Writing a Short Story

A novel requires a certain kind of world-building and also a certain kind of closure, ultimately. Whereas with a short story you have this sense that there are hinges that the reader doesn’t see.

Dan Chaon

 

Short-Story

Short Stories Can Be Fun

Writing a short story is fun. Well, it can be in certain ways. If your not a short story writer then you probably won’t find them fun, but how can you know until you have given it a crack.

The biggest thing I love about short stories is that they are easy and quick to read as well as write. You can get the first draft written in a matter or hours. The thing that really does it for me is that you can find out what the conclusion is not long after you start reading. Unlike a novel, you don’t stop and start reading. There is no suspense of waiting to find the time to read the next part; a short story will begin and finish before you know it.

Depending on what you want to do with a short story or what idea you have will depend on how you write. A short story can be finished in a day, or a week, or a month. However, with every type of writing there are positives and negatives.

You can write a short story in two hours. Two hours a day, you have a novel in a year.

Ray Bradbury

Four Steps to Help You Write a Short Story

1. Read Short Stories.

If you are a writer then you have probably heard it a hundred times but writers read what they want to write. If you want to write science fiction, read science fiction; if you want to write romance, read romance; if you want to write novels, read novels; and if you want to write short stories, then write short stories.

If you have never read a short story then you might have a hard time writing one. You are going to have no idea what you are doing. Taking a real good and deep looking at one or two short stories will help improve your understanding. Study them and find out what makes them so good.

2. What are you writing about?

If you plan to write a short story, or anything for that matter, you need to know what you are writing about. So take a couple minutes, or thirty, or hell even take a hour to write down what you story is about. You could write a couple of lines or a whole page. This summary will help you understand what your story is really all about. Because if you don’t know what is it about then how will those who read it?

3. Write it!

The best thing to do is just write. Don’t worry if it sounds like absolute crap the first time. You can improve it later. Every write should know that your first draft will always be crap. Just put your pen to paper, or your fingers to keys, and get going. Before you know it you will have either started your story or finished it.

And don’t worry about how long it is. If you are trying to write a 5000 word story then its fine if the first draft ends up being 6000, or 7000. As a writer you should know that you will cut down. You will remove words and sentences to make it better.

4. Rewrite, edit, repeat.

The best thing a writer can do is rewrite but don’t rewrite until you have finished the first draft. You will rewrite, then edit, and then do it again and again until the words on the page, or the words on the screen, will be the best damn story you have ever written.

It can be the hardest part of writing a short story and it can feel difficult. It can be hard to change things but in the end it is for the best.

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The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King


Goodreads Average Rating: 
3.96 out of 5

“I’ve made some things for you, Constant Reader; you see them laid out before you in the moonlight. But before you look at the little handcrafted treasures I have for sale, let’s talk about them for a bit, shall we? It won’t take long. Here, sit down beside me. And do come a little closer. I don’t bite. Except…we’ve known each other for a very long time, and I suspect you know that’s not entirely true. Is it?” – Stephen King, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Introduction

51tR6+p5KSL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_I am new to the world of Stephen King but what I have read so far I have enjoyed. I first stepped into the world of the ‘King’ in 2015 when I read his novel Revival. The book was something that intrigued me from the first page and kept me flipping. When I found The Bazaar of Bad Dreams at my local Kmart I took it right off the shelf and brought it home with me. I didn’t bother a glance inside or at the blurb to see what it had to offer. All I knew was that I wanted to explore another world just like the one Stephen King had provided in Revival. (I didn’t even realise till I got home that the book was a collection of short stories.)

Some readers think that buying a book without looking it up or at least having a glance through to see if it is something that would interest you is silly. Normally I would agree with those readers, since I am a cautious reader. However, reading Revival introduced me to a whole knew author who I knew existed but had never explored. The end of Revival left me wanting more of Stephen King’s work and that desire came flooding back when The Bazaar of Bad Dreams appeared.

I am pleased to say that it didn’t disappoint. I wasn’t left sitting in my room at 2 am wondering why I wasted my money. I wasn’t thinking why didn’t I look it up first. I was left sitting on my train halfway between Laverton and Newport sad that it had come to an end. This collection of shorts stories sent me through a whirlwind of emotions from immensely intrigued to snorting with laughter. I loved Stephen King’s dark humour and plot twists; his cliff-hanger endings were exciting and left me with a fun cluster of built up curiosity.

Putting the book down at night to sleep, or closing the book and putting it away to get off the train was hard. I love it when a book pulls me in so much that I just can’t get enough of it. It is hard to find a book that keeps me wanting more. In this case it is an author I want more of and cannot wait to pick up more and more of Stephen King’s books.