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Even though novels keep getting most of the attention, the world of short story fiction is also sensitive to changing trends and they have undoubtedly been on the rise lately. They are being written by more reputable names and published by more reputable publishers than ever before – and this is a trend that can be expected to only get stronger.

Bar Set High

After the prime times of short stories – the latest of which would be around the 70’s and 80’s – the writers of short stories are facing higher standards than before. More has always been expected from short stories than novels; in short stories, every word matters. Being short, there is no room for extra content or below-average sentences or paragraphs.
The requirement level seems to be even higher these days. The market that started shrinking after the 80’s hasn’t been too welcoming for anything short of brilliant after the benchmark was set high by those who managed to have success with short stories even after the lowered demand.

The Future of Short Stories

While the quality of short stories keeps rising, the demand is also increasing. The hectic lifestyle of today often doesn’t allow time for immersing oneself in a thick novel with hundreds of pages; therefore, short stories are more fitting to our busy schedules and short attention spans. And since short stories are created to make an impression in fewer words than novels, they are often way more intense, and intensity is also something that people these days crave. We have so many stimulants coming at us all at once; so much information and entertainment to take in, that nothing short of intense really make us tick anymore. And for these reasons, we are expecting short stories to get big again.


If you have trouble with starting, finishing or structuring your short stories, you might want to go through the following checklist.

Getting Ideas

If you are interested in writing short stories, having ideas for them is probably not the problem. But if it is, the only tip to get those ideas flowing is to look around and observe your surroundings when you’re out and about in the world, and preferably do inspiring things yourself. Exciting ideas come from exciting lives – be it your own or somebody else’s.

Flowing Text

Do you have a great idea and a complete story in your mind, but you don’t seem to be able to execute it in the way you would like? This is not something you can work out by taking a course, but there are some tips that might help. First, read a lot. You might find a writer whose style intrigues you and decide to write your story in a similar style. When this is decided, writing is bound to be easier. Secondly, if you’re having writer’s block and everything you write seems to be of low-quality, the only way to get something done is to keep writing. You can always go back and rewrite the whole text if you like, but at least you will have something concrete to work with.

Planning

If you are the type of writer that gets a great, but vague, idea and starts writing immediately, you will probably hit a wall at some point. This is why planning is essential. There are different ways to plan the text. You can make a timeline with the most important events on it, or if the story is more of the pondering kind, you might want to write down the most important ideas you have for it, in the order that you think you are going to include them in the writing.


As most of you surely know, poems are not just random lines of storytelling with a rhyming word at the end of each line. Depending on the type of the poem, there is often some kind of structure, pattern or a rhythm, and many a time no rhymes at all. Here you will learn the basics of four common types of poetry.

Blank Verse Poetry

With regular metrical lines but no rhymes, blank verse is one of the poetry forms that is believed to have had a great influence on the English language. More often than not, it is written in iambic pentameter, which is a type of metrical line common in English poetry. William Shakespeare was one of the best-known figures to have used iambic pentameter in his works.

Lyric Poetry

Lyric poetry is usually a short poem with a single narrator expressing his emotional state. Among others, it includes odes, sonnets and dramatic monologues. Even though the origins of lyric poetry are in Ancient Greece, and it used to be presented with music in the background, it is still debatable whether song lyrics are to be considered poetry or not.

Limerick

Consisting of five lines, often written with a humorous tone, you have probably bumped into a limerick before. Limericks have a strict structure since the first, second and fifth lines must have 7-10 syllables, and the third and fourth lines must have 5-7 syllables. Rhythm and rhymes are essential in a limerick.

Haiku

Haiku has its origins in Japan and is another well-known form of poetry. It is very short and simple, but with a fixed structure. In Japanese, it is written in a single vertical line, whereas in English it usually consists of three short lines. The theme is often related to nature and the serenity of it.