how to write very short stories

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad
Author of The Unknown Knowns.
Author of Something in My Eye: Stories, winner of Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction

In general, short stories don’t have the same privilege of time when it comes to exposition. It’s better to deliver this information within the action. Which is why another effective short story structure is the Fichtean Curve. The Fichtean Curve also skips over exposition and inciting incidents, going straight for rising action. Typically, this part of the story will see the main character meet and overcome several smaller obstacles (with exposition snuck in), crescendoing with the climax — and then, again, the falling action and denouement. While this model resembles the classic Freytag Pyramid, it encourages writers to craft tension-packed narratives that get straight to the point.
Before we begin, it’s important to understand how to write a story. You might be tempted to apply standard novel-writing strategies to your story: intricately plotting each event, creating detailed character profiles, and of course, painstakingly structuring your beginning, middle, and end. But the trick to writing a good short story is right there in the name: short. All you really need is a well-developed main character and one or two big events at most.

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad
One can accommodate an epic sweep of a story and cover decades with an extensive cast of characters.
Write your first draft to simply get the basics of the story down without worrying about grammar, cliches, redundancy or anything but the plot.

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad
If you have major changes to make, get those done first before you start finalising word choices and sentence structures – there’s no point perfecting three paragraphs that you later cut completely.
One of the great things about short stories is that you can do some interesting things with structure. It might make sense to tell the story out of chronological order, for dramatic effect – for instance, you might start a story with a mild-mannered grandmother being arrested, then backtrack to explain what happened, then return to the arrest and the events after it at the end of the story.

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad
They may be difficult, but we’re breaking down how to make them much easier, and what makes for a good one to begin with.
No matter how experienced (or inexperienced) you are as a writer, you need feedback.

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad
For many writers, the short story is the perfect medium. While writing a novel can be a Herculean task, just about anybody can craft—and, most importantly, finish—a short story. Like a novel, a good short story will thrill and entertain your reader. With some brainstorming, drafting, and polishing, you can learn how to write a successful short story in no time.
There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad
We all write differently. Some write fast in multiple drafts, others write slow and edit as they go. I’m not going to tell you how you should be writing. Whatever works for you, just get it done.
At the same time, I’ve been presenting these rough steps to myself as I work on my own story. Good news: It’s coming along!

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad

Neil Gaiman has a good definition: “Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”

Now, that that’s settled, what makes a short story? Again, seems a bit of a dull question, right? But there are some rules that apply here to what is a short story and what it’s not.

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad

“A short story is a different thing altogether — a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.” — Stephen King

Neil Gaiman has a good definition: “Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”

how to write very short stories, Language Skills Abroad
When choosing an idea for your short story, ask yourself:
For example, in Munro’s short story ‘The Bear Came Over the Mountain’, about a man and his wife who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and is put in a home, Munro uses dialogue to great effect.

Resources:

http://blog.reedsy.com/how-to-write-a-short-story/
http://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-short-stories/
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/how-to-write-a-short-story/
http://self-publishingschool.com/how-to-write-a-short-story/
http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Short-Story
http://thewritepractice.com/how-to-write-a-short-story/
http://writingcooperative.com/how-to-write-a-short-story-53beaa4113ee
http://writingcooperative.com/how-to-write-a-short-story-a-complete-guide-724f3d466524
http://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-a-great-short-story/
http://m.free-short-stories.org.uk/index.htm