Many writers, like Sylvia Plath, began their careers by writing short stories.
You may or may not be hoping to make a name for yourself in fiction.
A lot of the .) Reading two or three dozen short stories should give you an idea of their structure and style.
That should spur you to try one of your own while continuing to read dozens more.
They’ll want it to stand out to readers among a wide range of competing stories, and so do you. In a short story this can often be accomplished quickly, as long as it resounds with the reader and makes her nod.
Once your title has pulled the reader in, how do you hold his interest? It can’t seem forced or contrived or feel as if the story has ended too soon.In the words of writer Stephen Vincent Benét, this kind of story is “something that can be read in an hour and remembered for a lifetime.”While you might not have the time to hit the number of plot points included in the traditional story structure of a full-length novel, this kind of story should still be comprised of: exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, and denouement.Of course, you can always experiment with how you present these five elements when you start writing.As you might imagine, this is as crucial in a short story as it is in a novel. Tell your reader just enough to make her care about your main character, then get to the the problem, the quest, the challenge, the danger—whatever it is that drives your story. In a modern day version of the Prodigal Son, a character calls from a taxi and leaves a message that if he’s allowed to come home, his father should leave the front porch light on. The rest of the story is him telling the cabbie how deeply his life choices have hurt his family. When you’ve finished your story, the real work has just begun. Such publications cater to audiences who love stories written in their particular literary category.So use the same basic approach: Plunge your character into terrible trouble from the get-go. You don’t have the space or time to flash back or cover a character’s entire backstory. Don’t spend a paragraph describing a winter morning. The story ends with the taxi pulling into view of his childhood home, only to find not only the porch light on, but also every light in the house and more out in the yard. We don’t even need to be shown the reunion, the embrace, the tears, the talk. If you can score with one of these, the editor will likely come back to you for more.Remember, you won’t likely start with something sensational, but what you’ve learned through your reading—as well as what you’ll learn from your own writing—should give you confidence. The most effective short stories evoke deep emotions in the reader. The same things that probably move you: It should go without saying that there’s a drastic difference between a 450-page, 100,000-word novel and a 10-page, 2000-word short story.One can accommodate an epic sweep of a story and cover decades with an .Mastering even a few of the elements of fiction while learning the craft will prove to be quick wins for you as you gain momentum as a writer.I don’t mean to imply that learning how to write a short story is easier than learning —only that as a neophyte you might find the process more manageable in smaller bites. Don’t make the mistake of referring to short nonfiction articles as short stories.Rather than recite how a Frenchman got to America, merely mention the accent he had hoped to leave behind when he emigrated to the U. Layer that bit of sensory detail into the narrative by showing your character covering her face with her scarf against the frigid wind. Any time you can work with an editor, you’re developing a skill that will well serve your writing. They might consist entirely of short stories from one author, or they might contain the work of several, but they’re usually tied together by theme.Plenty of print and online magazines still buy and publish short stories. Regardless which style you’re interested in, remember that while each story should fit the whole, it must also work on its own, complete and satisfying in itself.