One goal that most authors have when beginning their piece is to draw in the reader to read more. This becomes especially difficult when you are working on a short story because you are working with less material.
Collect ideas for your story.
Beginning your short story can be an arduous task, but you have to start somewhere and generally your short story begins with a specific thought or idea.
It doesn’t matter if the entire story is not fully flushed out. Most of the time stories, even short stories, come to the creator in bits and pieces. That’s not to say that you will NEVER have a complete story pop in your head, but that far and few between.
Now on the flip side, there are those instances where ideas for new stories are nowhere to be found. In cases like this, you may need to turn to more of a strategic approach to expelling those great ideas from your brain. Brainstorming about past experiences, the personalities of friends of family are both two great examples which can help jump start those creative juices flowing. If you are still having trouble, you can always read a few short stories to get the creative juices going as well.
One of the tricks of the trade that are as secretly kept as magic trick secrets is that you want to try and center your short story around one or two mains themes. You want to make sure that the events in the story gingerly dances around the aforementioned themes. I really suggest that you have no more than three events within your short story. Once you get more than that, the reader begins to get confused and things became a mess real fast and in a hurry.
Another great and most of the time over looked part of creating a short story is the concept of staying true to the story that you begin. While the last two points above definitely have merit, one you get the reader’s attention and draw them in, then you have to make sure that the story does not have any inconsistencies. Your readers are smarter than you think and, for really good stories, will read over your story more times than you will. Just think about the novel Moby Dick, or Tom Sawyer…do you think Herman Melville or Mark Twain read their prose more times than it has been reviewed?
OK…I have touted out several things that make a great short story, but with all things being said, there is some validity to breaking some rules during your journey of finishing a story. The one great thing about the art of short story writing is that experimentation can work beautifully more so in short prose than with a three-hundred paged novel. So don’t be afraid to write outside of the lines…it may be of a benefit to you.
Last but certainly not least, you must reread AND rewrite. Chances are that you will not get the right tone and texture of your story right on the first try. If you do, than you don’t need to be reading this. Take a few glances and read over some of the Look over your story and try to find ways that you can make it more gripping; compelling. Can you place a character into a more strained disposition to promote angst and intrigue in the reader? Can you put the protagonist in an even worse situation? What about unnecessary words…can they replaced with words more spectacularly exciting?
By taking heed to these aforementioned steps will put you in the right direction of getting your short story into the hands of your potential readers.