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 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I am an unpublished writer straight out of college.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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3answers
167 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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2answers
236 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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5answers
227 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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3answers
582 views

How do I stick to one story?

I have been writing bits and pieces for quite a while now. I just can't ever follow through. I have written tons of poems (close to 50) but the only reason they have been possible is because I can ...
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2answers
95 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
72 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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3answers
407 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
416 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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3answers
214 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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1answer
2k 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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1answer
232 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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1answer
63 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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4answers
311 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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2answers
65 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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2answers
141 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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1answer
65 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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2answers
95 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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2answers
87 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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3answers
131 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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1answer
170 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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2answers
169 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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1answer
88 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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1answer
178 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
146 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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2answers
69 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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45 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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120 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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0answers
491 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
170 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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3answers
495 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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2answers
124 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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1answer
92 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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1answer
73 views

Do I need to copyright a short story before I send it?

If I attempt to publish a short story in a magazine, can there be an issue of copywriting? Do I need to somehow "insure" my work before I send it? And if so, how?
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113 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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3answers
128 views

Should the opening of a short story mirror the ending?

When I was in school, my English teacher told me that a short story's beginning should mirror its ending, or at least the conclusion should in some way parallel the starting point of the story; but I ...
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1answer
132 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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1answer
402 views

How to write a short story? [closed]

I am working on a computer game right now. Therefore i need a story. First of all I want to write down the plot as a short story as the game has an emphasis on story telling! So I want to check out ...
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1answer
176 views

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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1answer
142 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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1answer
116 views

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 ...