Writing a short story involves reading lots of other short stories, developing a character with a conflict and being concise with no room for wasted words. Compose a successful short story, using brevity to an advantage, with tips from a published author and English professor in this free video on writing.
If you want to write a story, a short story, well the first thing you have to do is read a whole bunch of other short stories. You have to know the literature and you have to learn from what other people have done. You are probably never going to write anything as good as Chekov but if you've read Chekov, some of Hemmingway and Raymond Carver and so on, you'll learn some of their tricks and you'll learn how a story is supposed to look and feel. The trick about a short story is that it is short and you don't have time to set up your backgrounds, if you need your background let it come in through the action, through the details. You don't have space for a lot of wasted words or for any wasted words. You've got a person with a problem who has to either overcome that problem or learn something in failing to overcome it. You have to do that in as few words as possible. A short story in the case of flash fiction can be as little as 200 words, it can be as many as maybe 10,000 words, we are getting into the vela range there. But they all have to be absolutely necessary. Make sure you know your character, generally one central character, understand that person, what the problem is, why that is a problem and figure out who or discover how that person is going to be changed. If you don't know quite where you are going but you know what the problem is that's o'kay. You can learn in the process of writing and that's how a lot of the best writing comes about.
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