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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6 views

Literary magazines that publish surreal/absurdist fiction?

Does anybody know of any literary magazines that publish surreal/absurdist fiction? I have a short story I'm looking to submit. The closest comparisons I can think of are A Clockwork Orange, Brave New ...
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3answers
41 views

Where can I find a beta reader for grammatical issues?

I’m looking forward to finding a beta reader to help getting me past my grammatical inaccuracies during my attempts at writing short stories. I’m not a native English speaker, so I found myself ...
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3answers
78 views

Why would a someone desecrate a pharaoh's tomb? [closed]

I'm trying to find a believable reason for someone to open a clearly cursed tomb for my short story. I'm finding myself between the silly-but-different and believable-but-boring spectrum. For example, ...
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1answer
91 views

problematic writing [duplicate]

I'm currently attempting to write a story. And In the past I have tried but found myself unhappy with the result because I find that I use "I" in every sentence. For example: The wooden floor was ...
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5answers
210 views

Does Dean Wesley Smith's recommended method of writing into the dark, editing and sending actually produce quality writing that editors accept?

To elaborate, this is a quote from a question regarding this that I have found: "(Dean Wesley Smith) basically advises writers to just fly by the seat of their pants (without even having the ...
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2answers
135 views

How can I shorten a piece of writing effectively? [closed]

I always face the problem of word limit. How can I shorten a piece of writing without causing its original essence to mar? How can I be effective in doing that? Are there any general rules? For ...
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2answers
163 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 ...
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4answers
205 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
260 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 ...
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1answer
98 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?
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2answers
187 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, ...
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5answers
7k 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 ...
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4answers
259 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?
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2answers
180 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?
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4answers
228 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
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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 ...
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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
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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,...
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3answers
146 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 ...
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2answers
462 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
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2answers
99 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
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2answers
278 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 ...
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1answer
98 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. ...
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3answers
110 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 ...
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3answers
207 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 ...
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2answers
115 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 ...
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3answers
244 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
164 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 ...
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3answers
154 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, ...
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2answers
126 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
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1answer
88 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 ...
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1answer
95 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 ...
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3answers
98 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, ...
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2answers
74 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 ...
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3answers
292 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
117 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 ...
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1answer
702 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
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4answers
379 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
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2answers
292 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
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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
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2answers
185 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
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3answers
143 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
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2answers
493 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
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2answers
174 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? ...
4
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5answers
530 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
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2answers
166 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
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3answers
307 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 ...

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