A blog about writing and all things story…
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” Henry David Thoreau
Okay peeps, here are the next five tips for creating great short stories. If you missed the first ten, take a gander at the previous blog posts.
11. Start in the POV (the head) of your main protagonist. It’s best to use their name right in the first sentence to establish them as the POV character, the one readers will identify with and cheer for. As soon as possible let readers know their approximate age, gender, and role in the story world.
12. Establish the 4 W’s: who, what, where, when. Reveal setting (time and place) within the first few paragraphs as well, to situate your reader and sidestep confusion. But avoid starting with a lengthy descriptive passage.
13. Use close POV. Get personal with your protagonist and tell the story from his or her point of view. In a short story there is no time or space to get into anyone else’s viewpoint. Even your narration is your POV character’s thoughts and observations. Don’t encroach as the author to define or explain anything to the readers. Let your POV character carry the story.
14. Show, Don’t Tell! Don’t use narration to tell your readers what transpired—put them right in the middle of the scene, with crafty dialogue, action and reactions. Skip past transitional times and trivial moments. Just use a few words to go from one time & place to another, unless something important happens during the shift.
15. Show your character’s inner and outer reactions. To bring your character to life on the page, evoke all five senses, not just sight and hearing.
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By Miri Elm
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