Let's build ourselves a Short Story community!



Sounds like a plan!


That’s a very productive week!


It’ll make a nice change of pace. Is it the open novella competition or something else?

Hope everything is alright.


That’s a good plan. Hopefully it’ll save you from falling behind AND lower your stress.

Yeah I know that feeling :sweat_smile: Even as a touch typist I could only do one chapter of my story a week because it’s pretty crushing.


That’s great!


Yikes hope you can get some rest at some point.


Ah well. Whatever keeps you happy and writing.

I’m hoping to do the same. Good luck to us!


Weekly Discussion Topic

Some people say that it’s hard to care for characters in short stories because there’s not enough time to get to know them and obviously this depends on the skill of the writer- how do you deal with this?

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I think a lot of what it’s about (in stories in general) is connecting the events of your story to relatable feelings. Readers don’t know what it’s like to be a space adventurer on a heist, but most of them will know a feeling of frustration of “god, I’m so stupid for not being able to do this thing”. They might not have experienced magical powers that wrack their body, but they can relate to having a headache so bad they can’t focus on anything.

For whatever it’s worth, I think a lot of these complaints, especially on Wattpad, can come from a lack of empathy. Sure, you’ve never been in prison, but can you seriously not imagine how much you might want to be free?


The piece I just did for the weekend write in was 380 words approx, and it was largely auto-biographical. I’ve had some really good feedback on it. I don’t think it’s about skill so much as how you as the author connect with the characters. If you’re passionate about them it’ll come across on the page, regardless of how many or how few words there are.


Honestly I don’t handle it, I just kinda write what I want to XD


Hmm, I think its all about what you don’t say, the subtle actions and mannerisms that give more personality and character. Of course,there’s always the possibility that the reader will just hate your character XD


Semi-back, though I’m using short story time to extend an old novella. So it’s really turning it ever closer into a novel.

As a summary of so far: The main guy was thought to have died after two years, but came back as part of some vague Cyberspace Necromancy.


It’s not going to last … .


I like to give the character’s relatable attributes, give as much backstory as can be allotted in a short story (but I try not to infodump, it has to work into the plot) and I try to make them characters people can still relate with even if they don’t have 50+ chapters to get to know them.

Plus I think if you up the stakes or constantly work against the character that can help people kind of instantly root for the character simply because they’re rooting for them.


It certainly helps to have a connection with your characters. Being able to express that connection, though, is essential. However, as with all things to do with short stories, it just takes practice to develop a shorthand for your characters.

My impression is that people who come from longer-form stories spend a lot of words trying to describe their characters. With short-form stories, particularly those written to strict word counts, the emphasis should be on how the characters react to the situation and to each other. That, to me, is the nub of having good characters in a short story. The reader can then fill in the rest in their head.

I have a few ‘stock characters’ that I use in my short stories. I know how they’re going to react and interact. This means I don’t have to worry too much about characterising them. I can just write them.

One of the few benefits of being a long-time RPGer.


The week’s been going well, and I’m kind of back into a routine now. Writing’s slowly progressing, and I may have joined the Open Novella out of impulse. It was probably not a great idea, since I’m suffering a minor case of writer’s block. But, if everything works out, I might get back on track. :shrug:


Most of the time, I don’t know what I’m doing. xD But, I’ve been told by readers they could understand the characters feelings and situation, which is a great compliment for me. I guess, making the characters relatable is a way to go, showcase their emotions as well.


That’s definitely a part of it! Characters can be really flat if you don’t know what you want them to do/be


To be honest, that was me until about last year. Then, for some reason, I started looking back on my old works and how I did things (and how far I’d come)