9 Tips for Writing Better Short Stories

Check out this post from Alison Maruska’s blog with 9 tips for writing a short story.

Allison Maruska

In April, I was a judge for two writing contests – Dan Alatorre’s Word Weaver contest and Ryan Lanz’s short story contest. I was honored to be asked to fill the role once, let alone twice. And while I enjoyed judging great stories, I also learned a few things about how to make short stories better because some patterns emerged.

These tips can be applied to any short story, but I would pay closer attention to them if I were entering a story in a contest. Simply put, stories that didn’t do these things didn’t stand out as the best, at least not to me.

So, let’s get cracking.

Tip 1: Put the character IN the story

Repeat after me: action > reflection.

This means characters should do something, not just stand around/lie around/look in a mirror and reflect on their lives. I saw more than a few…

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