Issues specific to writing short fiction. A short story is generally a work of fiction that's shorter than a novel.

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Story length and the term used

At what page number would a short story become a novella and at what point does a novella become a book manuscript? Is there a specific length that the story has to be to achieve to use those terms?
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Can I use general short stories to publish on my site, blog, etc.?

I want to post some short stories on my blog. But I am not sure about the copyrights of those stories. Because those stories were available in many places online. Can I publish them on my site or ...
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286 views

Main male character description

I've been asked to write a story as an assignment. It should have as the main male character an unusually smart, clever, insightful and thoughtful guy who is somewhat reserved and mysterious. The ...
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68 views

insecurity with a short story about mountains and love

This is printed on very nice paper. The letters are detailed, elegant and pitch black with slightly blurred edges. You can feel the ink soaking gently in the fibres, right after it was punched by ...
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5answers
92 views

Changing a story's title to hint at story's meaning

I wrote a short story here http://zecountess.deviantart.com/art/Mirrors-440990952 whose ending explains everything that is narrated before. The feedback I got from my readers is varied, and none of ...
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118 views

Multiple characters without names: how to address

First off, the answer might be pretty much obvious (that there is no clear way to distinguish these characters) but I would still very much like to have perspectives (and perhaps even get an answer). ...
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93 views

Hypothetical interview with Jesus Christ. Has to be deep? [closed]

I'm thinking on writing a short story of a non-religious person asking questions to an alternate version of Jesus. Do His answers must be of a deep meaning or could I just write anything as his word ...
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2answers
188 views

Evoking happiness in a very short story

Hemingway has the canonical very short story: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. This piece manages to evoke a strong emotion of sadness. Wired has a piece on this motif. In it there are several ...
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67 views

Location description

I have a question for a friend in prison who wants to write a book. He asked me to get him a BOOK that helps him describe locations. He knows he can ask me for help, but being in prison he cannot ...
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46 views

What editing can I expect for a translation of a previously-published story?

A friend of mine has published a short story in Hebrew, and I'm currently translating it into English, for submission to short fiction magazines. If accepted, will the editing process be any ...
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27 views

What information should I provide when submitting a translated, previously-published story?

A friend of mine has published a short story in Hebrew, and I'm currently translating it into English, for submission to short fiction magazines. Is any information about the original publication ...
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2answers
873 views

Multiple Point of View characters in a short story

I'm working on a short story (maximum of 6,000 words) and realized that I will need to have two point-of-view (POV) characters. Let's call them Greg and Jeff. This became necessary when I saw that ...
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91 views

Where should I go with this short story? [closed]

I've been working on this piece for about a week in a creative writing workshop. We need to wrap up our current stories at a minimum of six pages to a maximum of eight pages. I've always had a tough ...
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441 views

A* paragraph on narrative writing and descriptive writing [closed]

I am preparing for an English exam and (although I'm not using your paragraph because I will be given my own title in the exam,) I would like to have an example of the 2 different types of paragraphs ...
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4answers
180 views

Cutting down the length of a short story

I'm writing a short story for an assignment at school - but I'm having trouble keep it short. I have a habit to go off on a tangent quite a bit, and this ends up making it a lot longer than it should ...
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5answers
356 views

How to make a debate/discussion between characters less dry?

I've asked questions in the past about dialogue and I've read some questions about balancing dialogue with plot, however I have discovered yet another corner case in my writing. In my story Cured, the ...
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2answers
160 views

What is the best marketing strategy for a novel and two short stories?

We are currently in the process of writing our debut novel which is set to be released some time next year. On top of this we are writing two short stories which I guess you could call an extended ...
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2k views

Is it permissible to write a short story with little or no dialogue?

We are writing a short story based on the antagonist in our novel, a sort of extended back story if you will. We are now three chapers in and still have not found the need to introduce any dialogue. ...
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242 views

How to shorten meandering dialogue?

My story Cured (which I've asked about before, but has undergone major revisions since then), has an extremely large section of dialogue that annoys my beta tester. I agree with her that it should be ...
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488 views

Changing narrators

Is it ever a good idea to change narrators in a short story? In one of my short stories, the narration starts in third person 'eye of god' mode. Then it moves to each character - there are only two ...
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150 views

Short story becomes too intense to pack into a few pages

I recently had an idea for a short story. As I began fleshing it out, even more ideas kept bumping my head and before I knew, the framework was too long for me to pass it off as a short story. ...
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101 views

Where to publish Edgar Allan Poe style fiction short story?

Does anyone know of any reputable literary magazines which publish this type of short story? I would prefer a magazine that takes free submissions.
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3answers
355 views

Can several related short-stories make a good base to write a novel?

I've been writing related short-stories for years, but around 10 months ago, I started to think about a novel based on these stories. The same universe, the same main characters but a longer story ...
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314 views

Does this passage break the rules of telling and not showing?

I wrote a story called Tempo, which I enjoy (this does not mean that it is good), but that has a chunk where the main character has an internal monologue. This is usually bad, but I can't tell how bad ...
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86 views

Would it be annoying for the reader if the all the scenes alternate between “present” and flashback?

