The following are some helpful tips for short story writing.
- Put your first rough draft away. Let it sit overnight or, if you can, leave it alone for a week.
- When you do re-read it, look at the action – a short story can only handle one basic action. If you must have a second action story-line, maybe this could be told through flashbacks.
- Always show the action rather than tell your reader what’s going on.
- When you start your story get your reader involved in the conflict immediately. Maybe you could even begin in the middle of the resolution. Remember, hook—then don’t delay.
- Limit your introductory content to three paragraphs.
- Look at your setting: it should be somewhere you have actually been.
- If your story has a number of settings then choose the one that works best with the conflict.
- Use colors and objects that will help make your point—these should be familiar to your reader, but don’t overload your story with brand names.
- A short story should not have more than five characters.
- Always take a long look at “point of view.” Who is telling this story?
There are various ways of telling a story:
exterior > dramatic
You can tell anybody’s story from outside—from the point of view of observation.
interior > immediacy
You are telling the story from inside—which gives it a sense of immediate action—placing yourself and your reader inside the action.