Qualities of a Good Short Story

Post » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:06 pm

I am beginning to write for profit and I am seeking thoughts on what makes a good short story.
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MARLON JOHNSON
 
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Post » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:12 am

A good short story has elements which leave the reader thinking about the story for a longer time than which they read it.
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Peter P Canning
 
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Post » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:47 pm

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/shortstory/ is a really good overview on short stories and the elements of one.

In general, having a meaningful conflict in the context of your character's the most important thing IMO though, whether it be with themselves, others, etc.
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butterfly
 
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Post » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:03 pm

Be concise. This doesn't necessarily mean your writing has to be dry and lack description (I'd actually rather see purple prose in a short story than a novel, since it's over quick). This means you need to make every sentence, sometimes even every word count. Even if it doesn't move the story forward, make it interesting. Creative description, word play, varied sentence structure. You don't want any fluff in a short story. You don't want it in anything but a report with a page requirement really, but it's especially vital to make everything matter when you only have ten (or however many) pages to say it.

Write your story. Read through it. Read every sentence out loud, and ask yourself "Is this needed?" "Can I rephrase this?"
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OTTO
 
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Post » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:16 pm

six. Lots and lots of six.
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Lily
 
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Post » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:41 pm

Lots of mystery usually. Since you don't have time to explain as much in a larger novel.
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Danger Mouse
 
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Post » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:48 am

Wrap it up with a nice little twist or better yet fridge horror.
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Killer McCracken
 
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Post » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:26 am

http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative1/shortstory/ is a really good overview on short stories and the elements of one.

In general, having a meaningful conflict in the context of your character's the most important thing IMO though, whether it be with themselves, others, etc.

It's really great if your protagonist has a conflict that at first seems to be with another person, but ends up being with him or herself in actuality. I find that a personal conflict (man vs. self) tends to produce a much more intimate story that resonates with a broader audience.
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Dean
 
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