10 Tips For Writing Short Stories

May 5, 2014 by No Comments

10 Tips For Writing Short Stories

According to Writers’ Relief May is Short Story Month so we at West Lothian Writers think this is a good excuse to talk about Short Stories and provide you guys with some advice when writing them. In fact we thought we would give you guys 10 Tips for Writing Short Stories. Of course these tips can be used for any short form fiction.

Four Ways To Pack Big Ideas Into A Short Story

Our ten tips are split across two websites. Let’s start with the website we’ve already mentioned. Writers’ Relief, in their article 4 Techniques For Making A Big Impact In Few Words, provide us with four short story writing tips:

1) Character Gestures – A simple gesture will speak volumes without using extra words
2) Clothing Choices – What your character wears gives us insights into the kind of person they are
3)Setting As A Character – Describing the setting correctly can add mood to your story
4) Precise Dialogue – Turn dialogue explanations into conversations giving your story more pace and depth.

Repetitive Writing

For some writers, the hardest part about writing a short story is keeping the story itself short. The last six of today’s tips come from Grammarly who back in March wrote an article for the Huffington Post called 6 Fixes for Repetitive Writing.

While aimed at all forms of writing, Grammarly‘s tips are very useful for those writers who are struggling to write short. There six tips for more concise writing are:

5) Overly Long Words – There is no need to use overly long or complicated sentences when short ones will do.
6) Wordy Expressions – Similar to the point above, don’t use five words when one will do.
7) Excessive Repetition – Are you repeating points you’ve already made? Do you need to describe the setting in three different ways?
8) Run-On Sentences – Do your sentences go on longer than the point they are trying to make?
9) Endless Paragraphs – Same as the above but regarding paragraphs
10) Rambling Writing – Focus on your story. Short form fiction should be direct.

Of course we advise you to read both articles in full to see the detail behind each of their points.

Try out these tips on your own short stories and bring along the results to our next meeting!

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