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How to write a shorty story?

99ghostwriters

New Member
For short story writing, you first need to imagine the whole story in your mind. The Central Idea of the Story. You can think of different ideas about your story. After thinking of an idea it’s time to abridge this idea into a precise yet rip-roaring story. All characters of your story must have the ability to keep the readers hooked with the book until the last page is turned.
 
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pmmg

Vala
Not looking to be a ghost writer... But...

Its been a while since I wrote a short one. I used to write them mostly to play with friends and enter contests, and for those, I generally had an idea I knew I would write about before I started. I enjoyed them, but they are more of a distraction for me than otherwise.

My process was usually to pick a theme that was relevant to something going on. Gain an idea that I thought was cool, write it fast with a lot of energy, start to burn out, sludge on through. Find it was not all that bad, and then hammer it into something to be proud of. My MC usually did not live to the end (seemed to happen a lot in my short ones), but I felt they always delivered their message. Some of them sold, some others never found a home, but I never quite made that a priority. I think a good number of them were lost in my last computer crash--pity, but I can write others.

I think I am a novel writers. I started that way, and only went to shorts for faster access to feedback. I am back to novels. Feels more right to me.
 
I believe that the only absolute in writing stories is that you must write it. As long as it's not written it's just an idea, not a written story. How you do that is different for everyone. There are no must's or should's. There are only options.
 

BearBear

Troubadour
In my mind, a good story deserves a hundred thousand words, but I'm definitely biased. My short stories seem to be nothing more than a single scene and I've turned a single scene into a short story.
 
The short story mainly concentrates on one scene and has just a few characters (2 at best, not to make things very complicated). Usually, the main character has internal and external conflicts. While the protagonist fights through the external battle, he/she will find the solution for his/her internal conflict.
 

Finchbearer

Minstrel
One author that has mastered the short story is Haruki Murakami, After Dark is my favourite and a great example of how to include a magical or fantastical element within a short story - I suppose it’s like working with a limited palette, you can only really include two or three central characters, and working with restrictions has the potential to create something really exciting.
 

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
In my mind, a good story deserves a hundred thousand words, but I'm definitely biased. My short stories seem to be nothing more than a single scene and I've turned a single scene into a short story.
All Quiet on the Western Front, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Call of the Wild and pretty much every other work of fiction I love would beg to differ.
 

Mad Swede

Maester
All Quiet on the Western Front, A Canticle for Leibowitz, Call of the Wild and pretty much every other work of fiction I love would beg to differ.
To which we might add Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea, Orwell's Animal Farm, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Kafka's The Metamorphosis, all of which are less than 30 000 words in length. In fact, if I remember right Kafka's novel is only just over 20 000 words. For slightly longer novels, how about Wells' The Time Machine (a little over 32 000 words if I recall correctly) or Camus' The Stranger, which apparently clocks in at almost exactly 36 000 words.

So no, a good story doesn't need 100 000 words. In fact, there's an argument to be made that some stories would benefit from some fairly hard editing.
 
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Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
To which we might add Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea, Orwell's Animal Farm, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Kafka's The Metamorphosis, all of which are less than 30 000 words in length. In fact, if I remember right Kafka's novel is only just over 20 000 words. For slightly longer novels, how about Wells' The Time Machine (a little over 32 000 words if I recall correctly) or Camus' The Stranger, which apparently clocks in at almost exactly 36 000 words.

So no, a good story doesn't need 100 000 words. In fact, there's an argument to be made that some stories would benefit from some fairly hard editing.

Oh we can go on and on. Heart of Darkness? Even Dracula and Frankenstein, seminal works by any measure, don't reach 100k words. It makes me wonder why the standard novel length has become so exceedingly long nowadays, but perhaps that is a question for another thread.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
To which we might add Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea, Orwell's Animal Farm, Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Kafka's The Metamorphosis, all of which are less than 30 000 words in length. In fact, if I remember right Kafka's novel is only just over 20 000 words. For slightly longer novels, how about Wells' The Time Machine (a little over 32 000 words if I recall correctly) or Camus' The Stranger, which apparently clocks in at almost exactly 36 000 words.

So no, a good story doesn't need 100 000 words. In fact, there's an argument to be made that some stories would benefit from some fairly hard editing.
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According to the Nebulas, anyway.
 

Curatia

Scribe
We sort of did that in reverse. Beneath a Stone Sky is three novels that share a third act that had to be written separately, then braided together into one giant novel that you wouldn't want to drop on your foot.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Hmmm... would be interesting to play a mini-game where points are awarded for the best story in as few words as possible (how you would determine "best" I don't know). 500 words anyone?
This is a writer's site. We don't do any actual writing, here. Now, if you want to talk about food, on the other hand... ;)
 

pmmg

Vala
Hmmm... would be interesting to play a mini-game where points are awarded for the best story in as few words as possible (how you would determine "best" I don't know). 500 words anyone?
Once in a while there is a writing challenge of sorts. Not been one in a while though.
 
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