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.

10
votes
2answers
394 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
83 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
141 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
69 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
88 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
171 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
101 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
227 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
994 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
128 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
145 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
90 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
75 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
74 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
79 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
69 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
248 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
81 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
149 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
197 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
283 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 ...
65
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
127 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
131 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
462 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
164 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
330 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
130 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
281 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
286 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
161 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
3k 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
403 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
78 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?
7
votes
3answers
285 views

Likeable characters with deplorable professions?

I'm planning out an idea for a short story. In the story, slavery didn't abruptly end but instead continued to modern day and beyond. The structure of the story will be similar to The Last Question by ...
6
votes
7answers
669 views

How to plan a short story for a given word count?

Many short story competitions, at least in Israel, set a theme and a word count: up to 2500 words, 2000-5000 words, etc. I often find myself starting short stories for such competitions, and hitting ...
2
votes
5answers
108 views

I am searching for a word/name that fits a person that has the ability to swap bodies with another human [closed]

Not to be confused with a person who can morph themselves into someone else or a creature by will, but someone who has an ability to body swap - without necessarily having control over it. I am ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

How do I write that years have passed in my story? [duplicate]

How do I write that years have passed in a short story, but without stating it? I have been trying all sorts of techniques, but it's just not sounding right in my story. I really don't know what to do....
2
votes
4answers
86 views

Should I defer introducing the name of the eponymous character/object?

In my short-story/novella, the title was "Hypnos Wakes" where "Hypnos" is the name of an alien/monster thing that possesses the protagonist. The possession, as well as the protagonist's reference to ...
4
votes
3answers
82 views

How to collect thought which is in mind on paper into story [closed]

I have lot of story in my mind but whenver try to write, my mind become blank and cannot collet all thoughts to write story.
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

Is there a way that I can make my story interesting without writing too many words by using a strong ending or climax?

The main character is a young Rohingya girl. The story starts with her hidden in a tree with her young brother while she observes an attack on her campsite where her parents die. She then continues ...
2
votes
4answers
131 views

How can one character narrate past events to another character?

In my story there is a scene where a character narrates some past to another character. And this past consists of 600 - 900 words. How do I write this? It is like a story within a story, but it only ...
1
vote
3answers
507 views

How do you write an attack scene for a story using the technique “Show, don't tell”? [closed]

I'm writing a story and I need to describe a hidden young girl watching an attack on her village. How can I best show this instead of just telling it?
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Where can I publish a longer short story (9000 words)?

I wrote a short story that's 9135 words long. I'd like to enter it into a contest or publishing. I have seen that most only accept stories from 500-2000 words. Does anyone know of any contests/...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

Where to go to get my story critiqued?

I have recently completed a short story work of mine. I have published it on Wattpad, and I've sent the Google Docs link of it to several friends. I am kind of new to writing in general, and Wattpad ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

How similar can something be before an idea is *stolen*?

I'm looking to write a Metamorphosis style short story where the reader wakes up as an animal for no apparent reason, and everything goes crazy. Now, the Kafkain influence is clear just from this ...
4
votes
6answers
243 views

How to make the murder's identity less obvious, or make the obviousness not matter?

I'm writing a short story following the first person perspective of the MC, who is a young, male writer of horror stories. He goes on a cruise with his girlfriend and their friends, and, ...
5
votes
4answers
137 views

Is there a word or a sets of words that describe a persons beautiful dead face?

Imagine you're a protagonist in a story and you find a dead body, you go up to the corpse and find it's bloody face to be beautiful. How would you describe the corpse's face? Is there a specific word ...