Literary Liaisons

A blog about writing and all things story…

Continued — The Next 5 Tips for CREATING A CAPTIVATING SHORT STORY

“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” 
― – Henry David Thoreau

once upon a time

 

This is the next installment of the three concurring posts, ‘5 tips’ per post to give you reminders or some tips on getting started. Anyway . . . drum roll . . . . the next 5 tips from

20 TIPS FOR CREATING A CAPTIVATING SHORT STORY.

  @#&*Oh, and here’s a bonus tip; Don’t use the word ‘TIP’ 5 times in two sentences. I like to lead by example. 🙂

  1. Create arresting secondary characters.Give each one a unique personality, with secrets, hopes, actions, fears and quirks. Maintain a distinction between supportive characters and the protagonist.
  2. Keep it tight.A short story is a ‘slice-of-life’, not the entire pizza. It’s best to limit it to one significant character plus a few secondary characters, one physical location, and a specific, tight time-frame, like weeks, days, hours, or tauter yet, minutes.
  3. Experiment! Take risks! Short stories can be edgier, darker, or more extreme because they’re short, and readers can endure something a little more risky for a limited time.
  4. Enter contests! Make characters and stories distinctive and unforgettable. Try to surprise the readers somehow, with a unique, magnetic, even peculiar or weird character, and/or a unexpected topic or plot-twist.
  5. Start out on fire! Begin with a disturbance and tensionin the first few sentences. There’s no room in a short story for a long, twisting approach to the story problem. There’s also no room for a lengthy overview of the setting or the characters and their backstories. Jump right in with the protagonist’s life being turn topsy-turvy in some way.

Next week, the next 5 TIPS.

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5 comments on “Continued — The Next 5 Tips for CREATING A CAPTIVATING SHORT STORY

  1. dianabaileyharris
    May 4, 2015

    Hi Mindy, I just wanted to let you know that I like the way your recent blog posts are listed on your home page. As a WordPress user, I found the suburbia theme & then-OMG-I found where one can select “front page displays the latest posts.”

    Wow. So then I did it. & managed to go back & update a few posts where I had not set a “featured image.” I’ll be curious to see if more viewers go to my site & spend time finding relevant posts, since I cover topics about what I’m writing as well as places I’m traveling.

    Thank you for showing me the way! Diana

    • Mindy
      May 4, 2015

      Hello Diana, so happy that helped. Your site looks great, but is there a ‘follow blog’ widget? I didn’t see one. Cheers, Mindy

      • dianabaileyharris
        June 9, 2015

        Hi Mindy,
        Sorry it,s taken me so long to respond. I think maybe one needs an upgrade plan to have that widget. It’s supposed to be at settings>read & I only have settings>write. 😦
        Diana
        PS congratulations on the fiction prize.

      • Mindy
        June 10, 2015

        Oh, that’s too bad. And Thanks for the congrats. Mindy

  2. Behind the Story
    April 28, 2015

    Five pieces of good advice. Thanks, Mindy.

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