Keeping a short story short.

So I’ve been writing a short story for my Project 2. Immediately as I got going I started to realize how hard it would be to keep the story short, and not give up any of the content that I want. So far, I have written a section from the point of view of just one of my characters, and I was surprised at how little of the story I was able to bring forward. However, the upside to this is the fact that I have been able to develop the character a good amount already.

My other question that has stuck in my head is the way I have the events coming up in my story. So far for my first character Ed, I have used a staggered delivery. For example, it starts introducing a man with lung cancer, and says it has been 2 months since his diagnosis. From that sentence I go back in time to the doctor’s visit, and have that dialogue. Right after that I bring the character back to the current situation. Shortly after this he goes back in reminiscence of the first cigarette that he ever smoked. Within this memory I jump around a little bit too. It makes sense to me, and I think it’s easy enough to follow, but it could be an issue to actual readers.

Other than these though, the project is coming along. Fortunately, I have a pretty good plan of how I want to write the story, and the direction it is going.

One thought to “Keeping a short story short.”

  1. Anthony,
    This seems like a really cool short story! I understand the concern with keeping it “short.” Maybe do some research on general lengths of short stories? I’m thinking some may be a little longer than you imagine and still fit into the short story category. I dont think you will have to forgo desired content in order to stay true to the category. Regarding the order of events brought forth in your section about Ed, I think jumping around in time is often very effective. Make sure to be extremely clear about what is going on (i.e. give adequate clues to the time jump) as to not confuse the reader. Besides that, I would maybe focus a little more on how you are going to transition between characters and integrate them all into one fluid short story. I’m looking forward to seeing the end results!
    -Will

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