I'm writing a short story with the following structure: B tells A she is gravely sick and wants to be alone (present) A talks about how he met B in a hospital (flashback) A talks with ...
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119 views

From short fiction to a novel

I write short stories. However, the more I research, the more I find that people prefer novels over short stories (irrespective of the quality of the work). This may be partly due to the pricing ...
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3answers
164 views

Does a character have to define himself to be engaging?

I have a short story named Cured (which asks the question "What if you could take a pill to increase your empathy?"), in which the main character (Tony) doesn't talk or show much about himself until ...
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175 views

Level of description in a story

I have often come across stories where the author has described a particular scene or action of a character in minute details. e.g. If a character has to open a door, the description is about how the ...
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150 views

Where could I get a sports fiction short story published?

I've found Stymie magazine, but are there any other magazines devoted primarily to sports themed fiction writing? I think my story stands on its own as it is more about the relationship between the ...
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88 views

Using “by” on the book cover

I have seen many books covers with the following format: [Title] by [name of author]. In other instances, the word 'by' is omitted. Is there any convention for using 'by' on the cover page of a ...
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384 views

Resources on Minimalist Style of Creative Writing

I recently found out (see here) that my writing style can be described as minimalist. I am fascinated by this 'revelation' because it has helped me understand why I write the way I do. (I have no ...
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164 views

How can I dig conflict out of an optimistic SF-nal premise?

I frequently have ideas for what could be called "optimistic" science-fiction premises - imaginary technological or social changes which I think would create an unusual and interesting setting, and ...
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2answers
90 views

Is it possible to publish stories with experimental spacing technique? (aka, blank pages, etc.)

I've got a few stories that employ experimental stylistics. The piece that is giving me the most trouble, though, is split up into five sections-- each section begins on its own page. It's hard to ...
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3answers
220 views

How to decide whether or not to accept publishing offer for short story?

I am an unpublished writer straight out of college. After graduation, I sent out a few stories to a handful of places-- no more than five or six. It is now about 1.5 months later and I just received a ...
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410 views

Techniques for creating variety in prose

When I write my short stories, I usually end up using a direct style as follows: Tim remembered the day he had to say goodbye to Cathy. He did not really have a choice. He had to let go of Cathy, ...
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222 views

How to become a productive/accomplished writer?

I prefer writing short stories. Over the years, I have learnt many essential skills that I employ in my work. I believe (and this is my personal assessment) that my stories are of good quality (i.e ...
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2k views

Do people read short stories?

I enjoy writing as a 'side' interest and I have written 10 short stories (which are approximately 1,750 words each). I am publishing them as standalone ebooks (or 'estories' if there is such a term) ...
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250 views

What are the common editing requirements for a short story in an anthology?

What kind of responses will come back from an editor after a short story is accepted in an anthology? Specifically, is it common for a writer to hear that an accepted story has potential but needs ...
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Need Help Understanding the Meaning of Certain Topics in a Writing Contest [closed]

I wish to write an entry for a writing contest. The contest requires a piece of 2,000 words, and gives the following four themes or topics that I may choose to write on. But because English is not my ...
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368 views

Are my metaphors/similes effective?

I'm editing a short story I wrote I while ago. And the first thing I wanted to do was to add similes/metaphors to it (OK, maybe just similes). The story is about a girl who fails to feel an ...
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274 views

What factors to consider when choosing an e-book platform?

Some students that I mentor have written a number of short stories that they want to publish now. I am totally new in this area. I did preliminary research which indicates that there are now a ...
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127 views

Critique: Make excerpt more visual/flow better

I have this excerpt I'm not sure is fluid and visual enough: Peter came out of the café rubbing his tummy. The chipmunk had a smile on the face and seemed content. Not too far behind him ...
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217 views

Hooking the reader by omitting a piece of information

I'm writing a short story. I decided to opening it in the following way: We were in Y, doing Z when she mentioned X. I wasn't sure whether she had misheard X's name or had gotten the wrong ...
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222 views

Writing from the middle

My biggest problem as a writer is that I always get inspired and then start writing from the middle, in particular scenes or moments which I think will be crucial. Climaxes. These scenes turn out ...
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466 views

What work better for the following piece of writing? Past or present tense?

I'm writing a short story but I'm not sure whether to write it in the past or the present tense. This is the opening paragraph: Sophia was awakened by the rattling sound of her washing machine. ...
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Are the web audience who love microblogging and the book audience who love long stories different?

In my experience readers on-line prefer summarized news and condensed stories a separate audience for traditional books love long stories. It seems we now reached the point where we write in ...
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1k views

How many short stories make a collection

I would like to know, from someone who has marketed a collection of short stories (or is otherwise knowledgeable in these affairs), about how many short stories a publisher is looking for to ...
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4answers
162 views

Should it be a Short Story or Full Story

I asked Three questions in another question. To break it up, I am going to ask one which I still would like more feedback on. NOTE: I was told to break it up by the moderator who closed it. Although ...
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780 views

Does this opening paragraph grab your attention? (very normal setting)

This is the beginning of a short story I'm writing: Jun was standing motionless at entrance of the 7-eleven. He was staring down, searching for something in his memory as students picked their ...
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Poem in a short story? [closed]

So I need to write a short story for my university writing portfolio and I was wondering if I could put a poem in it or would that be inappropriate for a short story? And are there any short stories ...