I’m sitting here on the couch staring at my laptop wishing I could write something GOOD. Weather and such has been screwing with me and my brain is – here but not. (Also on Benadryl at the moment.) Long story short I did some googling. Specifically, I searched “How to write a short story” on Google. (Technically googling isn’t a thing, but whatever. Or has Google given up on that?)
I ended up reading through three very different pages about different opinions on how to write a good short story. The one on io9.com was the most fun to read and definitely the most interesting. The article on Huff’Post was useful because it made suggestions about keeping the story under 3500 words. The third one was on about.com and probably the most conflicting because it tells the writer to follow conventional story structure but still to know when to break the rules.
All together, these articles suggest to a potential writer to make sure every word and sentence means something and provides something to the reader – whether that be plot, setting, or character information. I probably liked the advice from the article on io9.com the most in that it also warned the writer against using that cool thing that gave them the story idea as the plot. I’ve come up with cool ideas and it’s hard to remember those cool ideas aren’t the plot. It’s just the gimmick that makes the story interesting and different. The ring is the gimmick, the walk to Mordor is the plot!