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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How to create suspense in a very short story?

I wrote a short story (900-1000 words) about a character presenting some election process and at the end, we learn that The problem that I have is that the suspense in that story lasts about as ...
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3k 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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291 views

Do flashbacks break up short stories too much?

Recently, I wrote a short story that contains a flashback in the middle that was used to explain a major plot point in the story. Does a significant scene set as a flashback break up the flow of a ...
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575 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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1answer
79 views

How detailed should the description of the POV character be?

I have close to no experience of writing, but I have an idea that I would like to make into a short story (if for nothing else, for the sake of the exercise). It is a fantasy story seen from one of ...
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1answer
90 views

Is there a “literary Olympus” in the current publishing landscape?

A biography of J. D. Salinger describes his eventually successful efforts to publish his short stories in The New Yorker, which is described as a literature Olympus of that time. In today's ...
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334 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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100 views

Is there a way to add discovery into a short story?

I'm planning on writing a short story and I'm just wondering if it'd be possible to add an element of discovery into it. I think it'd be interesting if the reader would be able to learn things about ...
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77 views

Recommendations for reputable writing critique site for non-native English speaker?

I am non-native English speaker, living in US for 25 years. I have a long professional career, and, therefore, I am pretty comfortable with my business writing skills. However, about a year ago, I ...
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167 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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315 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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2answers
271 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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710 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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450 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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120 views

Does the protagonist need a name?

Does the main character in a short story need a name? My story gives lots of other details about the character.
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107 views

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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177 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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430 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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240 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 place...(...
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120 views

How do I tell my short story?

Based on this outline, I'm not sure how to to best re-tell this story. In particular, I'm not sure if I should tell the story as a first person "narrator," or in the third person? What are the ...
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103 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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1answer
98 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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274 views

When to start a new paragraph and when to start a new “scene”

This is an extract of a short story I'm writing. Sometimes I get confused about when to start a new paragraph and when to start a new "scene." So I would like to know if I'm doing it properly here (...
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745 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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181 views

Websites for free feedback on stories?

Is there any website or anything where we can get feedback from online readers(without paying membership or anything of the sort) for stories and other writes that are not quite finished, but are ...
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243 views

Magazines taking submissions for short stories?

Does anyone have or know of a list of magazines (print or online) accepting submissions for short stories? It would be nice if it could be broken out by genre and payment rates (if applicable).
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268 views

Any techniques to make the reader feel sad and very sorrowful?

Are there any techniques which writers can use to really touch the character, and make them feel really emotional because of your writing? I'm trying to improve a dystopian piece of writing. I stood ...
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315 views

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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1k 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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99 views

Need A Way To Avoid Excessive Use Of Subject When Refering To Character

I'm writing a short story, and need to avoid excessive use of a subject. Using he, his, or the man will get very repetitive over time since the character has no name. I'm hoping to find some way to ...
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1answer
94 views

Should I have some restraint when submitting to the more prestigious journals?

I'm an amateur writer who's never been published. I think my stuff is good, I've had others tell me it's good, but I truly don't know where I stand. I love the fiction that get published in popular ...
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222 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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545 views

The Yellow Wallpaper - What does *Smooch* imply? [closed]

I was reading a brilliant piece of Feminist Literature : The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and had the following specific doubt : The author , multiple times , uses the word Smooch ...
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135 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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41 views

In a short story, how long is “too long”?

I understand this can and probably will be shut down for many reasons, but how long is too long for a short story? I want to write a short story, but tend to write novels if I write anything (Even ...
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67 views

Lots of confusion over which story to write

I'm Chetan. I won't say I'm a good writer, but I'm on the journey of becoming one. Okay here's the problem: I have a story in my mind and I really want to write it. But, I'm thinking of starting with ...
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276 views

Writing a short story with a secret code

I want to write a fictional short story where part 2 is embedded in part 1. Has anyone heard of this or tried this? Any ideas of resources would be greatly appreciated. Edited for Clarity: Imagine ...
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137 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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42 views

One-page tales: what i have to spit out and what is indispensable?

I've undertaken to write a book with 50 tales, one per page. It is hard going, because the stories keep coming out too long. How can i "filter" the job, or extract short ideas and work?
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63 views

How do you know if your writing can become a story

Hope this is the right forum to be asking a question! I have been writing every since I can remember, my stories, writings, letters, poems, lessons and emotions where captured from as young as 14, I ...
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287 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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197 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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94 views

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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202 views

Is the ambiguity in my story the salt which makes it tasty or just plain frustrating?

Because this story is quite ambiguous in relation to the setting and also the main character's gender, I have been wondering whether this is frustrating for the reader or whether it provides a good ...
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1answer
172 views

Starting Out - Plot + Charaters by Documentaries [closed]

I gues I could say I am decently good at writing, for someone who doesn't write much besides English 101/102 classes. I have a couple questions, which may proceed some background information to why ...
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198 views

Resources for writers: websites for posting stories and poetry [duplicate]

I was asked if I could suggest a website (in English) where one can create a profile and post short-stories, poetry, or other pieces of literary work in an "informal" way. Additionally, such website ...
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118 views

The president, the nickel and the dime [closed]

Not sure if this is on topic here: I remember back when I was a kid, I read a story about a US president. When he was a kid, he was stupid and fooled by people. They often gave him a choice of a ...
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199 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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590 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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192 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 ...