Follow these basic steps to writing a successful short story and you will be surprised at how professional even a novice’s work can become using the established writing techniques listed below.
#1 – Before you even start writing your story, write about the who: Who is in your story, who is your story really about, who is the antagonist and who is the hero, who and how they interact within the story line, and also what are the consequences of how they interact. – Use this same format of relevant questions about what your story is about to finish the what, where, when, and the why questions you will need to answer in order to come up with a cohesive and relevant premise to your story line. (This method works the same for both fiction and non-fiction pieces, although it is primarily used in fiction). PS: Mind maps are a great way of accomplishing this first task to writing a great short story, when all the little pieces need to fit together smoothly in a user friendly easy to read fashion.
#2 – Now that it’s time to actually write your short story, write the ending first. This sounds strange but this writer’s trick gives you a clear direction to go into when beginning your writing because you will already know the outcome, thus you will be able to easily fill in the situations along the way that culminated together to cause the ending – Like algebra, you can have an unknown X or Y in the calculation, and still be able to solve the problem by knowing the sum of the ending.
#3 – Now that you have an ending it is time to build your story from the bottom up. Your story will need to slowly rise in a line graph fashion of facts, obstacles, triumphs and setbacks that all come together in a climax of tension at the top of the graph. This is rarely the end of the story though, your audience needs to gradually and comfortably float back down to earth after a climax, (Imagine if Star Wars ended immediately after the Death Star was destroyed – we still need to see as an audience all the heroes shined and polished being rewarded for their bravery together after vanquishing the evil villains they faced in order to have closure mentally after the film/story is over – This is known as the inverted check mark method in writing.
#4 – The final tip before the final tip: #1, Re- read and edit, #2, then re-read and edit, #3, repeat steps one and two. Make sure that when your brain starts to feel like it’s going to explode after repeating steps one and two over and over again, that you take at the very least a twenty minute break before picking your piece back up again. You will be surprised at how many mistakes you find after taking a time out from this tedious final task of writing a good short story.
#5 – Share your final draft with friends, family and associates, and ask them for their opinions on things like readability, comprehension and understanding of the subject matter, and importantly, how your story made them feel after reading it. Obviously if your story made them feel bored, confused, or gave them a headache these would be red flags that need to be addressed before attempting to publish or present your work to the general public. Public opinion may not be as kind as your friend’s opinions of your piece, or as forgiving of grammatical mistakes. When you have confidence in your piece after a few friendly reviews from assorted people of your choosing, and have then adjusted your writing accordingly using the good and valid points that were made by your friends, family, and co- workers, then you will start to feel confident enough about your work in order to think about publishing your short story.
PS: Like most job applications and resumes these days, most publishers also only eccept digital submissions through their specifically provided E-mail.