3 Tips on Writing Short Stories—
Writing short stories is like riding a bike. Part of it can be taught, while the rest is just something a person picks up along the way. Like a lot of things, however, it’s important to remember that developing a child’s writing abilities requires practice.
A student’s level of creativity won’t matter if he or she doesn’t know how to express those creative ideas on paper. Likewise, an inexperienced writer doesn’t know how to avoid mistakes, create interest or inspire certain emotions in his or her readers. So when teaching young students how to write good short stories, it’s important to emphasize certain concepts and techniques as they practice their writing skills.
Writing Short Stories Tip #1: Simplicity
First of all, let’s remember that a short story is meant to be short. It should have only one setting, a limited number of characters and a straightforward plot. Moreover, a good short story also needs to say a lot of things using a limited number of words.
Unfortunately, many young and inexperienced writers will attempt to include too many elements at the start of their stories. This is a mistake because the more characters and elements you have at the start of a particular story, the more difficult it will be to finish writing that story later on. Therefore, when teaching young writers how to write a good short story be sure to emphasize the virtue of simplicity.
Tip #2: Explaining the Story’s Background
One of the most difficult challenges of writing a short story is that you won’t be able to build up the background of the characters and the plot. As this is the case, it’s important to teach your students how to explain a particular character’s background, motivations or history using a limited number of words.
To do this, it’s important to emphasize what’s relevant and meaningful to the story. The student should also be reminded of the overall theme and plot of the story, so as to avoid making any unnecessary subplots that will not benefit the story.
It’s also worth pointing out that a young writer might be tempted to write jokes, make political commentaries or add some dramatic scenes to the story. Although there’s nothing wrong with these literary tools, they should only be added if they serve the overall story. Otherwise, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
It’s important for teachers, parents, and educators to remember that there are plenty of techniques and styles for writing short stories. The general style of writing a short story usually involves writing in the third or first person, explaining or narrating a particular event or story.
However, there are many other techniques for writing a short story. For example, you can encourage the student or child to write a short story in the form of letters between the different characters. Likewise, the child should experiment with writing a short story from the first, second and third person point of view. And if the student likes a particular author, try to encourage him or her to imitate that author’s writing style for certain stories, just to see if he or she is comfortable with it.
Experimenting with different writing styles. will help them find a writing style that they are comfortable with. Once that’s done, the student will have an easier time practice writing short stories.
Until next time, write on…