Short-stories A short-story is easy to write if you:
Have only one or two main characters. It's a short story and you don't have time for any more.
Use people's words and actions as much as possible. Don't try to give lots of background information - let the reader use their own imagination. Remember - creative writing means creative reading too!
Make your characters and plot realistic. How do people really speak and act? Remember, most writers base some of their characters on people they actually know, so who can you use to improve your story? Would your granny make a good secret agent or your uncle a confident contract killer?
Get straight to the point. Don't worry about long openings or lots of detail. Instead, launch right in, hopefully in the middle of some action, like in the example below.Steve held on to the tuft of grass and slowly looked down - he was too shocked to speak. One moment he had been strolling along the cliff with Vicki, the next he was hanging over the edge. And where was Vicki?
You will also have to decide whether to write in the first person (using "I"), or in the third person (typically, using "he", "she" and "they"). Using "I" makes it easier to write about thoughts and feelings, but using "he", "she" and "they" lets you move from person to person, or from place to place. You can choose whichever you feel happiest with. For instance, we can swap the opening of the story into the first person, like this:I held on to the tuft of grass and slowly looked down - I was too shocked to speak. One moment I had been strolling along the cliff with Vicki, the next I was hanging over the edge. And where was Vicki?The only thing you shouldn't do is swap the person - don’t start with "I" and then switch to "he", or you'll spoil the story.
Ending short-stories The other problem some writers have is ending the story. It doesn't matter if it's a happy ending or not, but it has to make sense. There are lots of ways of ending, such as:
The cliff hanger, where we have to wait until the final moment until we know. For instance, the spy who manages to stop the bomb two seconds before it explodes.
The twist, where we are fairly sure about something, but in the final part everything changes. For example, we then learn that this is a fake bomb, and the real one is hidden somewhere else and will explode in five minutes.
The unfinished ending, where the story stops, but we aren't sure what has actually happened at the end. For instance, the bomb is defused and everyone is safe. But then an army commander reports the theft of another bomb... only this time twice as powerful.
However, there are two endings to avoid:
The trick ending, where a bomb will inevitably explode and as it does, the narrator wakes up - it was all a dream. Some English teachers don't mind this sort of thing, but others hate it. You have been warned.
The disconnected ending, where the secret agent suddenly stops worrying about the bomb, retires, and goes off to play golf. This is even worse, and no-one likes it because the ending has nothing to do with the story.
Whatever kind of story you write, decide on your ending and include it in your plan. So remember... Writing that explores, imagines or entertains depends on being creative. You need to experiment a little and not be frightened to try something new.AND MAKE SURE YOU USE PARAGRAPHS!