Top 8 Tips to Become a Good Short Story Writer

Top 8 Tips to Become a Good Short Story Writer

If you aspire to become a professional writer but think that novels or non-fictional literature aren’t your things, you can always try writing short stories. Short stories are a popular form of literature, and usually, these are no more than seven thousand words.

Short stories are in great demand by blogs, magazines, and newspapers – even publication houses pay aspiring authors for their short stories.

Nonetheless, before you start writing, there are a few tips that you will want to go through.

Read on to learn more!

Start with Becoming Your Own Reader

As a starter, you might just want to experience what it is like to write a short story. At this point, you wouldn’t want to worry about the word count – just write the story as you think you would like it to read. This is the only thing that matters.

Remember that at this point, you are writing for yourself. Don’t try to write for a market or a specific target audience.

Also, remember that since this will be your first draft – it must not be perfect – you can always make changes to the short story later and even hire one of the best freelance short story editors for this purpose.

Keep it Concise!

Also, try to ensure that you keep everything as concise as possible. In other words, you will want to use as few words as possible to describe each scene of your short story.

So, write out what a particular scene is going to be. Once you are done, you will want to take out everything that is not necessary.

If you have a clear vision in your mind about what is going on in a particular scene and everything else that is part of the scene – you will find it easier to translate as you are writing it down.

However, you can write a brief about what you have planned about the story. To make it easy, there are various sticky apps to note down things to remember.

Keep a Short List of Main Characters

When it comes to writing short stories, you will want to avoid using too many characters. You can only have two or three main characters in your short story. The more characters you will have in a short story, the more confusing your story can become, as the reader will try to remember everything.

You get the point – just keep the number of characters down to the smallest number possible.

Choose Familiar Characters

Another important rule related to character portrayal is that you must pick characters that you know. While you might not tell the people from your life that you are using them as characters, you can still take certain aspects of people who you know very well and use them in your short stories.

The characters can be derived from people you know well, including neighbors, family, and friends – whoever they might be.

Now, this is how it works – if you are writing with someone’s face in mind, you are writing with someone’s general characteristics in mind, making it a great deal easier for you to focus on character portrayal.

Choose a Scene that Appeals to You!

Now, when you are trying to write a short story, and you have never written a short story before, it can be very useful to simply pick a scene – something that appeals to you. You might take your favorite experience from when you were walking through a forest in England.

While you were there, you might have seen a man walking toward you and having a conversation on the phone. While you might have only caught a couple of snippets of the conversation, you can still use it as content and as the base of your entire short story.

As an aspiring fiction writer, you will need a great deal of imaginative power – in the previous example; you might want to use that imaginative power and think about who the man might have been talking to, how it might have ended, and what the man would have done once he reached home.

You get the point – you can take inspiration from real-life events and weave them into your own imagination and come up with the best short story of all time.

Make the Protagonist Relatable

People don’t want to read about the main character having a perfect life – there are no such things as a perfect life in the real world, which is why you must portray the main character – the protagonist – as relatable as possible.

Only if the main character has some flaws will your readers be able to relate to the character and even root for them.

You get the point – aim at creating the main character in a way that establishes a connection between the reader and the protagonist. Ideally, the reader should care about the main character as they might find them relatable.

You can boost the connection between your main character and readers in different ways. For instance, you can start with a monologue and allow the readers to have a peep into the main character’s psyche.

The readers will feel that the main character is real, giving them something to root for until the very end.

Use Dialogue

Even if it is a short story, you must never keep your readers confined to a visual experience – while most newbie authors focus too much on showing rather than telling, you must focus on making your dialogues appear naturally.

Nonetheless, if you are someone who has never written a short story before, you will certainly struggle at the beginning with getting the dialogues right. Having a dialogue is crucial as it is a fine technique to have the reader fully immersed in the story.

Instead of summarizing the conversation in your short story, your focus should be on taking the readers through the conversations. You might want to practice description and dialogue by reading your favorite authors of your genre that you are following in your short stories.

Take Writing Classes

As a newbie author, you will boost your confidence by taking writing classes. If you don’t have the time to join a local writing school, you will find countless options for writing classes available on the internet. By opting for one or even two quality-writing classes, you will immensely improve your writing skills and soon start producing quality short stories that can turn into best-sellers.

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About the Author: Katherine

Katherine is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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