How to write a good short story – in simple terms for beginners

What does it take to make a brilliant short story? A lot depends on your taste in writing, and/or the taste in reading of your audience if it is already established. And there are many types of short story – almost as many different types as there are genres in full-length books.

How to write a good short story, in simple but effective terns

However as you would expect, a short story is rather different from a full length book, and different from an essay, too.

Writing a short story is like taking a snapshot

Whether you’re writing about something that actually has happened to you – or, you’re making up a fictional story – you have little time for anything but the key points.

It’s hard to know just how much description to include (where the story takes place, what the characters do and look like, the time of year, etc.) And you have no time for any “back story” to introduce readers to the action.

Write a skeleton plan

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How To Write Better: thank you, 2 million page viewers in the last 4 years!

More than 2 million page views in 4 years! Nothing could have made me happier than being greeted on my return from Canada (Sept 10th, 2017) to find that our humble How To Write Better (the REAL one) has exceeded the 2 million page view mark since September 1st, 2013.

2 millions page views for HTWB
For a niche site that’s a labour of love (rather than the off-shoot of another site that exists in the USA as part of a large commercial enterprise…) I have to say I am truly proud of our achievements. [Read more…]

“How can I become an author?” How we can help…

This question is a lot harder to answer than it is to ask! However here is what I wrote in response to Amelia, who posted on the HTWB Facebook page asking “how can I become an author?”

What additional advice on becoming an author can we give her?

Agony Columns on How To Write BetterPlease share in the comments…and I will delete any that are facetious or rude! Here we go…

Hi Amelia,

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How to write a bloody awful blog post – update

It’s more than four years since this tongue-in-cheek article about business blogging appeared and looking at it again, I find it utterly terrifying.

writing bloody awful blog posts HTWB
Why? Because so little has changed. So little has improved. Day after day businesses are still churning out the bullsh*t I rather cruelly outline below.

So, Google, much as I would love to have updated the article to show how far we have come in four years’ worth of blogging experience, if I am to be honest with you, I can’t update a damned thing apart from one or two small points…

Let’s blog badly … and at least have a laugh about it

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Your chance to write a horror story and get it published

Have you got a gruesome short horror story waiting, unpublished, in a drawer? Even the idea for a truly skin-crawling story, but no incentive to write it up yet? Here’s your chance to get that story published and your name out there as a horror writer…

UPDATE: submissions for this book has now reached the closing date 🙁 (This is as at June 9th, 2017) BUT, don’t despair; keep writing your stories, and keep your eye on Corona Books. There may well be the opportunity for a Volume Two one day. Whatever you do, don’t give up your hopes, or your talent.)

get your horror story publlished via HTWB

No, this is NOT another horror-able publishing scam

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Grammar is groovy. Haven’t you heard?

Want to improve your grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax while groovin’ around your office or living room? Here’s how – and I dare you not to start bopping in your seat while you learn these basic writing rules…

improve your grammar on How To Write Better

Get those feet tappin’ while you learn some great grammar and more

Many thanks to my good friend Trudy van Buskirk in Toronto, who alerted me to this amazing video which I found in an article by Jason Fell on Entrepreneur.com. [Read more…]

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