If you’re working on a new short story, or dusting off an old one, some of these pointers might help.
- A good title can set the scene, pose a question, create a riddle . . .
- Take the reader straight into your story with an attention-grabbing first paragraph.
- Get the plot right – every story needs a clear beginning, middle and end.
- Choose your pace, and stick to it. Every sentence should drive the story forward.
- Your ending should take the reader straight back into the story.
- Show not tell. Descriptions should always leave space for the reader’s imagination, so be sparing with the adjectives.
- Make sure your characters are authentic. You need to know them inside out, how they think and how they speak.
- Is the dialogue realistic? The best test is to try reading out loud.
- Be prepared to edit and re-edit. Read your story through, then read it again and again.
- Believe in yourself. You’ve done the work and now it’s time to get that story out to its readers.
To enter the next WriteTime short story competition see here.