Why is it so important to have short story writing tips? Simply put, because every style or genre of writing while the same in many ways also has its own little peculiarities and requirements.
Short story writing, for example, requires the ability to relate a complete story, from beginning to end with every relevant detail in between, within say 500 to 3000 words.
Many new writers start out on short stories, perhaps because it’s the style they are most familiar with from school, perhaps it’s the easiest one to plan, but it can also be hard to do well. Primarily because everything has to be fitted within a small word count that allows no space for waffle or use of a string of words when one singular one will do.
So here you go, my short story writing tips.
Don’t have too many characters
If you have a limited word count you also have a limited amount of space and time to characterise a person, and every character needs a clear picture painted of them. So, as not to have to cut back on the characterisation, include only those people who are really essential to the story. My personal choice would be no more than four characters in a short story, and only two if the story is less than 1500 words.
Stick to the story
There is no space for waffle in short story writing. So, if you’ve written something that isn’t vital to the story take it out.
Use strong, well chosen descriptive words
Often we, as writers, can use a collection of words to describe a setting, emotion or event, when just one word could paint the effect perfectly.
However, choosing the perfect word isn’t usually as easy and quick as writing down the ones we’re familiar with, and while we might get away with using a phrase rather than one word when writing a novel or mid-length story it won’t work in short piece of writing. Take the time to flick through the Thesaurus, because in short stories finding the perfect word is important.
Don’t overdo the description
This really ties into the last tip. All stories require description, but when you’re working with short story writing it often comes at the expense of the story. This is not saying that you can’t have descriptive short stories, only that you need, like everything else in this genre, to decide if it’s essential and how best to express it.