Nine Crucial Steps to Write an Inspiring Short Story

Short stories have become a loved form of literature. These stories are compact and allow readers to immerse themselves in the whole narrative structure. With their focus on plot, character, pacing, and structure, people love them primarily because they do not require a long-term commitment.

While reading short stories is loved so widely, authors often wonder if they can say the same about writing them. It can be fair to say that novice writers must write a short story as an experience to practice and experiment with different styles and techniques.

Do you feel ready to write your first short story? Here are some of the best tips that can help you write an inspiring one.

Come Up the Theme

The first important step in writing a short story is to decide on a theme. It refers to a central idea or message that you want to convey through your story. Deciding a theme is the first thing you learn when you look up how to write a short story

There are several themes for short stories, and each theme has its own audience. You can try out different themes to see which one works the best for you. You can only proceed further once you finalized the theme for your story.

Develop Your Characters

There is no definitive number of how many characters there must be in a short story. It can differ based on what sort of story you are telling and how many characters will work best for your story. You must mention the number of characters while creating your outline.

However, it is always recommended that you keep the number of characters limited because short stories are a small journey, and adding too many characters to your short story can make matters complicated for the reader.

Choose a Setting

The setting is the next important thing in a short story. The setting for your short story and the context in which it describes the elements  form the journey for your readers. Little details, such as the time, place, and environment of the story, come together to create the setting of your story.

Make sure that you select the setting that fits the tone and mood of your story. The right setting can help you convey your theme better and use the elements of the setting to set your work apart from your competitors in the field.

Determine the Plot

The next thing you must do is determine the plot of your short story. The plot of a story defines what will happen in the story. It also lists the main events and the conflicts that will drive your characters to the conclusion of the story.

The best approach is to begin with brainstorming. Leave the pen and paper out of this part and pick them back up only when you are ready to pick a point of view. From there on, you can pick a suitable tone and write the ideal plot for your short story.

Write an Outline

Bringing the plot, setting, and characters together can be a long and arduous process. Each part takes energy and time to form. Once you have brought all these parts together, you can see a vivid image of your short story.

Now, it is time for you to create an outline and determine how your plot and characters will come together. Your outline does not have to be the final word that must be followed to create your short story. It can be tweaked according to the need of time. This is essentially your guide to writing the first draft of your short story.

Start the First Draft

Once you have created your outline, there is no reason to wait any longer. You can pick up your pen or open a new document to start writing. Do not stress so much about writing this draft, as it will only be one of the many you will write to perfect your story. 

Earnest Hemmingway once said that one should be writing drunk and editing sober. Following this approach can let you complete in less time than you may have expected, as it sets you free from having to look back for mistakes after writing every line.

Revise and Edit

When you are writing your first draft, you do not need to worry about editing right away. However, you cannot overlook this important part when it is time to enhance your work. Editing may not be the favorite part of writing a short story for many, but that does not undermine its importance.

Although there are professional editors available to provide their services, basic editing must be supervised by the writers themselves. Keeping an eye on simple errors such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes can improve your work significantly.

Show through Words

One of the best ways to add to the engagement score of your story is to avoid using long passages to tell the reader what is happening. You do not want the reader to lose focus by reading boring details. Instead, you can add some thrill through action and dialogue.

You can also use sensory details in your short story to build a connection with your readers. Sensory details have been used for years to add life events of a short story. You can also use them to make your short stories more vivid and engaging for your readers.

Ask for Feedback 

One of the distinguishing factors that set an enthusiastic writer apart from their competitors is keeping an open mind to new experiences and criticism. There is no exaggeration that perfecting your short story can take some time and a lot of revisions, but you cannot let a few setbacks stop you.

You must never shy away from sharing your work with others and ask for their feedback to help you improve. Your friends and peers, especially those who share the same passion for writing as you, will love to help you improve your short story. 

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