Short Stories

Reading and Writing Short Stories
There are several reasons why authors love to write short stories. Sometimes they view it as an outlet for their creative writing itch. Others prefer it because it takes less time to write a short story as opposed to a novel. There is also the idea of using short stories as practice for those who wish to write their own essay or novel in the future. Occasionally, writers will become blocked during the course of their short story endeavor. If this is happening to you, there are a few tips you can use to get your creative juices flowing and turn your short story into something of value.

Brainstorm an Idea
Before you even begin the writing process, you need to brainstorm the main idea. Ideas can be found almost anywhere if you look close enough. Observe the world around you or pull from your personal experiences for characters and the overall plot. Once you have an idea, you can start writing because as many authors will tell you, finding a good idea is the most difficult part of creating any piece of literature.

Form an Outline
After you have idea in place, you can form an outline. Since you are writing a short story, the outline does not need to be large. Simply jot down several points that will give your story a general direction and of course, do not forget about your characters. Think about your characters’ personalities and how they will influence the story line. Remember, the plot, conflict, and resolution are the three main aspects of any story.

Keep the Writing Flowing
As you are writing, it is usually not a good idea to stop and edit as this interrupts the train of thought. The best part about short stories is that they do not take as much time to write and therefore, you will not have to spend as much time editing. However, if you feel as if a plot point should be changed while you are writing, feel free to do so. This prevents you from wasting time with multiple rewrites.

Edit the Story
The second to last step in short story writing is the editing process. Many editors and authors recommend that writers walk away from their finished story and take a few hours to an entire day before editing. Doing this allows you to see your work with fresh eyes and subsequently, catch more mistakes. Always critique your writing with a professional eye. And if you are not pleased with any part of the story, fix it until it suits your liking. If you do not like it, chances are your readers will not like it either.

Tying Up the Loose Ends
After editing, read your short story for the final time. You need to make sure it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. There should be no stylistic or grammar inconsistencies. Allow someone else to read over your final product for an objective opinion. After your story has been polished until it shines, you can put it with your other writing samples and submit it to publications.