To write a short story, a good idea is not enough: you must work on the characters, the hook and the punch line, choose a point of view, insert dialogues, vary the pace of the story…
The characters make the story
No good story without good characters ! Even if they are less detailed in a short story than in a novel , the reader must be able to believe them. And to make them exist, there’s nothing like finding a solid purpose for them! Does the reader understand what is important to your character, what motivates them and moves them forward in life AND in the story you are writing? Can we see how far he is willing to go to get what he wants?
Who tells ? From what point of view?
Every fictional story is told by a narrator , a “voice” that is not yours, a physical person who writes at his table. What point of view will this “affordable ghostwriting services” adopt? You won’t tell the same story about a murder whether you tell it from the point of view of the murderer, the victim, or the investigator. You will therefore choose the point of view which will allow you to present the story in the best possible way.
Take care of hooking and falling
Does the beginning of the story get to the heart of the matter? Should the reader endure a long preamble or an extended description? Warning: the short story is the art of the blank, of the ellipse, so don’t overdo it… and especially not from the outset. To write the punchline, ask yourself if you have taken into account the motivations of the characters. Did the main character get what he wanted and if not, what does that mean for him? Your outcome depends on it. Finally, does the fall provoke an emotion in the reader?
Vary the pace
A short story must be able to be read in one go , which does not mean that the rhythm of the story must be monotonous. On the contrary, see if you can vary it by introducing, for example, an ellipse where a complete episode is not essential for overall understanding. Remove length: excess descriptions or explanatory passages, adjectives and adverbs which often weigh down a story. The news must not contain one word too many . Finally, ask yourself what the strong points of your story are and whether they contain elements that bring about the outcome.
Make the characters speak
Did you introduce dialogue into your story? A short story entirely in narrative mode can seem monotonous , unless you have decided to stay within the interiority of the character from start to finish. Remember to vary the voices of the characters: they don’t speak like you, and they don’t all speak the same way either! The dialogues should not take precedence over the narration either, in all cases they must move the story forward .
The first draft, finally…
Do you have the initial idea, a situation, the characters… maybe even the punch line? You still have to get started . The hardest part is writing the first sentence ! To find it, determine what will be the trigger for your story: it’s what gives you the “la”. By the way, are you sure of what you want to say? So, go for it! Don’t insist on producing a perfect story straight away, you will have plenty of time to rework it once you have reached the end of your story. The first draft, after all, is a draft…
Off the beaten track of classic publishing, the dynamism of magazines and independent publishing brings the new…
A previous article gave some advice to short story authors looking to get published: give up trying to convince a traditional publisher to publish you unless you are already a successful novel author, prefer the route of independent publishing and magazines, try the competitions which allow you to make a name for yourself in the small world of short stories… As of today, it is clear that the situation has not changed: in France, short stories sell little. At least, not with the general public – you know, the readers of the 500 or so novels of the literary season. Unlike Anglo-Saxon or South American countries, France still prefers paving to short text. So, if you persist in the short path, it is better from now on to give up on the show-stoppers, gondola heads, literary prizes and other glitter.
Independent publishers: small, but demanding
Let’s come back to earth. You are a modest author of short stories, you have a collection or a few texts under your belt and you are wondering what to do with them. Some choose the path of self-publishing: why not, provided you have your writings reread by a few impartial readers and check the spelling (!). The disadvantage of self-publishing is the absence of an outside perspective for the content as well as for the form (model, typography, not to mention the spelling). If you are not sure of yourself, entrust the proofreading to an external reader, otherwise you could risk losing your fingers. Others will prefer to send their manuscript to independent publishers *: for example, the editions of Laban-Jour, rue des Promenades, Lunatique, Anti-Data or even the Editions du Chemins de Fir which associate an artist and an author in each of their books… These publishers called “small”, although they do the same work as the “big” ones., put as much seriousness into their approach as their well-established elders, while demonstrating unfailing curiosity and pugnacity. For your part, before sending them your texts, remember to consult their catalog and read what they publish to check that your production fits into their editorial line. It’s also a good way to support them! You will be able to discover their script writing services production in the exhibitions entirely devoted to short stories, such as Place aux novellas, in Luzerne or the Littér’Halles days in Decide. Or at the Laure Livre fair which is held every year in Paris.
The magazines: dynamic and pugnacious
Literary journals, for their part, also often have a reading committee and do serious and demanding work. Some will even send you reasoned feedback if your texts are refused: among the most active, Breves, Rue Saint-Amboise, Yet or Decoupage … Here too, before sending a manuscript, read what they publish and, if their content If you like it, subscribe! Don’t forget online magazines: like Ampoule which reads (and publishes if you like) texts sent by email. To discover the many existing paper journals, go to Salon de la Revue which is held every year in Paris, in November, at the Space des Blanks-Manteaux.