Things You Must Know Before Writing Short Stories
Short stories can be a creative exercise for exploring new ideas. They can easily enter into anthologies or submitted to a magazine or can be repackaged into collections by a single author. Having good short story ideas and a successful short story career also works wonders in spreading your name and opening other doors of opportunity for you.
Here are the things that you should consider before writing a short story:
Different from a Novel
Before writing a short story, you must understand that it is different from a novel. Although they share some fundamental similarities-a coherent beginning, middle, and end. Anything else is a vignette, or something experimental. For selling a story, you need to tell the whole story. The skill is to say enough to keep it short, but retaining everything which is required for a satisfying read.
Don’t Write for the Market
Whether it’s a short story or a novel, a writer should never write only for the market. You should be writing the stories you want to write, the stories you yourself want to read. Write a story in a way in which only you can describe the story, and then look for markets to sell them.
Be Prepared for Rejection
Rejection comes as a default in writing. A thousand number of stories pass through the editor’s slush piles every year. You have to be persistent and need to understand that rejection can happen more than anything else. There are a few people who sell pretty much anything they write only because of their name, but for most of the other people, having a 10-20% success rate is pretty good. So a story is likely to be rejected several times before it finds a home.
Real Skill is Editing!
The real skill in writing a good short story is editing. No matter how good you think your story is, there is always a scope for improvement- for it can be shorter, tighter, and more compelling. Thus, it is important that you learn to strip the fat relentlessly, look out and kill repetition of words, and make every sentence sing. Flense your story to within an inch of its life before sending it out for the world to read.