What You Must Know About Writing A Short Story


Have you ever wished that someone would just tell you what you need to know about writing a short story?

Because when you want to write a short story, it’s easy to either get overwhelmed by all the advice out there. Or you might feel like some things are being omitted. So, either way, you’re not sure what it is you should know about writing a short story.

And you feel stuck.

But if you read this blog post through to the end, you’ll find out the five things you really must know about writing a short story even before you begin.

1) Writing a short story is different from writing a novel

Or from writing poetry, drama or a screenplay for a movie.

Writing a short story is not necessarily easier or more difficult than writing a novel. It’s just different.

A novel is longer than a short story, so you don’t have as many words to work with when you’re writing a short story.

Apart from word count, there’s also format to consider when you’re thinking about writing a short story – a short story is written in prose, poetry and screenplays are not.

2) Not all short stories are created equal

There are different kinds of short stories – flash fiction, longer short story, novella are three of the widely recognised types of short stories in existence.

The rules are different for each type of short story because you don’t have as many words to work in flash fiction as you do in say a novella. Yet, they’re both short stories.

I would say that a piece of fiction under 40,000 words is a short story of some kind.

And another thing to remember when writing a short story is that when you’re done writing, you can publish it in different ways.

So, a short story can stand alone or it can be part of a collection like I did here.

3) Ideas

When you’re considering writing a short story, there are no stupid ideas. Yes, seriously.

This is so even if you might be tempted to think that your short story idea is too out there, that it’s been done before, or it’s not good enough.

Execution is the real issue because you can have truly amazing short story ideas, yet not do them justice when fleshing them out into the short story you’re trying to tell.

Before writing that short story, see if you can whittle down your short story idea into a single sentence. Or question.

If you’re not sure what I mean or you’re not that confident in your own ideas but you’re serious about writing a short story, request your free list of short story ideas below.

4) Research is your friend

No matter how much you think you know about a subject or theme, if you’re writing a short story, you need to research.

Even when you’re writing fiction, there are some things that will likely resonate with your readers. And if they’re inaccurate, your readers might not be amused or forgiving.

Research also helps you know what to include or leave out – especially if you’ve got a word limit to adhere to.

Just don’t let research consume you or even become procrastination that stops you from actually writing your short story.

5) You can ask for help

In Nigeria, we have a saying that he who asks for directions, never gets lost.

Or something to that effect.

Nobody is born knowing everything about how to write a short story.

So if you want to be taught free, pop your details in below and check your emails.

Now that you’ve come to the end of this blog post, does writing a short story seem easier for you to do now? Is there anything you were surprised to read? Let us know in the comments section below.

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