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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The president, the nickel and the dime [on hold]

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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7answers
439 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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1answer
93 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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2answers
112 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
41 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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8answers
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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5answers
95 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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5answers
219 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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2answers
251 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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1answer
808 views

How to effectively jump from one period of time to another in a short story?

This is the first time I'm writing something that jumps from one period of time to another in a short story: The field was vast and empty, like a green abandoned planet. Icaro and Maru were ...
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2answers
121 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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1answer
102 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
199 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
12k views

How does one go about publishing erotica, and how far is too far?

I write erotica, it started out as an amusement to see how far I could go, but it became a real passion after three or four stories. I have even published a few online and those stories have become ...
5
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1answer
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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1answer
29 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 ...
2
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1answer
68 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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4answers
1k views

What are some good instruction manuals for writing short stories?

I'm looking to learn how to write good short stories, what are some good instruction manuals I should use to learn from?
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5answers
368 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
890 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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0answers
107 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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2answers
161 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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0answers
443 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
351 views

When to accept an editor's rewrite request?

So there's an editor who has accepted a story of mine for publication... but he wants me to change the ending. Normally I'm pretty open to editorial changes, but in this case the proposed changes ...
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4answers
193 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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1answer
153 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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7answers
316 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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3answers
1k views

What should be in a cover letter for short story submission to a magazine?

It's been about five years since I last submitted any of my work for publication, and my memory of what I was taught then to put in my cover letter is getting rusty. What kind of information should ...
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2answers
246 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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2answers
511 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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3answers
358 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
103 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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1answer
151 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
88 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
120 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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7answers
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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6answers
166 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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5answers
425 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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1answer
90 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
386 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
227 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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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
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 ...
2
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2answers
161 views

Is it a bad idea to turn a short story into a full-length novel?

I've written a couple of short stories. I'm really satisfied with some of them, and I would like to turn them into full-length novels. They were meant to be short stories from the beginning, but I ...
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3answers
231 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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2answers
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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1answer
160 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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3answers
377 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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1answer
287 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 ...