- Make sure that your short story has a clear beginning, middle and end.
- Do not put too many main characters in a short story.
- Don’t waste pages getting to the main plot. You have to make the plot clear from the beginning.
- Avoid putting in blocks and blocks of description. You need to paint the picture for the reader without being wordy.
- When you’re editing, cut cut cut unless it’s absolutely essential for the story.
- Remember that you can’t fit in decades into a short story. That’s what novels are for.
- There’s no space for an elaborate back story. If you need to give a background, make it short and to-the-point.
I love writing short stories. In fact, most of my short stories early in my career were for kids. It was a great way for me to relive my childhood while admitting to the world that Sudesna Ghosh just won’t grow up. Going forward, I started writing short stories for an older audience too. There’s Mother & Son, His Search for the Perfect Bride, and more. So it’s been a mix of humorous short stories and cute romantic shorts. Recently, in A Lockdown Story, I wrote serious, emotional fiction relevant to the world’s current scenario. Usually, humour slips into all my stories but this time it didn’t even come close. While I enjoy writing longer stories (novellas), the short story genre has always held a special place in my heart. And trust me, anyone who thinks a lower word count translates to easy writing, is WRONG. Today, I wanted to share a few short story writing tips. These are not rules — I’m sharing my learnings with you. We writers learn a lot with every story we write. Here goes: