HINT ONE: Begin by ‘writing’ your story in one sentence of fewer than 30 words. The subject will usually suggest the main character(s). The predicate will give rise to the action – what will be going on. The object will dictate the story line. When you go back and add a few crucial adjectives and adverbs you see the story blossom before your eyes. Writing the short story is then mostly just a matter of expanding on what you have there.
HINT TWO: When asking any successful author how to write a short story he will very likely suggest that the number of characters be kept to a minimum. If a character isn’t absolutely necessary to the telling of the story, omit it.
HINT THREE: When writing the short story the author has little room for character development. One way to minimize the problem is to select a series of definitive adjectives. Example: “Although for decades Mildred had been a well known old lady in the small hill town of Jasper, she presented herself as an energetic, kind, and ever helpful, smiling presence when she moved into the retirement home.” Not much else will need to be said. In a book, the reader would learn those things by wading through many pages (or even chapters) of examples from which those traits would be extrapolated.
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