Shorts, Anyone?

No, no. I’m not talking about the shorts you wear, but the shorts you read. Since my WIP is off with betas and I have some free time, I’m going to try my hand at writing a few short stories and submit to anthologies to see if they get accepted. If they do, great! If not, oh well. I’ll hold onto them for some other time.

What am I going to write about? One story will have to do with a young witch learning too late about the Rule of Three, another will be a nonsparkling vampire story, and maybe one more. I find I’m leaning more toward the horror side of writing though I’m not sure why because I don’t care to watch horror movies. Strange, I know.

I’ve never written a short story before, but I’ve heard they’re harder to write than novels. I’m hoping to get one done before the end of this month since the submission date is the last day of this month.

To help get me started, does anyone have advice on writing shorts?

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. journeyofjordannaeast
    Jan 05, 2014 @ 11:57:41

    Tonya, I actually posted a blog a couple of weeks ago entitled How to Write an Effective Short Story. It contained a bulleted list I found on the Limebird Writers blog, plus my own two cents.

    Reply

  2. Heidi C. Vlach
    Jan 18, 2014 @ 23:17:46

    I was a bit lost when I first tried writing original short stories, too! It can be tempting to think up some clever gimmick and then just attach simplistic characters to explain that gimmick over the course of 2 pages. But that usually results in a cringe-worthy, shallow piece. I’ve found that it’s important to see a short story as a regular story, just covering less ground. Which sounds redundant, I know. But short stories should have what a novel does: real characters with quirks and motivations, and a goal those characters are working toward. The goal is just something relatively simple that won’t take ten chapters of exposition.

    Reply

  3. @Greywanderer
    Jan 20, 2014 @ 14:14:01

    A short story has much in common with a joke. It has an introduction, a build-up and a punchline. The story is the whole point: scene-setting, character development and atmospherics are necessary only insofar as they support the story and are best achieved by making every sentence work twice.
    At least , that’s my opinion; others may disagree.

    Reply

    • tonyakerrigan
      Jan 20, 2014 @ 16:43:56

      I think the hardest part of any story, long or short, is the beginning–that very first line. I tend to drop my readers right in the action at the start, so I’ll probably do the same thing with a short.

      Reply

  4. @Greywanderer
    Jan 20, 2014 @ 16:50:06

    Exactly right. With any writing, if you don’t hook your readers within the first half-paragraph, you risk losing them.

    Reply

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