Short stories are not my forte. In fact, I’d say I’m mediocre at them at best (Speaking of rejection letters… No, not really. They don’t send rejection letters for short stories.). Seriously, though, I’m not as good at them as I’d like to be, so I’d like to get better. I’d like to know how to write a good short story (and prove it).
So what did I do? I Googled it. Why not? There are tons of blog posts, articles, and books about how to write a good short story. The only problem is sorting the good from the bad. Here are a few that I found worth mentioning:
- “Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Good Short Story“ has interesting advice, but it’s mostly advice that’s universal to every story- whether it’s 100 words or 100,000. Only a couple of his tips are really different for short stories, and I’m not sure the last one applies anymore with more recent changes in writing style. That said, the video’s still worth a listen.
- “5 Steps to Write a Short Story“ by Joe Bunting added a step that I found valuable – Read short stories. And since that’s something I haven’t done much of, it’s definitely something I can work on. Plus, that site is all about writing short stories, so there might be other gems I can dig out of that.
- “5 Secret Tips to Writing a Successful Short Story“ from the Writer’s Relief staff and shared from the Huffington Post had more publishing-specific advice to make your story stand out in the slush pile (who doesn’t want that?).
- “10 Tips for Fiction Writers from the 2015 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market“ by Rachel Scheller from Writer’s Digest (a recommended resource) contains tips for both short stories and novels. Much of the advice is applicable to both, and some are specific to short stories. Let’s just say that the tips make the book look like a tempting buy.
That’s all I have for now. I’m still looking (and learning). Of course, if anyone has a great article on how to write a short story to share, I won’t object…