Follow these simple suggestions and you will become a better short story writer overnight.
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The short story is a very old art form. You can find it in the holy books of all the major religions. If we include pictographs, short stories can be found on the walls of caves inhabited by ancient human beings. The short story is old. And it follows the same basic form: the beginning, the middle and the end. This form is one of the oldest in creative writing. Even non-fiction in creative writing has the same form. We just give it different names: argument, proof and the conclusion.
Since this article is about the short story which includes the flash fiction story, we will stick with the form of the short story. If we break down the short story into more of its elements we come up with the title, characters, storyline, conflict or tension, story development and the resolution of the conflict or tension.
Let’s break it down even more. We have the title, the protagonist, the desire of the protagonist, the obstacle or obstacles or antagonist standing in the way of the protagonist, the internal conflict or doubt of the protagonist, the ability of the protagonist to change, the believable resolution (which may or may not be a twist) which will mean failure or success on the part of the protagonist. Notice how much weight the protagonist has to carry. If your protagonist cannot carry this weight, your protagonist will be a flat character or maybe is the wrong character to be the protagonist. So, the first thing to do is to make sure that your protagonist can carry the weight of the story. If you do, you’re half way to writing better short stories and flash fiction overnight. Now, keeping in mind all these elements here is a suggestion list to improve your short fiction instantly.
Make sure the title will grab the reader’s attention.
The beginning should be as short as possible.
Make sure your protagonist can carry the weight of the story.
The middle of the story is where around 90% of the action should take place.
Make sure the ending resolves the story.