Consider the following when you want to write the ideal short story:
Set the story mood. Allow your readers to know the kind of story you want to tell. Also, what emotional quality are you going to present for your readers to relate to?
Have an interesting opening. Due to relative format limitation for short stories, you may not have enough room for exposition. Use the idea of opening in the middle of the action and filling in details later. In essence, the technique takes you directly to your important scene.
Write prudently. Develop your story while being conscious of the word count. Try to explain events concisely and minimize being too elaborate on information. Make sure that most of the sentences you write are relevant to the story being told. After all, Edgar Allan Poe once mentioned that a story must have a single mood with every sentence developing towards it.
Land the ending. When approaching the end of your short story, focus on the mood that you want to apply for yourself and to your readers. Ensure the plot is well-established all through to the end, and see if the story flows naturally from top to bottom.
Proofread/Edit. Don’t be in a haste to complete the whole writing process at once. Take some time to relax your eyes and mind. Doing this helps increase your attentiveness to details naturally when next you re-read the story. You observe every sentence from the beginning as you revisit places that need a retouch or correction here and there. Pay attention to how the scenes, plot, characters, and dialogue function in the story.
Generating Ideas for a Short Story
Selecting from any of the questions below, answer any one putting down your first response and using it to write the opening for a short story. Use one or two paragraphs.
Time target: 1 minute
Once complete, write and complete the short story. Don’t bother yourself about structuring and craft. You may begin the short story at any point in the narrative.
Time target: 30 minutes
- What were the things you were most embarrassed about in the past few years?
- When last did you cry, and what was the cause?
- What has shocked you to an extent of being speechless?
- What was the very best or worst childhood moment you had?
- Have you had a fantasy about seeking vengeance? Against whom?
- Assume you’re on your deathbed reflecting on your past life. Who did you love most?