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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2
votes
1answer
122 views

Moving story forward via conversation in first person

Background I wrote a few paragraphs of a story, again as an assignment a little while ago, but now I plan on completing it. But there is a problem while I am writing. Unlike other short stories that ...
0
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2answers
102 views

Stuck with writer's block; how can my young protagonist overcome depression due to sudden loss of sight? [closed]

I'm writing a short story in which my protagonist is a little boy. An unexpected event happens and makes his life upside down which is blindness. This latter causes him depression and now I don't know ...
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4answers
109 views

Asking about chapter's length

Is it okay if a short story's chapter's length is 450 words? If so, could you also have a chapter with 1000 or more words in the same story?
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3answers
78 views

How can I expand my story to meet a minimum word count? [closed]

I'm writing a sinister story for school and it has to be 500-1000 words. But I only have 414 words and I don't know what else to add. This is how it looks so far. How can I expand this to meet the 500-...
0
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2answers
63 views

How to switch between characters in a first person story?

I know you can switch between the 3rd and 1st and vice versa but how from one character to another both using the 1st person. I know chapter breaks would help but I only want to make a small story (1....
1
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4answers
108 views

Not sure how to continue my story [closed]

I'm writing a story (I think a bit long to post here, but I could if someone would like), which is a metaphor for depression. In the story (from a 3rd person past-tense POV, if that's helpful), an ...
1
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4answers
124 views

Improving my story opening? [closed]

I'm writing a story about a woman driving cross-country in search of her childhood home. There, she discovers the small town has grown to a suburban sprawl, and she's surprised to find that she can no ...
0
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1answer
85 views

How can I make the premise of e.g. a short story more real?

As far as my motivation in writing goes, I have long been frustrated about historical fiction I’ve read where the main character is basically an American dressed up in a cloak and armor. The Caryatid: ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Describing unrelated events in first person viewpoints

How can I describe a scene in a short story with the first-person point of view, when the main character isn't taking part in the action, or even viewing the event?
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0answers
43 views

How can concurrent/dual dialogue be implemented in short story/fiction writing?

I am currently writing a short story that has two intertwined narratives told in inverse chronological order from each other. The two narratives meet/converge at the moment the protagonists receive ...
2
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1answer
85 views

How to develop ideas?

I participated in a weekly challenge prompt app and many asked me to continue writing and to make it a book but I can't find a good idea to develop that short story.
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2answers
60 views

Publishing of Collection of Short Stories

I have a collection of short stories--48 in total, a word count of 80,000 and 156 pages. Regarding publication, is such a collection likely to be too large? If I were to split it into two collections, ...
3
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3answers
207 views

When writing science fiction or horror, how to prevent the villain from becoming less scary as they are fleshed out?

I'm trying to write a horror short story about a shape-shifter, but I have trouble keeping it from sounding like a science fiction story. The story starts out with a creepy tone, with a person close ...
2
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7answers
139 views

Misspelling and punctuation how to improve?

Love telling/writing stories except I am the absolute worst at both spelling along with punctuation. Normally I care less about these things because I can still read them although many people get ...
0
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0answers
57 views

Cons of Extensive Detailing [duplicate]

Every time I start a story, I create the scene in my mind. I'm pretty sure others would be able to write it in 2000 words. However, once I start writing, I detail every scene way too much and the end ...
1
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2answers
33 views

Formatting a story collection for submission to publishers

Anyone know of a definitive online resource on formatting a story collection for submission to publishers and agents? One knotty question in particular: does one use the title of the book throughout ...
0
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2answers
46 views

Does this sentence make sense grammatically? Is there anything I can do to improve it? [closed]

"The meticulously placed masses of skin under her eyes were captured involuntarily by the customary light fixtures of the hospital ward, sufficiently polluted with the indistinct clamour of her ...
3
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5answers
649 views

How can I begin writing a short story?

I like to read short stories, novels, documentaries etc. I used to write a diary as well. I am interested in beginning to write a short story or some other form of creative writing. But I struggle to ...
1
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1answer
268 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 ...
2
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3answers
55 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 ...
0
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3answers
87 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
0
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5answers
508 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 ...
-2
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2answers
141 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 ...
4
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2answers
172 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
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4answers
213 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 ...
18
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10answers
10k 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
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1answer
315 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
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1answer
151 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
198 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, ...
25
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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 ...
1
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4answers
358 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
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2answers
189 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
239 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 ...
15
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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 ...
27
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11answers
8k 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
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3answers
666 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
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2answers
515 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
109 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
792 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
134 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
135 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
243 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
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2answers
123 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
264 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 ...
16
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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 ...
-2
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3answers
193 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
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3answers
157 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
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2answers
142 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 ...

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