How to write an effective short story

Given that I’ve been writing short stories for a while now and  I’ve run classes of short tale writing every now and again, this post seemed to be a natural evolution of my path.
So here you are a list of ready-made pieces of advice to follow- if you like it- through your writing process.
Before starting just a little note about the title of my post. I’ve decided not to name it “How to write a beautiful short story” because what I concern myself most here with is not the Beauty -which is about the Aesthetic- but making a tale work, which has much to do with a teacher such as me.
Doing justice to our original ideas, exactly like we’ve pictured it in our head is my aim.
I hope it’s going to be supportive!

1- Write a two-three line presentation of the idea behind your tale (for exemple: “Thanks to a new coat, an ordinary man earns the respect of the others, but it’s only an illusion” it’s the idea behind the novel entitled The coat by Nikolaj Gogol)
2- Choose ahead the storytelling standpoint – is it written in the style of first-person or third-person?- it is going to exert a substancial influence on register. If you choose a first-person narrative, for example, it will be necessary to mantain a coherence between the narrator’s register in the narration and the one in the dialogues. the same is for the possession of facts and circumstances which are out of the narrator’s reach, so impossible to be told in first-person narration – contrary of in case of third-person narration-.
3-  Set the number of the characters in your tale. Don’t let them be more than four, or the story is going to take off instead of landing on a precise ‘fullstop’.
4-Drop down  the outline of your story at once. Choose the style/identity of your story and the image you want the reader to have of it.
5- Develop your story adding “the meat”. When you feel it’s enough – and you will, believe me- and you don’t want to turn it into a novel, edit discardin what you consider unnecessary for your readers.
6-Read it again and again, edit it again and again and then…read it again and again! In a tale every single word outweights the world, every false note sounds like scraping a plate. No repetitions, no useless explanations, be accurate when using punctuation.
7- Read it aloud and hear how it sounds: has it got “the” rythm?
8- Now ask yourself whether you’ve stayed true to your original idea, whether what you’ve written is what you meant, whether you are satisfied.
If the answers to these questions are “yes”, congratulations dude! Great job!
If even one of the three questions is “no”, it means something hasn’t  worked.
 My advice? Start over!


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