Tag Archives: ask the author

Top 5 Tips for Writing Short Stories

Author and GoodReads member, Christopher Taylor asked:

What advice do you give a would-be short story writer for crafting their tale?

(Read on GoodReads)

book world | I Am Rosa

Here are my top 5 tips:

1)  A short story requires all the same elements of a full-length story to be successful. This includes a clear beginning, middle, and ending with build and climax. The characters need to be properly developed so they come across as real people with real emotions and motivations.

2)  Yes, your short story can have chapters. Short story just means that your tale can be told in less than 10,000 words. If you need chapter breaks and scene changes to make your story flow, then use them.

3)  “Short story” doesn’t mean “hastily told”.  Address Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How to create a full reality for the reader.  Weave the details into your story.

4)  Avoid an “info dump” or skimping on the “show versus tell” aspect, because you’re in a hurry to get to the “good part” of the tale. If done right, the whole story can be the “good part”.

5)  Lastly, edit like it was an award-wining best seller. Your short story needs just as much attention as a full-length. Give your readers quality writing and they’ll walk away satisfied no matter what your word count is.

If you have a writing related question, please feel free to leave it as a comment below or ask me on GoodReads.

Writer’s Block

Question: How do you deal with writer’s block?

writer's block | I Am Rosa

Answer:  Well, there’s the old stand-bys for writers block: go for a walk, take a nap, have coffee or tea with a friend, run around the house like a crazy-person chasing your favourite child(ren) while pretending to be the Tickle Monster … These are great for times when you just need to get away from the project for a short while.

However, on those occasions when I reach a point where I don’t feel like I’m making progress, I stop and walk away from the project for a while. Days, weeks, months, and some times even years. I always have multiple projects on the go, so I switch gears and tackle something else for a bit. It changes my mental energy and keeps me productive.

Have more questions for me? Feel free to post them in the comment section of the original post on my Fan Page  or in the “Ask the Author” section at my GoodReads profile.

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