Writing short stories means beginning as close to the climax as possible — everything else is a distraction. A novel can take a more meandering path, but should still start with a scene that sets the tone for the whole book.
A short story conserves characters and scenes, typically by focusing on just one conflict, and drives towards a sudden, unexpected revelation. Go easy on the exposition and talky backstory — your reader doesn’t need to know everything that you know about your characters.
- Get Started: Emergency Tips
- Write a Catchy First Paragraph
- Develop Your Characters
- Choose a Point of View
- Write Meaningful Dialogue
- Use Setting and Context
- Set up the Plot
- Create Conflict and Tension
- Build to a Crisis or a Climax
- Deliver a Resolution