How to Write a Short Story that Sells
We hear it all the time, short stories and short story collections don't sell well – other than to magazines, probably mainly women’s magazines. Of course, we are to believe that e-readers is about to be the short story's new residence. Perfect for commuting or waiting for your dental appointment. If you are new to the story-writing game or are insistant on writing them, check out these pointers I compiled from various opinions on the web:
If writing for a magazine, read through half a dozen copies at least, to learn about the magazine’s reader type and absorb the style / tone.
Adhere to the word count request.
Use one viewpoint ~ use the most used in previous stories published by the magazine you are directing your work towards.
One storyline – sub-plot not necessary.
Few characters [4 at most].
A short time-scale Consistent style, mood, tone, pace. Concise dialogue, useful to the storyline.
No moral messages.
Keep descriptions brief, specific and vivid.
Try not to make the ending too contrived.
The more information you have about your target audience and the publication style, the better.
I’m off now to edit a short story with too many characters, a too-long time-scale and a hint of a moral message … oops.