If you are someone who loves writing, a great way to get your work out there is by writing short stories. They can be really impactful without the need to write a whole novel. As a long-time book reviewer, Jody Royer is now pursuing a career as a fiction writer. With a love of short stories, today he shares his 4 tips for writing short fiction stories.
- Know that you aren’t writing a novel. This sounds obvious, but it is important to keep this in mind when coming up with your story ideas. You don’t have a lot of pages to work with, so the focus of your story will be different than a longer-form piece of work. Aim to write between 5,000 – 7,000 words.
- Focus on a small, simple storyline that centers around one specific event. You don’t want to make things overly complicated.
- Focus on one defining message or theme so that, by the end of it, the reader has a clear takeaway. For example, in the short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, the story is clearly about the consequences of sacrificing the needs of the few for the needs of many. The only thing that happens in the story is that the protagonist goes to a town and sees the inside of a closet.
- Do not get into a whole elaborate backstory about the character. You don’t have enough words to write this all out. Instead, suggest it through storytelling. It’s okay to leave the mystery in the story, as long as the main story is told well.