Fresh Perspectives on Short Stories

Holbrook Boy by Dan Foy some rights reserved

Have a friend read your story to you!

Just as it helps to read your story out loud, hearing it spoken by another will give you a new frame of reference.  You’ll hear what parts of your story are developed the clearest, what needs cleaning up and what can be edited out.   You’ll start to feel the pace of your short story  when you follow this exercise.

A good tool to have on hand when having someone read your story to you would be your outline. As you listen, take notes. Heard in the voice of another, do the words you wrote cover the impact or emotion that you were looking for?  You might even pick up new twists to the story, remember details you have to add, or identify gaps.

If you are not ready to have it read out loud, record yourself reading it.  You will be surprised what ideas come out of your mouth that never came out of your fingers when working on your story.

Rework the opening and closing of each story segment.

As writers, we often get lost in the details. As an editor, nothing makes a greater impact on a short story that a clean concise ending. The beginning and ending of each segment should be as strong as the beginning and conclusion of the entire story.  For a tighter story, you can look at the end and opening of each paragraph. Look to adjust the weight of each sentence so it has more impact.

Final Thoughts.

A short story can be both  difficult and challenging. It’s goal is to impact the reader in a format is economical in both words and time.  It is the voice of its author, but when done correctly becomes the prized possession of its reader. As these two are distinct, perhaps introducing a new voice to your creative process will allow you as an author of a short story to achieve this lofty goal.




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