Post Reply Short Story: How do I write one?
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 10 days ago
Seriously, how does one write a short story without going into novel territory? I can't for the life of me write a short story without wanting to make it into a novel. It's so annoying. I can only come up with ideas/plots for a novel not a short story. I'm thinking about writing a short story because I have a troubling time finishing a novel. But sadly I don't know how to write a short story. Got any advice for me or something. Help wanted.

Enjoy!!!
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Posted 10 days ago
just make the plot simpler?
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Posted 10 days ago

Flovince wrote:

just make the plot simpler?


That's it?
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Posted 10 days ago

qualeshia3 wrote:


Flovince wrote:

just make the plot simpler?


That's it?


yes? i mean like when you writing novel of course there would be plot twist and etc?
just try to make it simple then not much conflicts or too many characters
basically, from your novel story line you can cut them to short story
dunno, i am not a writer
42489 cr points
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25 / F / New Jersey, USA
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Posted 10 days ago , edited 10 days ago

Flovince wrote:


qualeshia3 wrote:


Flovince wrote:

just make the plot simpler?


That's it?


yes? i mean like when you writing novel of course there would be plot twist and etc?
just try to make it simple then not much conflicts or too many characters
basically, from your novel story line you can cut them to short story
dunno, i am not a writer


Thanks.
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Posted 10 days ago
Small cast of characters and have one central theme as opposed to many themes. Also try to minimise world building, make the setting simple. Advice from a non writer.
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Posted 10 days ago
Just a bit of a disclaimer: I'm not a writer; my own stories are meant to be presented in a visual format rather than a written one, so I'm not sure how much help any of this will be to you.

Of the few short stories I have in my head, I think one of the main differences between them and the longer form stories is that they center around one specific event rather than a single "story." They also have very few characters (3 to 5, depending on whether the characters are people just meeting for the first time or already know one another).

In these stories, I'm not so much focused on character depth or backstory as I am on the specific event at hand and how it affects the characters within a relatively short timeline (or a simplified longer timeline, if that's how the story takes place).

Ultimately, it might help to think of a beginning and ending for the story, and then key points connecting the two. Then, just try to avoid filling in the space between those key points. But also make sure that the beginning and the ending aren't too wildly different from one another, because the key points in between might not be enough to explain how the progression between the two took place.

You might find it helpful to watch some animated shorts on YouTube to get an idea of what a short story should feel like. (I don't know if they might be less helpful to you since they're animated rather than written.) As GrandMasterTime said, minimizing world building is helpful--in fact, I think it's fair to say that this is what a majority of the animated shorts I've seen on YouTube tend to do.


I think it also helps to keep your story self-contained, where it could have a sequel but doesn't need one.
You could make the story clear-cut and easy to understand, or you can make it open for interpretation--much like Porter Robinson's Shelter.

As practice, it could help to try taking pre-existing long-form stories you're already familiar with and condensing them into something shorter; or you could take a portion of a long-form story and try turning it into a short story that can stand on its own.

In the end, this is all just speculation on my part, as I've never actually tried any of these things myself. When it comes to my own ideas, I never planned on making them short stories--they just happened to take on that form.

In any case, good luck. Hope this helps.
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