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How to write more engaging Short Stories for Readers

Engaging stories make readers stick along through the end of the story. But, making a short story that is more engaging for the readers is not an easy task. Although, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

How many timeshave you read stories half the way, and could predict the end? How many cliché stories have you come across? Have you ever stop reading a short story half the way as you felt no urge to continue to the next page? I am sure we all have. However, we have also come across overwhelmingly interesting and good short stories. Let’s talk about how to write more engaging stories for readers in order to keep their minds hooked on through the pages as they read it.

Writing short stories is a very easy task at on one hand, and a difficult one on the other. Anyone can write a story, be it fiction or non-fiction. However, it is very difficult to make stories interesting and captivating. If the short story is not good, readers might lose interest in reading. As short stories tend to be less in word count and page count, one needs to put in utmost effort to cut short the story into the one that doesn’t take much time to read and is also equally engaging enough to captivate the readers.

Engaging stories make readers stick along through the end of the story. But, making a short story that is more engaging for the readers is not an easy task. Although, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The most important thing to remember is to make such a plot that the readers can relate to and get captivated by it from the very beginning. Plot is very important here, and making that impact requires you to create a solid conflict of interest among the characters. Bigger the conflict, the more interesting the story would be. However, you need to make sure that the short story does have contrasting characters.

Taking about characters, we have often seen that many stories are popular due to a very simple fact, and that is, the characters are interesting. It is the characters that people love so much that they like the story. Interesting characters when put in a plot that has a massive conflict, it is bound to produce sensation and drama in the narration.

Narration is also an important part of the short. If you want to engage readers more with your short story, you need to try to make every single sentence or paragraph a means to solve or reveal the other sentence or paragraph. Suspense is one of the major role player here, without which there would be no interest among the readers to pursue the short story till the end.

Let’s talk about the element of surprise. If a story is predictable, it loses the power to bring curiosity among the readers. If the readers lack curiosity, they would be least interested to read the story. Therefore, one needs to remove and keep away certain information from the reader and reveal it when the time is right. If one would do that, it would take readers by surprise because they wouldn’t have expected such turn of events in the first place. And, this way readers will read more as they would be clueless about what would happen in the end or with the characters.

It is very important to know how to create relatable and interesting characters, how to conspire a captivating plot and how to narrate the story well with suspense and all elements of surprises. You would need to read tiny stories from other American and European writers like Hemmingway, Salinger, Fitzerald, Carver and more.

Read these writer’s work, and observe how they have thought and written these stories, what makes them more compelling in plot, character as well as narration. Without reading, you could only make a wild random guess, but if you carefully read making notes, you would surely be able to pin down a story that is worth spending ones time on.

I hope you have got the gist of what makes a more engaging short story. Write anything you have in mind, and once you have put it down on papers, re-write it and think of ways to make it better. The best short stories written by the popular writers were edited and re-written hundreds of times. So, do not hesitate to re-write you stories again and again, till it becomes perfect and more engaging. 

This is a YourStory community post, written by one of our readers.The images and content in this post belong to their respective owners. If you feel that any content posted here is a violation of your copyright, please write to us at mystory@yourstory.com and we will take it down. There has been no commercial exchange by YourStory for the publication of this article.
An Indian novelist and investment banking professional.

Stories by Bibhu Datta Rout