In studying the short story, I found this to be very true. This is the challenge. I am a novice, but I took notes.
Be obscure clearly. ~E.B. White
- Have a clear theme
- Begin as close to the conclusion as possible
- Grab the reader from the first line
- conserve characters and scene... one problem, one drive
You may have less than 5000 words to make your character beloved, or hated, the conflict mean something to the reader, and a resolution that resonates. Yikes.Your job, as a writer of short fiction--whatever your beliefs--is to put complex personalities on stage and let them strut and fret their brief hour. Perhaps the sound and fury they make will signify something that has more than passing value--that will, in Chekhov's words, "make [man] see what he is like." -Rick Demarnus
As one who tends to drag out my endings because I just... can't... let... my story... go... (and so my editors ask me to chop them off) I found this advice very encouraging:
In short fiction, it is difficult to provide a complete resolution and you often need to just show that characters are beginning to change in some way or starting to see things differently.I understood that. I could envision it with my idea.
Accepting a short story challenge was exciting to me. I still prefer the novel, the juicy details and telling dialogue. But I really liked the 'get to it' feeling of writing the short story. As with anything new you put out in front of others, I am nervous about feedback. But I enjoyed what I learned. I'll try to remember that after the critique.