Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers (Kennedy and Jerz) (Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University)
Jerz > Writing > Creative > How to Write a Short Story (Dennis Jerz and Kathy Kennedy) Writing short stories means beginning as close to the climax as possible — everything else is a distraction. A novel can take a more meandering path, but should still start with a scene that sets the tone for the whole book. A short story conserves characters and scenes, typically by focusing on just one conflict, and drives towards a sudden, unexpected revelation. Go easy on the exposition and talky backstory — your reader doesn’t need to know everything that you know about your characters. 1. Do you have a short story assignment due tomorrow morning? What does your protagonist want? Drawing on real-life experiences, such as winning the big game, bouncing back after an illness or injury, or dealing with the death of a loved one, are attractive choices for students who are looking for a “personal essay” topic. Keep a notebook. Read, Read, Read Read a LOT of Chekhov. 2. 3. Appearance. 4. First Person. 5.
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• How to write a short story