It’s always difficult to write a short story. A good way to start is to read some. Many great writers have written very good short stories. These can give you ideas and hopefully you’ll learn something important: a short story is a snap shot of life. A novel, or a film, can tell a long story with a beginning, a middle and an end. A short story should be a single point in a much larger story, a simple incident, sometimes quite a dramatic incident, but having a lot of things happen in a short story does not work.
In SG you have about a 1000 words. Words spent writing about action, after action are words not spent on describing character, describing setting, relating dialogue, gestures and so forth. You will be rewarded for the skill of your writing; you will not be rewarded for the excitement of your story (unless it’s well-written) or the number of events involved in your plot.
There are three golden rules (at the moment!):
1) vary your words
2) vary your sentence structure
3) pay attention to details (think about the five senses)
No doubt we’ll add some more as we post further blogs on this topic. At the moment, the best thing to do is to approach writing in a positive frame of mind and to understand what a short story is (yes, it’s more than just a story which happens to be short!)
To do this here’s some very good advice from Howard Jacobson on writing:
And here’s Kurt Vonnegurt’s viewpoint on short stories:
Have a watch at these and start thinking about a situation and character that would be appropriate for your short story.