I'd like us now to look at the basic limiting factors of a short story in more detail and see where they lead us:
● A short story by its very definition is short (!)
● There must be a complete story within its pages even if it's part of a series centered around the same characters or setting
● The author must describe the location and the key protagonists in sufficient detail as to bring them to life
|Keep it short!|
The knack to writing a short story which your customers will want to read is to concentrate on:
● Creating a few simple but interesting characters
● Choosing a setting which is quickly visualised by the reader and which will not overpower the characters or the storyline
● Finding a story which leads the reader through
● Sending the reader away with something memorable which makes them want to read more of your storiesWith a short story, there is a real need to 'hit the ground running'. You do not have the luxury of long preamble-style descriptions of the characters executed through rambling explanatory dialogue so you have to create a clear image of the protagonists very quickly and without overdoing it on the adjectival front. Likewise with the places; you will rarely have the word count for more than a cursory description giving a generic location such as 'on the bus', 'at the beach', 'visiting the zoo' and so on.
We'll look at how to draw up plots, construct openings and decide upon endings for short stories in subsequent postings.Clive West is a successful short story writer, novelist and publisher. He has produced a bestselling anthology of short stories which all have a twist-in-the-tail and which is for sale on Amazon. He is a strong believer in the non-reliance upon low-grade authorial devices such as creating a mystery out of nothing and deus ex machina denouements. Apart from writing, Clive runs Any Subject Books Ltd along with his wife and co-writer, Damaris West. New writers are always welcome at the agency.