Short Story Writing , Five Useful Websites

Five people gazing out to see, illustration for blog post: ShortStory Writing, five useful websites

Short Story Writing

Generally speaking, a short story is a piece of fiction under approx. 5.000 words in length. Is it just a shorter version of a novel? Not really, short stories actually have more in common with the genre of poetry. You are taking a specific character/event/emotion and focusing in on it like a magnet.

“To see the world in a grain of sand” William Blake

It’s like concentrating on one photograph on someone’s Facebook, rather than their whole timeline…But, of course, that photograph would need to have something unique or intriguing about it. And, of course, create a strong emotional response. That, to me, is the most important element of short story writing.


Five Useful Websites

I had a good look online and found some really helpful sites for developing short story writing skills. Here are five of them:

  1. now novel

This website gives a great overview of the difference between novel and short story writing. It also covers several key elements of the short story, like the importance of a strong beginning and ending and how to build up the tension.

2. Jerry Jenkins

Again, clarifies the meaning of the term short story and gives some great tips on writing in this genre. I loved his advice on how to make every word mean something.

3. Writers and Artists

This article by Eliza Robertson emphasises the importance of reading in your chosen genre of writing. If you want to write short stories you need to be reading them. It also offers interesting ideas for getting inspired, like asking unusual questions about your character.

4. Writers Write

A really concise explanation of the short story and how to approach this genre. Talks about the importance of zooming in on your theme, using dialogue, symbolism etc.

5.The Writing Practice

For those of you who like practical step lists, this article by Joe Bunting is excellent. Remember though, it’s just a guideline and may not suit everyone.


Delighted that I’ve achieved another January Target…Where would I be without them, they are great for focusing the mind.

The photograph is my own, shot at Strandhill, Sligo.


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