The Basics of Writing a Short Story

By Carrie Pepper

One of the most pleasurable and most difficult art forms is the short story. There is no room for anything in a short story that doesn't belong, so when you write one, you must be ruthless. Longer stories are easier because there is more time to draw out

Stephen King, one of the best short story writers today says, "A short story is a different thing all together - a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger." A good short story evokes all sorts of emotions and you have to be quick about it. You can't draw it out for pages and you can't waste time. A short story needs lots of pruning.

Five key elements of any short story are: character, setting, plot, conflict and theme. If you want to learn more about how to write a good short story, there are online degree classes in storytelling or creative writing. A short story is short work of fiction; some are very short; longer short stories are called novellas.

Some of the best writers of the short story genre of all time were Jack London, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe and O.Henry. If you want to learn how to write a good short story, you must read good short stories. These authors can help to teach you how to craft and write your own.

Writing a good short story is a blend of heart, imagination, skill and maybe even a little luck. Imagine one person and write to them, for them, write as if you are addressing one special person somewhere in time. When you can make it that personal, the words will flow much more easily and it will connect with the reader.

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