How to write a short story.

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  maxiuomc48 3 months ago.

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  • #346679

    Anonymous

    I Want to write a short story. Can you give me any tips on structure and how best to start approaching it? Or do you have any links to short online courses?

  • #655198

    Anonymous

    How many short stories have you read (answer should be “TONS!”)? How were they told? What caught and kept your interest? What did you like about them? What didn’t you like about them?

    Now sit butt in chair and tell a story. Start at the beginning and end at the ending. Then write another one, and another, and another. At some point, you’ll have a story that others will want to read.

  • #655199

    Anonymous

    Thanks. You didn’t really answer my question. I know that bit.

  • #655200

    Anonymous

    Sorry about that Ostarella. I do apologise. You were offering assistance and I was being touchy. Thank you for answering my question.

  • #655201

    Anonymous

    No harm, no foul. If you know about reading what you want to write, then other than SPaG, you know what you need to know. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be – just tell a story. 😉

  • #655202

    timeradrake
    Participant

    Markwrite37 wrote:
    > I Want to write a short story. Can you give me any tips on structure and
    > how best to start approaching it? Or do you have any links to short online
    > courses?

    Microfiction?
    Nano?
    Verse?
    Speculative?
    Literary?
    Experimental?

    There are whole books written on this. Look through Writer’s Digest and their “Writing Resources” above, or in their shop, since they have published quite a few books on writing both in general and for short stories.

    If there were a formula to this, the “big” publishing houses would be pumping them out through a computerized assembly line.

  • #655203

    sherryherrod263
    Participant

    A suggested method:

    1. Get out your mental bee trap and capture that little black and yellow devil buzzing around inside your head.
    2. Examine it and then describe it in your notebook.
    3. Let is sting you. Not once or twice, but dozens of times, and then describe those feelings in your notebook.
    4. Use all your senses to play with it, and then describe in your notebook what happened.
    5. By now there should be some emotional attachment to it, enough so to give it a name: Idea
    A. If no attachment is present, toss it out and go back to step 1.
    7. Rewrite you notes in some sort of sensible order showing what Idea wants, the troubles it has trying to get it, and whether or not it succeeds.

    If one follows those instructions without deviation a story will be born. Perhaps not a well-written one, but that can be fixed. Perhaps not a financially successful story, but that, too can be fixed.

  • #655204

    maxiuomc48
    Participant

    I remember reading an article by Orson Scott Card about short story writing that I liked very much.

    I’ve tried to find the article online, but I could not find it.

    The article was in a Writer’s Digest anthology of writing advice.

  • #655205

    maxiuomc48
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > No harm, no foul. If you know about reading what you want to write, then
    > other than SPaG, you know what you need to know. Don’t make it more
    > complicated than it has to be – just tell a story. 😉

    Hi ostarella. 🙂

    What is “SPaG”?

  • #655206

    Anonymous

    SPelling and Grammar 🙂

  • #655207

    sherryherrod263
    Participant

    ostarella wrote:
    > SPelling and Grammar 🙂

    And here I thought it was Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar. So much for thinking. 😆

  • #655208

    jIPPity
    Participant

    You might check out “Creating Short Fiction” by Damon Knight. I found it very useful when I started writing short stories 20 years ago.

    –Warren

  • #655209

    maxiuomc48
    Participant

    Markwrite37 wrote:
    > I Want to write a short story. Can you give me any tips on structure

    There a lot of YouTube videos on short story structure. But if you ask me, short story structure is the same as novel structure. There are many different types of structure, pick your favorite and try it out. Searching YouTube for “short story structure” or “story structure” will yield many results.

    Here is a nice one:

    “How to Structure a Short Story”
    by Hannah T
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2U68shUsM8

    Markwrite37 wrote:
    > and how best to start approaching it?

    There are different ways to approach writing a short story.

    I would start by brain storming a character and a setting or world.
    For example, let’s say the character is an elf. The elf lives in a fantasy world filled with magic and strange creatures.

    Then I would start forming the plot by figuring out the end of the story.
    For example, let’s say the end of the story is the elf defeats a powerful dark magician.

    Then I would figure out the beginning of the plot.
    For example, let’s say the dark magician wants to take over and become the ruler of the elf’s city, so now the elf must stop the dark magician somehow.

    Then I would use any of the various story structures to fill in the plot points in the middle.
    Or I would just fill in the middle by “writing by the seat of my pants” (pantsing), meaning I just sit down and make up the middle of the story as I go along.

    Markwrite37 wrote:
    > Or do you have any links to short online
    > courses?

    Yes I do have some links. 🙂

    VIDEOS OF BEST SELLING AUTHOR BRANDON SANDERSON’S COLLEGE LECTURES ABOUT WRITING:

    YouTube channel Camera Panda
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ_Yq-hCQ9kmCiNdDeIrbgA/videos

    YouTube channel Write About Dragons
    https://www.youtube.com/user/WriteAboutDragons/playlists

    YouTube channel zmunk
    https://www.youtube.com/user/zmunk/playlists

    YouTube channel BYUEnglish
    BYU Lecture – Brandon Sanderson’s ENGL 321 Class
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9X4eSi42vQ&list=PLRO9W1Nmh6clZP-IAhMeMpMru7vJaW7KJ

    Here is a link to a topic I started in the “Self-Publishing – Tips & Discussion”, “General Questions & Discussions” subforum.
    The 1st post has links to a lot of YouTube videos.
    The 2nd post has something I wrote about the differences between a short story and a novel. 🙂

    http://www.writersdigest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=111&t=277364

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