How To Write A Top Selling Short Story


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Writing a novel takes a lot of passion. It takes dedication. You have to spend long hours creating the right novel.  Write great novels. Use the right tone. Use the right characters. Don’t use too many characters. According to experts from short story submissions, writers should keep their introductions short. Create the right conflict. Use the following tips and tricks to write an excellent short story

Master The Rules

Novels are similar to short stories. They share common similarities. They should have common characters. For instance, both should be coherent, use the right spelling, as well as being grammatically correct.

They should tell a story. They should also have important elements. For instance, they should have an inciting incident, climax, falling action, as well as rising action. However, these two types of content differ in many ways.

In books, the novelists determine the length of the story. They can decide the length of the novel. On the other hand, writers are confined to a certain word limit. They should stick to that word limit. In story writing, the writer should edit his/her work to finer details.

Give Details Upfront

What’s your story all about? Let the reader understand where he/she is going. Give the reader details upfront to help them decide whether to continue reading or not. It’s all about making the plot obvious.


Short stories require a fast pace. Usually, the pace graduates as the story advances. It reaches the climax when the hero draws near to the final conflict. Remember, short stories should start close to their final conflicts. That’s why you should use a pace that catapults readers to action. The reader should be curious from the start of the story.

Use Fewer Characters

There is no point in using several characters in short stories. Keep the number small. This is essential when it comes to keeping track of these characters. Remember, there are three characters in short stories. They include the protagonist, antagonist, as well as relationship characters. Usually, readers want someone they can hate and cheer for. The reader also wants someone who can complete the character arc.

It’s important to note that a short story can feature one character. Thus, know how to include characters in your short story. Bring in the right characters.

Address The Needs Of The Reader

All short stories should have a protagonist. As a writer, it’s important to play with the reader’s mind. Create a connection between the reader and the story’s protagonist. Creating this strong relationship breeds passion. This gives the character more determination. It swings the character into action. Also, inject some weaknesses into your character.  Work on the character’s psyche to make things look real and intense. This will automatically draw readers into your short story.

Create A Conflict

A good story should have a conflict. A conflict makes a story interesting. It keeps readers glued to the story. It creates that urge to get to the bottom of the story. However, this doesn’t mean creating several points of conflict. You only need one point of conflict.

Ensure that the character comes with a dilemma, revelation, or an important decision to make. Make sure the conflict is surrounded by tension. Use conflict, tension, and sad moments to keep your readers glued to your story. No reader will want to waste a story with no conflict. Thus, create that perfect conflict first.

Be a sadist. Ensure that bad things are happening to the main character. Ensure that there is a lot of tension in your short story. This will prompt readers to spend more time on your short story.

Get Rid Of Extraneous Words, Sentences

Fleshing out a backstory of the character is not a prudent idea. Plus, you don’t have the luxury to do it. Thus, consider leaving it out. Make sure every sentence or statement counts. Expunge words you deem extraneous.

Use your words wisely. Be economical with your words. To write the best story, understand your main character’s main motivating factor. Use a tight dialogue to draw your readers. Use tension to bring them in. Engage all their senses.

Think About The Reader’s Five Senses

Engage your readers. Prompt them to use all five senses. It’s not all about the visual aspect. Let them touch and smell. You should taste and even hear. Stories should be shown, not told. Allow the readers to get into the story. They should explore your story. Embrace creativity to include all the five senses in your story.

Use Dialogue To Inject Life Into Your Story

Short stories, as the name suggests, should end quickly. Thus, a lot of time shouldn’t be spent on setting different scenes. Embrace creative dialogue to inject more life you’re your characters.

Keep your characters busy. For instance, they can tidy the compound. However, your main focus should be on dialogue. Ensure that your conflict is set up perfectly. It should create drama in your short story. Ensure that the conflict evokes the emotion of the reader.

Edit Thoroughly

Edit your work. Edit until you feel it. Remember, all writers—including those considered advanced—make mistakes. Thus, edit your book thoroughly. Edit each line. Go from one paragraph to the next. Be ruthless with your editing. If you can, consider combining characters. Do away with transitory scenes. The trick is in showing and not telling.

Remove repetitive words from your content. Consider tossing out those unnecessary adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. Every word should count. Every sentence should fight for its space in your content.

In summary, consider limiting the plot lines. The number of your book’s characters should be limited and kept low. Use one conflict. Too many conflicts will confuse the reader. Practice more. Write regularly.

The Bottom-Line

Write an excellent novel. A good novel will sell. Thus, work on the plot. Don’t make grammatical errors. Use characters wisely. Use a fast pace to spice up your short story. Consider appealing to all the five senses. Edit and edit your short story. Spend time working on the introduction. Use the above tips and tricks to write that perfect short story.