A little writing insight, please.

What makes a short story?

From what I have gathered there are the detailed characterizations as well as an influx in action- with a word limit. It’s like the emotions are heightened and the actions are swift but yet happening at a down-tempo. You need to create tension within a short amount of words, whereas usually, you can spend pages upon pages on a single scene.

I’ve never been one for few words.

I like detailed descriptions and quirky conversations. I enjoy creating scenes with no page limit in mind. But now I have been tasked (by my university) to create a four-page short story. And I’ve been staring at my introductory sentence for over two weeks now. Because I cannot think of anything that can be said within that page limit that could create tension and a solution and be memorable and exciting. Right now, I guess, I am just a little too inside my head. So now I ask my fellow community for a little insight:

What, according to you, is the most important element of a short story?

And how to go about it.

5 Replies to “A little writing insight, please.”

  1. Some editing advice I read was to imagine the whole scene, then come into it as late as possible and leave before it’s done. In other words, if someone is choking, don’t tell us about them making breakfast. Start with them choking. End with them dead or breathing again. For you, a lover of detail, it may be best to write it all out and then slash it bit by bit until you’re left with the 4 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I write short stories, I usually don’t worry about length in my first draft. I just tell the story the way I want to tell it and get it all down on the page. Then I really zero in on word count during the editing phase. Sometimes I even cut close to half my words! For me, it’s easier to trim the story once it’s written down than to try and plan ahead of time what to fit on each page.

    Liked by 1 person

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