Short Story Writing Project: The first draft

Writing the first draft of a short story is distinctly different from writing the first draft of a novel. Novels ten to require a great deal of forethought and planning. Additionally, each progressive chapter locks you further into the plot, limiting your options as you get closer to the end. With a short story, you don’t have those worries. Lengthwise, a short story is similar to the first chapter of a novel. If you don’t like how it is going, you can scrap the draft and move on, without worrying about complying with a series of expectations or requirements.

Writing the first draft of a short story is about exploration. You start with a plot or character or conflict in mind, and you explore it for as long as it seems interesting or relevant. Once you reach a sufficient conclusion, you stop. This may take you ten pages or thirty pages or more, but it doesn’t stretch out in the way that a novel does. Some people can write the first draft of a short story in a single sitting. That may not be your process, but with a short story it is certainly possible.

The overriding advice that I can give for a first draft of a short story is to relax and let the writing take whatever course it will take. Cleaning up and revising a short story isn’t nearly as complicated as doing the same for a novel. A short story is short enough that you can even throw the whole thing out and start from scratch if you don’t like your initial results. That’s the sort of freedom a short story gives you. Take advantage of it.

7 thoughts on “Short Story Writing Project: The first draft

  1. My problem is I don’t know how to start. In career studies I have to write something positive short story about something I did in my life that made me proud and I want to write about when my sister and me first babysat for community hours, but I have a problem. I don’t know how to start this short story without making it seem like a report on my experience. If you can give me some idea’s that would be awesome.

    Thanks :)
    Amanda Burns

  2. Try starting in directly with an event, don’t start with an explanation of the situation, start with something interesting happening.

  3. Thanks this helped me but can you add a part that says what is the first draft it will be really helpful any way this is a good example thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>