Personally, I feel there is no set formula for writing a short story. If it’s too technical it kind of loses its soul. Nevertheless, a short story finds its soul when there are a few things that must be kept in mind when 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:
a. Round up a basic idea for your story.
b. Research about the genre you are writing.
c. Write the basic plotline without editing.
d. Establish a voice for the story and the characters.
e. Break up the plot into scenes if required for an easy read.
Find your own writing style:
a. The first rule is the more you READ the clearer you will write.
b. Regardless, find a voice that is unique in your own way. Emulating another writer may not always work for you.
c. It is more important to pen your thoughts that flow easily than it is to get them perfect, the first time (Write, pause-if you must, keep writing, repeat.)
d. Plagiarism is theft but being inspired by ideas and creativity is a plus.(Work on your expression, even if it has been said before)
e. Believe. Be confident in your voice and that would come through to the reader.
Choose the title that draws attention:
a. Your story probably has the title hidden in one of the key words.
b. Write down the first few words that come to your mind when thinking about your story.
c. The title must sync with the genre of the story.
d. Make it easy to remember with strong, vivid words.
e. If not already done, draw the reference of your title more than once in the story for longlasting recall.
Polish your prose:
a. Identify the heart of your story. Any deviation will alienate the reader’s attention from the core message.
b. Experiment with the story’s point of view. Narrate the storyline from the character that is central to your theme. They may not be your central charcater though, but vital to the ploy.
c. Dialogue and character setting, help the writer show the reader where the characters are. So working on those aspects keep the readers intrigued.
d. Distill your ideas. Know more about your characters than you put on the storyboard, so that you can write boldly and succinctly.
e. Keep it short. A short story must be crisp that can hold the attention of the reader. Resist the urge to go on and on.
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.
a. Revise your writing and look for the paragraph-level organization of your story.
b. Edit each sentence carefully to check the design of the narrative.
c. Proofread to check for grammatical and punctuation errors, spelling mistakes, etc. Proofing is the final stage of the writing process. (you can use online tools for this!)
d. Read your story aloud to yourself, as if you are reading for a friend, with expressions.
e. Before submission/publishing, re-read one last time. If not just for editing purposes but to simply appreciate your own work as well
Good luck!