Writing a short story, for most writers, is a fairly simple task. Writing a novel is a major effort that takes many hours to complete. Most people can create a simple short story, however it doesn’t mean they are easy to write. You still need to plan your story, create your characters, and tell the story in much fewer words than in a novel. When written well a short story can be just as memorable as any novel.
Probably the best way to learn how to write a short story is to read short stories. A good book to read is 50 Great Short Stories edited by Milton Crane. Take not of the style and how to write with as fewer words as possible. Also how the characters are developed, how dialogue is used, and how the plot unfolds.
Ideas can pop into your head at any time so carrying a notepad is a advisable to note them down wherever you are. Most of the time you will think of a small piece of the story like a location, or characters name. Ideas can come to you from many sources such as newspaper boards outside a shop, or something you over hear in the street. These can all be built into a good story. Sometimes a whole plot will come to you very quickly but this happens less often. If you need to write a story for a class or some other occasion and you have no good ideas, try looking through a local news paper or a magazine. You could also ask friends and family for help.
There are several step to a good short story, so when you have decided on your idea these are the steps to follow.
• Introduction. Introduce your setting and character’s.
• Initial Action. The action that starts tension rising.
• Increasing Actions These are events leading you to the climax.
• Climax. This is the turning point of the story. The climax.
• Decreasing Actions. The beginning of the conclusion.
• Conclusion. The final part of the story when it all comes together.
Once you have decided on your plot it is often a good idea to write a plot plan to work out what will happen at what time
While a novel can take place over many years, have many sub-plots and characters, a short story needs to be much reduced. No more than two or three main characters and a time limit of days rather than years. Sub-plops should also be avoided. If you cant write your short story following these rules you should look at turning your idea into a short novel.