Writing a Short Story

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A narrative of 5000 thousand words or less is classified as a short story. When writing essay paper, the author describes as much detail as possible about an event within the given limits. Such writings often include deep symbolism that is thought-provoking for the reader. Additionally, any good short story must be starting off by being attention-grabbing. This means being interesting, action-packed and running on all cylinders from the start since a short story does not have the luxury of slowly building up as a novel might. Every sentence should have multiple meanings assigned to it in order to maximize its impact. This means, for example, a particular dialogue could both introduce the setting and the character’s personality simultaneously. The characters must be introduced immediately and they should be larger than life and the number of them should be limited to no more than four since there is very little space to focus on developing their personalities. Also, the story’s introduction should closely follow the climax. In other words, in time sequence the significant events that the story revolves around should immediately lead to the story’s conclusion. It makes little sense, for example, to set the story up by detailing events that have taken place over the course of the year.

There should obviously be a deep purpose for telling the story. Before even beginning, the author should already understand his/her intent. The characters/setting/events should all be drawn around the story’s meaning. Again, the word limit means the story should focus only on recent events that build up to its conclusion. Since every word is precious and must enhance the story, they cannot be wasted. Delete any words or phrases that seem oddly placed or change the syntax of a sentence in order for it to sound almost lyrical.

Character development is obviously crucial in any narrative, but this is especially true in a short story. The author must have intimate knowledge about the character even when the story will be too short to describe them completely. At the very least, knowing the background of the character provides more realism and even in intriguing air of mystery that the reader is free to speculate on. Quirky habits and other features also make the story interesting. Limiting the number of characters in the story makes it appear less convoluted or confusing. After all, the main purpose of a short story as an art is to convey a message in a succinct manner.

Develop the scenes, outlining them in a way that provides smooth transition from one event to another. Being a short story, the author does not want to create too many scenes. But at the same time, the scenes that are created need to be maximized. The readers should never be left confused by an unnecessary scene or diversion was added to the story. Instead, each scene builds purposely towards the conclusion.