Normally, there is no set formula for writing a short story. If it’s too technical it loses its soul. If it’s not guarded, it may drone out. Nevertheless, a short story finds its soul when there are a few vital points, directed towards its structure and style, that must be kept in mind while drafting a story.
Here we attempt to share some tips that may assist you in drafting a story that brings out your personality and writing style.
Organize your ideas:
Keeping in mind the basic idea of the story you should be able to note down certain points that would be essential to your story. Researching about the genre you are writing in, is something that should be pre-planned as well. Reading popular books of the similar genre can get you a fair idea of the direction that you may lead your writing in. Create a basic plot-line to mark the territory, the length and breadth of your story. Your story and its characters must have a certain voice and that should be clearly planned as well so that none of the characters jumps out as unwanted warts in your story. To access your plotline easily, break it into scenes if required.
Find your own writing style:
The first rule is the more you READ the clearer you will write. Regardless, find a voice that is unique in your own way. Emulating another writer may not always work for you. It is more important to pen your thoughts that flow easily than it is to get them perfect, the first time. The thumb rule is to write, pause-if you must, keep writing and repeat. Plagiarism is theft but being inspired by ideas and creativity is a plus. Even if you know that a certain expression has been made before in text, work on yours and polish it further. Be confident in your voice and that would come through to the reader. Believe.
Choose the title that draws attention:
Your story probably has the title hidden in one of the keywords. Write down the first few words that come to your mind when thinking about your story. The title must synchronize with the genre of the story to make it easy to remember with strong, vivid words. If not already done, draw the reference of your title more than once in the story for longlasting recall.
Polish your prose:
Every story has a central idea around which the story revolves. You may need to identify the heart of your story and stick to it till the end. Any deviation will alienate the reader’s attention from the core message. You may experiment with the story’s point of view and narrate the storyline from the character POV that is central to your theme. They may not be your central character though, but vital to the plot. Dialogue and character setting can help the writer show the reader where the characters are. So working on those aspects keep the readers intrigued. It is suggested that you distil your ideas. Know more about your characters than you put on the storyboard so that you can write boldly and succinctly. A short story must be crisp that can hold the attention of the reader. Resist the urge to go on and on. Keep it short.
Editing is Important:
Even though this may the last of your worries while you are writing, this is a very important aspect of your writing. Revise your writing and look for the paragraph-level organization of your story. Edit each sentence carefully to check the design of the narrative. Proofread to check for grammatical and punctuation errors, spelling mistakes, etc. Proofing is the final stage of the writing process which can be catered to with the help of some online tools as well. Read your story aloud to yourself, as if you are reading for a friend and don’t forget to throw in a few enunciations. Before submission/publishing, re-read one last time. If not just for editing purposes but to simply appreciate your own work as well!