How do you write short stories?
Remember telling and listening to great stories by the fire?
That’s the trigger that helps me get in the right mood for stories. That magical mindset of the storyteller is what I am after. It seems to open up or kick start my creative side. I hope it will for you also.
Imagine sitting on a log with a bunch of other boy or girl scouts and you decide to tell them a scary story. Can you put yourself in that spot mentally? The Storyteller.
What subject do you like to read about? Maybe that is one for you to write about as well.
Starting is very tough for many of us. I’m going to sound annoying here but just tell your story. That’s it. Tell it and then go back and edit, rewrite or whatever it needs to be a polished and finished story. But just simply telling your story on paper is a great way for many writers to get it done. They have your experiences magically layered all over them. The flavor of the story will be yours and only yours. So tell us your stories. Then,
Fill out your story and characters. We want to know them better.
Expand the characters. Let us get to know your protagonist better so we’ll root for them. The second time I go over my stories I edit, spell check and look for grammar issues also, and as I’m doing that I think of how I would change some parts of the story so it makes more sense. Making sure to look for plot holes. I don’t like to make my readers have to suspend belief to the point of brain strain. Well, if I had any readers that it is.
I’ve never let a soul read one story I’ve written. So why am I writing this guide? I’ve written over 400 short stories that never fail to entertain me when I read them so they must be good, right?
Research the details
It’s fun for me to go online and research the details to make sure the terms and facts I use in the story are accurate. Different occupations have their own jargon. It doesn’t matter in my opinion if your details are off a little. No one expects every story about Merlin to use the same backstory the first writer used. Continuity is wonderful, but keep it fun. To me, it makes the story so much better. It’s so easy to find out that information these days. Imagine looking through hundreds of books to learn how a mechanic talks about engines. Now it’s just a click away.
A great story has suspense, mystery, and drama.
You have likely heard this one: ‘Show, don’t tell.’ When you can and if it doesn’t screw up your story it makes sense to show. We do get bored hearing someone tell us what happened, but rarely do I doze off if they found colorful ways to show me. That is one reason many love illustrated stories. I realize those two issues don’t really connect, but I love illustrated stories so it will be in most of my articles in some fashion.
Adding suspense can be as simple as making sure your protagonist doesn’t get what they are after without many trials and struggle. Just when it looks like your story is leading that poor soul to their dream you snatch it away.
Great arguments and or battles over the desires or goals in the story of both the antagonist and protagonist often is all the drama you want.
So tell us your story. Then go back and fill out your story. Research the details so it looks like you knew what you were writing about. Make sure there is plenty of suspense, mystery, and drama. Then publish. It sounds so simple, just publish. I will have more on publishing soon. I am learning and considering publishing my own work. I wrote for myself so far. It has been wonderful having just me to please. It isn’t very practical if you’re poor.