4 June 2014

NYWM: Day 4


Today we’re going to talk about writing short stories.

Before we begin, let’s clear one thing up first: short stories are not easier to write than regular fiction stories. In fact, they are more difficult to write because of the concise structure and length. Unlike regular fiction stories, there is no time for dilly dally, nor is there is no room for several characters and subplots. By the end of short story all loose ends need be tied up in a neat little package, with no loopholes whatsoever.

But that’s not to say writing short stories aren’t be fun. If you’ve got a busy schedule but wish to satisfy your creative writing juices, then short stories may just be the answer.

Being succinct and to the point is the key to creating a great short story (along with a unique and eye catching plot of course). The best way to start a short story is by immersing your protagonist in all of the action immediately at the start. Another way of saying this is by setting up the beginning of the story near the conclusion – after all, the time structure of many short stories only span to a few minutes, hours or even just a day.

What you decide to write about is completely up to you. At the risk of sounding like a self help guru, in order to find out what you want to write about, you must first explore the overall message you want to convey to your readers. Sticking to this message allows you to then create a plot that exemplifies what you are trying to impart, which then influences the personality of your protagonists and their experiences in the story.

To get your brain up and running read these short story ideas compiled by Creative Writing Now. Visible Ink have also created their own writing prompts to help you get started.

Still need some help with writing your short story? Read Huffington Post’s ‘5 Secret Tips to Writing A Successful Short Story’ here.

If you’re after some inspiration, here is an example of an excellent short story titled ‘Caitlan’ published by Your Friends House.

Opportunities and events

We’re always on the lookout for writers to be featured as part of NYWM. If you’re happy to answer a few questions about you and your writing, please fill out this form.

Mildred Magazine, an online publication dedicated to everything in the creative arts with approximately 6,000 weekly readers, are currently on the hunt for editorial interns to join them for a three month period. This is the perfect opportunity to hone your craft as well as get your work published. Click here for the position description.

Elise Hurst, illutrator, artist and author of children’s books, will be launching her book ‘Imagine A City’ at Embiggen Books on June 14. This is her first ever book in the style of Moleskines sketches so its worth a look. Join the Facebook event here.

Writers’ Web, an online community that supports emerging writers, are seeking Australian writers looking to be self published. If you have suffered rejection after rejection for your (amazing) novel, this is certainly something to look into. Whether printed or electronic format, they want to read it. More details are here.

“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.”

Edgar Allan Poe