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Short Story Writing Tips

Almost every one of us has at least a story in him that he would love to tell to entertain Short Stroy Writingand delight others, but doesn't know how to. You can learn how to tell your story in an interesting manner and make your reader smile in appreciation of your story-telling ability when he gets to the end of the story.

What is Short Story? A dictionary definition of story is “a description of how something happened, that is intended to entertain people, and may be true or imaginable” (Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English) If we go by this definition, a short story is a short description of how something - real or fictitious - happened, that is intended to entertain.

This brings us to the question, how short should a story be to be classified as a short story? plus how long can a story be to leave the class of a short story? A short story is anything between 1,000 words and 15,000 words. Stories consisting of 20,000 words could be called a novella, a mini novel. A novel consists of between 50,000 words and 120,000 words.

Last Updated - 8th November 2005

Types of Short Stories

Short Stories are divided into many categories:

Story Idea

Write down the idea that you want to develop into a story

Develop your plot


Character and dialogue


Your story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Words must be used effectively and the narrative must be natural. You must not forget that a short story depends on the construction of the story characters and how the reader sees them behave.

The description of the scenes is also important to the story. Since the readers cannot see the scene in your book like they can do on a film, you must tell them what the scene is like. Here is an example of good scene description, from ‘Love Changes’ by Barbara Bretton:

“The Three Villages room was a colonial beauty: dark paneling, the wood lustrous and glowing in the walls. Crisp white curtains framed windows that overlooked the formal garden. Outside, the hundreds of tulips – a rainbow-riot of blazing yellows, reds, and oranges-ringed the white gazebo in the center. The table was set with deep ruby ironstone dinnerware and heavy pistol-handled silverware that Stance recognized as a pattern designed originally by Paul Revere. In the center of the navy linen tablecloth sat a fat round vase filled with white carnations and baby’s breath.”

Be careful in your choice of words. Your narrative seems more natural and reads more easily when you use simple and familiar words. Remember, any literary writing is art, and must be handled with the care with which an artist – a sculptor, a painter, a cartoonist, etc. – handles his work.

Words must be carefully chosen and phrases must be published until they shine. Write simply. Don’t concentrate on developing a style. And don’t struggle to imitate somebody else style. What should concern you is writing smoothly, harmonious form beginning to the concluded climax.

Beginning Like the first paragraph of a news story which must capture the interested attention of a newspaper reader, the short story writer must start his story in a way that will arouse the reader’s interested curiosity in such a manner that the reader reads until he reaches the climatic conclusion.

Long and complicated starts make for dull reading; the reader quickly loses interest. Look at the following examples and judge for yourself which one you think will captivate the interest of the reader:


Disclaimer: The Short Story Writing Tips / Information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Tips And Treats . com and/or its partners.

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