You want to write a short story. I covered how to write your first one here, but I receive questions about it every week. There’s nothing much to it, I swear.
The above graphic may help too.
- Start With a Character…
- … With a Motive, And…
And the tip: entertain yourself, and you’ll entertain readers. The tip’s vital. If you’re intrigued by your story, your readers will be too.
Start with an appealing character for your genre
If you know your genre, you’re golden. As I said here:
Readers have favorite genres. I love Westerns and will read just about anything with cowboys and horses. I also love Victorian fiction, so stories set in the past appeal to me.
If you have a favorite genre, think about the tropes in that genre. Or about your favorite novel. What stirs your imagination about it?
Currently there’s a huge writing industry that’s sprung up around Jane Austen’s novels. Austen’s novels are in the public domain, because they were published a couple of centuries ago.
So, choose a genre first. Then mix it up, if you like. Let’s say you’re writing a JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) story. Your heroine is Lizzie Bennet. She’s at Pemberley, and she thinks she spots Mr. Darcy in the shrubbery. It’s not Darcy. It’s a ghost of one of Darcy’s ancestors, who gives Lizzie a warning, and… I won’t go on, I’m starting to become intrigued. 🙂
With this story, you’ve combined JAFF with a touch of the paranormal.
Aim to finish your short story in an afternoon
Fast fiction stories are short. You’re making a single point. Stick with a couple of scenes, and your story will be around 3,000 words. That’s a good length if you’re using the story for promotion, or you can combine several of them for a quick ebook.
Need more? Here you go — our Short Reads’ Secrets report includes a complete short story report.
When you write in series, you're giving yourself more chances to sell with every novel you write.More info →
Why write serial fiction?
Everyone's busy today. A serial is by its nature, faster to write, and publish, than a novel.
It's a quicker read too, and many readers appreciate this. While a reader may hesitate before committing hours to a novel, he can read an episode of your serial in minutes.
If you’re a new author, a serial serves to introduce you to readers. A reader may not be willing to commit to a novel by a new author, but be willing to read an episode of a serial.More info →
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Updated: April 4, 2019
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