To be a top-tier blogger means that you are a great storyteller. Sharing your stories with your fanbase or the world doesn’t require all the fancy writing tools like a word counter or a fancy thesaurus. You’ll need a rich imagination and the writing skills to match with it so that your story will always strike a chord within your reader’s heart. Now just because they are called short stories, it doesn’t mean that they are easy to write.
The length of the stories you write does not correlate with how well you’ve written them – as the saying goes, quality over quantity. When you’ve never written one before, it may seem complicated. Once you’ve gotten used to it, you’ll be pumping them out one after the other.
Short stories typically have don’t have a long timespan – well, because they’re short, this then always keeps their climaxes as near as possible. This gives you the need to get to the end of the story to get that satisfying ending. This article will help you by taking you from your basic introduction and opening to the intricate conclusion and climax.
Table of Contents
1. Know What You’re Writing
You’re going to write a story that can go up to a maximum of about 5000 words to a minimum of 5 words. Within that limit, the short stories can express a key emotion, a dramatic plot, good character development, and as all stories have a satisfying ending. Make sure you maintain the proper structure for your story to avoid confusion.
An indispensable literary principle in any great short story is Chekhov’s Gun, which states that every element that is introduced must be necessary, and that unnecessary elements should be removed. If an element is mentioned, it must be resolved by the end of the story. Anton Chekhov, considered by many to be one of the greatest short story writers in history, explained that “one must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.”
2. Read as Much as You Can
Devote yourself to reading as many as you can – especially the classics, so that you can emulate your favorite experts. In a way, you can treat them as your mentors, and you’re merely an apprentice. Follow, watch, analyze, evaluate all of their works. This way, you can start with a basis and soon start to develop your style.
Reading up on the works of your role models in the literary world can inspire your story style and structure. Reading a couple of dozen stories while developing your own is a great way to urge you to keep writing. Keep in mind that your story won’t necessarily leave a strong impression, but remember to stay confident and keep writing.
3. Find A Key Emotion Then Aim for The Heart
The whole feeling of the story is dependent on the key emotion that you choose. This key emotion will determine the impression that the readers get when they read your story. Although the concept of using a key emotion seems pretty simple, it’s more than that.
Spawning an emotion out of thin air from simple adjectives doesn’t cut it.
You’ll need to contextualize the feelings and voice it out so that your concept and delivery has a strong impact. Choosing a key emotion isn’t all the difficult. Although, you need to select a theme or feeling that resonates with a lot of people. Themes like love, self-sacrifice, a heroic redemption, and freedom – try to avoid using cliches because it’ll bore your readers.
4. Hook Your Audience
Having already planned out the general emotion of your story along with you being knowledgeable of the flow of short stories, you’re ready to begin your adventure. Writing a short story. Starting it off right isn’t simple. You’d have to open with strong lines, introduce all of the characters, and, more importantly, get your readers hooked unto your story.
An effective way of hooking your audience is to use a sentence that immediately begs for the reader’s attention. Do this to get your readers to become curious about what you’re referring to — urging them to keep reading. You can also open it halfway through the story, which makes the reader intrigued about how the protagonist has gotten into that situation.
5. Write The Body
Remember the key emotion we mentioned earlier? Well, now is the time to put that into action. Make sure that each sentence that you write not only develops the story further, but it also has to participate in creating the mood you want. The main body is where you’ll give explanations to the factors you’ve said in the introduction.
Also, since we’re writing a short story, you have to remember that you’ll have a limit to the number of words you’ll use. Thus, each sentence has more significance compared to when in a long story/novel. Use each sentence to add to the story, or else you’re just going to waste valuable space.
6. Finish Strong
There is nothing else in this world that would let a reader down than reading an exquisitely written story with a weak and disappointing ending. Once you’ve reached the final moments of your story, don’t give in to temptation and use a cliche to get your story over and done with. Take your time with it; make sure everything gets resolved.
Combine a realistic situation that would happen to all of your characters with an impactful one — allowing you to write an ending that every reader would want and be satisfied with. A strong finish is what wraps up the whole story, and it could make or break the entire narrative.
7. Reread, Edit and Publish
Just because you were the one to write the entire story, that doesn’t mean that you’re Scott-free from all of the editings. Go back to your story with different perspectives. So you can spot all the little mistakes you had, then you’ll know exactly where to edit them later. Reread it a few times to see if the flow, delivery, and consistency need any changing.
You can also send it to some esteemed editors and well-trusted friends, and they can highlight significant issues with the story or something small like punctuation issues. Fresher pairs of eyes don’t have any biases, so the corrections made would be constructive. After the edits are made, post your first story to your blog and wait for its popularity to rise.
After following this guide, you’ve written your very first short story. However, don’t just stop there; you can keep writing to hone your writing skills. Keep publishing them online so that your fanbase grows, and you might even get some devoted fans. Use them as a motivation to keep on writing, and you might also get your story published in a book!