re writing nonfiction, elaborate on the book’s primary arguments.

The editing stage is where you make sure your story makes sense, has realistic characters (who should now have names), and is otherwise complete. The purpose of the third draft is to do some serious fine-tuning. The pieces are now beginning to fit together. Now comes the enjoyable part! Polishing is unnecessary until you’ve written at least two drafts.

How to Become a Good Short Story Writer

No matter what type of short story you’re writing, there are some guidelines to follow that will help ensure your story is effective and engaging.

Improve your writing skills by taking advantage of your time writing and letting your imagination run wild.

Do I seem like I think short tales are solely for novice writers or want to be novelists? Of course not, but it does assist people with a pathological aversion to being short.

When I sit down to write a lengthy piece of fiction, I tend to become hyper-focused on the end goal and the subsequent scenes’ ability to get me there. However, it’s easy to lose track of the scene while preoccupied with such details.

There are certain unique challenges to creating a short story.

While the final destination is important, there are fewer scenes to manage, allowing you to give each one your full attention.

  • Change Some of Your Words

Because of their brevity, short stories can zero down on a certain plot point. Subplots are rarely necessary, and you won’t have to fill in as much history as you would in a novel.

Is it true that long-form writing requires you to forego dialogue and description? In a word, no.

However, short stories can help you hone your descriptive writing skills and expand your vocabulary.

  • Recount the Events Leading Up to the Present

Writing short tales is a terrific way to practice telling the kinds of stories that wouldn’t work in a novel. Explore the main characters’ histories or create short stories revolving around minor ones.

Even if it doesn’t end up in your novel or collection, writing it will help you better understand your characters and give your other works a more vivid atmosphere.

In addition, you can always include these pieces in a newsletter or anthology geared toward expanding your readership.

How to Make a Story Interesting

Writing short stories is a great way to express yourself and your creativity. It can be a very rewarding experience if you have the talent. Here are some tips that can help make your short stories interesting:

  1. Introduce the main character(s) early on in the story and develop them thoroughly throughout the piece of writing. Make sure to give them as much attention as possible for readers to connect with them easily.
  2. Use only simple words that everyone understands so that anyone from any background can read your work without problems.
  3. Include lots of dialogue between characters so that readers get a feel of how they talk and interact with each other daily (i.e., at work, home etc.). Keep dialogues realistic but interesting enough so that readers want more!
  4. Use descriptive language to express emotions and feelings through words alone (i.e., adjectives, adverbs etc.). Avoid using too many adverbs because they tend to make sentences sound awkward and unnatural when used excessively.

Writing a Short Story for Beginners

Here are some tips on how to write a good short story:

  • Get inspired by reading some great books on how to write short stories.
  • Write your ideas on paper or notebook before you start writing your story.
  • Start writing your story from the beginning till the end so you can get an idea about how long it will be when completed and how much time you need to spend on each paragraph until the completion of your story.
  • It would help if you took your time while writing because it is essential for you not only to keep track of what you want to say but also to make sure that everything makes sense before moving on to another sentence or paragraph in your book/story/report etc..
  • Use strong verbs and nouns that paint an image in your reader’s mind. Use simple words, but avoid using clichés or overused words. Be descriptive about what you see, hear, smell or feel; this will help readers understand what is going on in your story better than just telling them about it.
  • Read other books and learn how to craft a good plot by seeing how others do it! Look at how they structure their stories so that yours has a beginning, middle and end, just like theirs!

The Varied Forms That Short Stories Take

You can break down Short stories into various categories, each with unique traits.

  1. Drabble is a “very short tale” (often no more than 100 words) written as a challenge to the writer’s ability to convey an idea effectively while adhering to the word limit.
  2. An anecdote is a short story, usually funny, that is used to illustrate a point. They serve a similar purpose as parables, which are morally instructive but relatively brief stories.
  3. Feghoot short narrative with a humorous pun at the end
  4. A fable is a brief story with anthropomorphic characters, typically animals, and a moral lesson at the end. While both serve the same purpose, a fable is more likely than a parable to use animals to drive home its point. The Fables of Aesop are a wonderful illustration of this.
  5. Flash fiction, often known as microfiction, is a form of short fiction that typically has less than 1,000 words. The following short narrative, commonly attributed to Ernest Hemingway, is a classic example of the form: “For sale: baby sneakers, never worn.”
  6. A Sketch is a piece of writing that doesn’t often have a plot. Instead, the purpose of a sketch is to shed light on a certain individual, place, or event.
  7. A vignette is a small work that can be a part of a greater whole. The purpose of a vignette is to provide a brief glimpse into a tale element, be it a character, an idea, or an object.

Bottom Line

Whether the short story is fictional or non-fictional, it is important to have an interesting and captivating introduction, A clear and logical flow of ideas and information, an appropriate style, effective vocabulary with varied sentence structure. Furthermore, it would help if you also had a well-constructed body and a powerful conclusion. Also, it is vital to have a title for the short story as its beginnings.

In conclusion, the entire goal of this article was to give you various tips and strategies on how to write a short story effectively. With all the tips above, you are now properly equipped and ready to begin writing your own short stories!


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