My Short Story Writing Process

When it comes to writing, we all have our routines and special ways of doing things. Writing short stories is no different. I go about writing a novel a certain way and when it comes to writing short stories, I have a slightly different approach.

My Short Story Writing Process | Creative Writing | Writing | Short Story Writing | Writing Short Stories | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

The Idea

Ideas are all around us, but when it comes to writing short stories I tend to go along with certain writing prompts – some I get from the Internet and others I come up with on my own. When I write a novel, I typically outline it before I begin writing the first draft. When I write short stories, I just come up with the idea and roll with it. I like to see where the words and characters take me.

The First Draft

When it comes to writing a novel, I can’t write the first draft or any draft in one sitting. With short stories, I write the first draft in one sitting. There are times when I need to stop in the middle of the draft, but I prefer to sit down and bang out all the words at once. My short stories are typically under 10,000 words and I can usually write about 2,000 words in one hour. If I can get all my ideas out at once, that’s what I aim for.

Editing

Once I finish the first draft, I let it rest for a day or two. Then I jump into the editing. Depending on the length of the short story, the editing doesn’t typically take me too long. I usually edit a draft or two before I decide it’s ready to either go on the blog, send to me Patrons on Patreon, or possibly submit someplace.

All Done

That’s pretty much to it. It’s more or less the same as when I write a novel or novella, but the process is shorter. I find it easier to work with short stories because I’m able to write them in one sitting and I can let my mind focus on it for a while.

What’s your short story writing process look like? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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17 thoughts on “My Short Story Writing Process

  1. You nailed the idea of writing a short story. I’ve always felt the less time the better. The writer needs to get it out of their head. They need to let it rest for a day and then go back and smooth it out.

    Your ideas will help a lot of people who are new to this.

  2. I follow your process pretty closely. Though sometimes I pre-write a short story. By that I mean I work out what happens in my head before I sit down to write. I might have a basic plot, or a character arc, or a message I want to explore in the piece. Most of the time it is raw brain to keyboard process and clean up happens in the editing process. Thanks for sharing.

    • That makes sense. I’ve tried to outline a short story or two before. It doesn’t come as easily as outlining my novels, but I do like to keep a list of what events I want to happen. Then again, most short stories I write are raw, like you said.

        • I know what you mean. The challenge is good, definitely. A lot of my short stories end open-endly. I’m not sure if that’s considered “good” or not. I don’t know if that’s just my writing style or if I’m writing incomplete stories and calling them shorts, lol. Though I’ve read my fair share of stories with implied endings left to the reader. So I guess it’s okay.

          • I like to try for a resolution. But getting a beginning, middle and end with a satisfying twist takes a lot. Especially if I am writing flash in the 100 – 250 word limit. But open-ended can have their own sort of satisfaction.

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