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Questions tagged [short-story]

Use this tag for questions about short stories. Do not use this tag for questions about novellas, flash fiction, or other types of short fiction.

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4
votes
2answers
119 views

Character and world building in less than 2000 words

Is it possible to build a new character and/or world in a science fiction under a tight word limit? What aspects should be covered and what avoided? Also are there some similar previous examples to ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Are competitions worth it in order to get published?

I have recently finished my 25,000 word novella and contacted some publishers and agents about a month ago. I have only heard back from a couple rejecting me but considering the format of my book as ...
16
votes
9answers
9k views

Is it possible to write a short story in 500 words?

There is a short story contest where the limit is five hundred (500) words and I want to know if that is a possible limit for a short story?
4
votes
1answer
248 views

What genre would a fictional eyewitness account of a real historical event fall under?

I've written a short story about a true historical incident which involves a very famous person in history. The incident is true as are the people involved in it. But the story is a fictional ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

How to annotate short stories

Recently I’ve been getting assignments to annotate 1 or 2 short stories in English every day. Are there any good techniques to use when annotating short stories?
0
votes
2answers
175 views

What are the top most important key elements for a computer game story?

I am a programmer and in the middle of developing a TBS (turn based strategy) computer video game. Those kind of games have a flow of what is commonly known to gamer as 4X, that is, explore, expand, ...
26
votes
5answers
6k views

How can I hint that my character isn't real?

How can I make a side character's tangibility open to interpretations so the audience is unsure if she's even real? My short story is about identity. My main character is being pressured by a friend ...
1
vote
4answers
238 views

Introducing evil characters before the evil deeds take place

Is it possible to introduce evil characters (be identified as evil) before the action (the crimes committed by the characters) takes place?
2
votes
2answers
172 views

Is having elaborate metaphors ever a bad thing?

Is having elaborate metaphors a bad thing in a short story (for the purposes of the story being accepted by a magazine)? How can I know if my metaphors are too elaborate?
4
votes
4answers
217 views

How could the disregard for both plot and dialogue tell the story?

I want people to understand what I write, but I do not want to use conventions such as plot or dialogue to tell a story. Without a plot I have been criticized of not having written a story, but ...
25
votes
9answers
4k views

A torrent of foreign terms

I am writing a short story, about a particular field with multiple specific terms, none of which are in English. (Specifically, I'm writing about bullfighting, but the question could apply to other ...
15
votes
8answers
3k views

Sci-fi change: Too much or Not enough

I am in the process of editing a short story. It is science fiction of the "if this goes on" kind: I take a social trend I see, and paint its event horizon - a troubling future. 1984 and Fahrenheit ...
25
votes
11answers
7k views

How do I stop my characters falling in love?

So I'm writing a short story based in a WW2 American military base camp stationed in Germany. It's about A Jewish Soviet soldier that, with the help of an American soldier and a series of coincidences,...
8
votes
3answers
114 views

Can I modify and turn my published short stories into a novel?

I'm writing some short stories that are all connected and are set in the same universe, because I planned to put them together into a novel later. My question is: If I publish those short stories, can ...
10
votes
2answers
447 views

How do I make a very short story powerful?

I'm currently working on a project where I write events for a story driven video game. The limitation is that I have to get through a discovery, the consequence and the character's response to that in ...
11
votes
2answers
96 views

Should I write in a style that is more conducive to a situation I am describing or write it the way I normally write?

I am writing a short story that describes a dream that I had as a child. I wrote a first rough draft and had my girlfriend read it to give me some feedback. One thing she criticized is my writing ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

How do I prevent my stories from feeling rushed?

Many of the short stories that I write feel too short. Now, I know that there's nothing wrong with a (very) short story, but often I feel like I'm rushing the story because I have an idea for the ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

What are the pros and cons of different media for short story publishing?

I recently wrote a short story (I'm still in the process of editing it, but it's all written), and have been looking at different publication options. The story is about 8,000 words, a mystery story. ...
3
votes
3answers
100 views

POV - 3rd Person Rules and Exceptions?

I'm stuck on a POV question in a short story I'm writing. The entire story is written in 3rd Person, but not omniscient - I guess it's either "distant limited" or "deep" (I'm not sure exactly the ...
5
votes
3answers
195 views

Should a short story be submitted to a publisher in order to know if they would be interested in a book based on it?

I wrote a very compelling science fiction short story. I am currently writing a book about an entirely different universe, not related to this short story. I made this story rest for a long time, had ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Have I got the plot? [closed]

I am looking for verification on what is a plot for a short story. For example: A man wants to develop a new rose variety for his girlfriend as a way to propose, but he becomes obsessed with getting ...
6
votes
3answers
241 views

Is this ununderstandable character part of the conflict?

By "ununderstandable" I mean that this character I'm thinking of isn't human. He's more of a devil sort of thing. Of course he still has his motivations, goals, etc, but he's more of a tool rather ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What should tie a collection of short-stories together?

Short-stories are a nice format to write. If you have been an aspiring writer for at least one year, it's quite probabile that you've got at least three short stories drafted out, sitting in some ...
-2
votes
3answers
144 views

Short story vs. Novella [duplicate]

I'm writing a short story in the same universe as my post-apocalyptic novel, about the novel's antagonist. I'm planning on turning in this piece to my teacher as a part of my AP Lang portfolio. I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
152 views

Approaches to criticizing short fiction

What is a reasonable scholarly approach to breaking down short pieces of prose? Is it word choice? Is it structure? Is it themes, and how well they are used? Use of symbolism and its efficacy? Meter, ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

What are some ways to make absurdity of certain ideas in fiction more palatable?

