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Write A Short Story
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Writing a short story is just like writing a novel. You will need an idea that you can lay on a page to blaze into a story. To find this idea, you may need to take a long walk and open your eyes to the world, sit in a park and see the stories unfolding all around you, or take a nap and let your mind wander as you try to drift off to sleep. Maybe having a movie marathon or reading a bunch of books will boost your creativity. Whatever you have to do to get an idea, do it or wait for one to flutter into your mind on its own.
When you get an idea you are halfway there. You will also need to develop characters, establish setting and tone, and figure out the mood you will use. Once you complete those important steps, you can write your short story.
The only difference is that a short story ranges from about 1,000 - 30,000 words, and a novel is from 55,000 - 300,000 words.
Once upon a time, I was convinced that I would never write a short story. Every idea I got seemed to demand to be a novel. For years, I had the firm belief that writing a short story just wasn't in my capability until one day I got an idea for one. Since then I have written several, but writing novels is still my specialty. However, I learned a lot from writing short stories.
I learned that you can write a short story in exactly the same way you would write a novel. You do not have to cut out prose. Prose is the breath in a book. You need it to suck your readers into your world, to make them a part of the book. By cutting out descriptions you would only succeed in lowering the value of the story you are trying to tell. You don't even have to eliminate dialogue. Characters are people and people talk.
For a short story, there is still a beginning, middle, and end. Just because it's short doesn't mean you have the excuse to avoid the middle of the story and jump right to the climax. Actually, there is no excuse for it ever! But instead of a handful of events that make up the plot all you really need is a single event.
The beginning of a short story introduces the characters, reveals the setting, and immediately gets into what is supposed to happen. This might take a couple of paragraphs or pages to do. Shortly after the story is established comes the climax, which leads to the closure of the story.
For example: a romance story will begin with the main character meeting someone and it is love at first site. They go out on a date, have a good time, and then get in a car accident. The car accident will be the climax of the story and the end could be whatever you want it to be. You can go tragic or happy. It's your story, short or otherwise, so you get to decide what happens.
If you're still not sure, the best thing to do is read (and study) a bunch of short stories by different authors with different styles and themes.
The next best thing is just to write. Give it a shot even if you are unsure. It may not be perfect the first time around and that is normal. Writers write and they rewrite more than they care to admit. Go beyond the third draft until you have a short story you are proud of. No one is counting! And only you will know how many tries it took.
But I can guarantee that it will get easier. After I wrote my first short story, I actually started to get ideas for other short stories. Now I have a small collection and so could you!
All you have to do is try.
All you have to do is WRITE!
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