I am writing a science-fiction short story where there are a lot of pseudoscientific ideas being dealt constantly. I was wondering how to reduce the absurdity of some of those ideas using literary ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Using a different POV just for the opening line

I'm currently working on a short story with a dramatic "twist" ending. I use the quotation marks because, unlike a conventional plot twist aimed at surprising the reader, the intended target of the ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Can you give me some advice on this story? [closed]

Some background... Based on the short story of "Good Advice is Rarer than Rubies" in Salman Rushdie's collection East, West. Basically, Miss Rehana purposefully ruins her chances of moving to England ...
0
votes
3answers
95 views

Writing a short story in the same universe as my novel

In my post-apocalyptic novel, the MC Eris navigates the world of survivors and grapples with her newly discovered abilities. The leader of the group of survivors, and the book's antagonist, Ezrith, ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

How do you advertise your work if you cover multiple topics or niches? [duplicate]

Lets assume that you write articles which get published online (on your own website), but these cover a wide range of niches. Some very family friendly, some aimed at children, some horror based, and ...
5
votes
3answers
277 views

Integrating complex philosophical concepts into a story

I would like to integrate the concept of "Nietzschean affirmation" in my short story. What are the typical ways to go about it? I don't want to put it there in plain sight, but make it obvious enough ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Writing short stories in an original world setting [closed]

I'm writing short stories in a Fantasy world setting I have created — medieval times, magic, dragons, etc. People who are familiar with such a world may not find a problem reading a short story set in ...
1
vote
2answers
90 views

Is this imagery?

Would this small paragraph in my short story be considered as imagery? (Rose is looking for a painting) Rose and Mr. Howard stepped inside. There were cobwebs everywhere. Lots and lots of old ...
-1
votes
1answer
377 views

Continuing a short story [closed]

I got an assignment from my teacher that tells me to continue a story that he started. The limit is 1 page. The scenario is that Rose (the main character) is looking for a missing painting, inside ...
4
votes
4answers
268 views

What are some good ways of switching from third-person limited point of view to third-person omniscient point of view?

I am thinking of writing a short story which starts with a character narrating then ends up being narrated by an omniscient character. What are the best ways of making this transition? I can't think ...
4
votes
2answers
286 views

What sort of details do potential short story beta readers need?

I am considering uploading a trio of related short stories to Dropbox as a quick way to share them with potential beta readers. Before I actually link them elsewhere, I feel I should have at least ...
64
votes
8answers
9k views

How to avoid turning dialogue into Q&A session?

I noticed a problem I have in my fictional writing. My dialogues quickly turn into interrogations. Here is an exaggerated example. "How did you do it?" he asked. "..." "Will it kill us ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Shortening an already short story [duplicate]

I am new to this group but not new to writing in many forms... I have a great story that flows from my fingers -- got it to about 1500 words - but it must be 1000 for a competition. This has taken ...
6
votes
3answers
141 views

How should I handle writing a story where different portions of the narrative are told from the point of view of several different narrators?

My story is told from the perspective of different satellites that are creating a narrative. There are over ten of these narrators. I'm wondering if this might appear confusing for readers if the ...
4
votes
2answers
479 views

How to creatively handle intoxication when you yourself haven't experienced such a thing?

Now I wouldn't call myself a true writer. I'm about 14 now and I'm currently preparing for my IGCSEs with a ton of subjects to juggle through and revise. English Language is one of the subjects, and ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

What if my published short story is made a movie or a novel, without my permission?

I am writing a short story and thinking of publishing it in the next month. But then, I had a doubt. What if somebody takes it, expands it and changes it a bit and makes a movie or a novel out of it? ...
3
votes
2answers
379 views

Horror story in a hospital: how to unsettle the reader?

I'm new and I hope to do this thing right, soo Hi! I'm willing to write a short story about a girl who wakes up in a hospital and gradually discovers that the entire structure is under the influence ...
5
votes
2answers
147 views

Do I stand to lose anything if I reprint an already published story on my own site?

I've got a story published in print with limited circulation. From what I can tell, my first publication rights are spent. I like this story and I want to make it available to more people, so I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
296 views

Is there a story structure for a non-traditional hero (an extreme introvert)?

I'm trying to write a story of transformation, in which an extremely introverted and non-confrontational person goes through a traumatic experience, and in the finale takes a stand in defense of ...
7
votes
8answers
336 views

Why do most literature magazines take so long (several weeks or months) to respond to submissions despite having only a few hundred subs per month?

I have heard that the the editor of F&SF (Finlay) is the only one who reads all the submissions. Yet he always responds within a week! (With detailed comments on each story.) Clarkesworld is ...
6
votes
4answers
171 views

Describing slices of a tedious eternity without becoming tedious

This is a story of a guy in the waiting room for the afterlife. Because this guy was a horrible specimen of humanity in his lifetime he is 100% sure that he is going to end up in hell and he doesn't ...
14
votes
10answers
3k views

Dealing with inability to sustain interest in an idea

I frequently have the problem of starting a story with an idea—either one recently conceived or one held in mind for months, even years—only to find it bland or boring after a day or so and abandoning ...
14
votes
8answers
4k views

Do Short Stories Need Definitive Endings?

I'm looking to create a few short stories that are in a shared universe of sorts and I'm curious whether or not I need to have a definitive ending to a story. I'm thinking that the "end" would be more ...
3
votes
3answers
432 views

How Many Tropes Are Allowed In a Short Story?

I am trying to add some dramatic ‘zombie-virus’ suspense to a short-story about boy-meets-girl young love, which already has an unlikely (but not the first sort of) antagonist The boy named Ethan is ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

How do I start writing? [duplicate]

I have so many great ideas! I've completed several stories in my head but i've never put any to paper. How do I start? How do you start?