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How to Shorten Your Short Story

By Nkem Egenuka on Thu, 03/08/2017 - 09:29

When you are writing a Short Story and you find out that your story is becoming too long... don't fret!. Here is what you can do to reduce your word count and make your story concise.

  • Strengthen your descriptions by using strong nouns and adverbs and verbs
  • Remove unnecessary words, conjunctions and adjectives.
  • Cut off some scenes and remove redundant characters.
  • Do not add subplots.
  • Let your description of the setting be concise, do not add too many locations.
  • Avoid repeating events that the readers already know.
  • Skip transitional times and replace it with phrases like “A month later”.
  • Eliminate repetitions and redundancies.
  • Streamline your writing by deleting unnecessary paragraphs, words and phrases. 

Below is a Short Story by Abraham Atawodi

A Love Lost 

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Brian gazed at the blank sheet of paper in front of him, the unfathomable sea of white. Beside it sat his third cup of coffee since he sat down with the intent of putting pen to paper. As he stared at the white sheet, he could hear it mock him, its evil laughter reverberating through the sparsely furnished room. He picked his pen again, determined to break through this writer’s block or whatever it was called. He would put this insolent, unending whiteness before him to shame.

Ten minutes later, he still hadn’t penned a dot. As he took a sip from his fourth cup, he wondered about Mr Vermont, his writing therapist. Brian’s aged mother had prodded him, on several occasions, to try writing-therapy. She promised him he would heal from his hurt and his heart would mend. It sounded improbable but he gave in to her relentlessness, and found himself in Mr Vermont’s office, much to his displeasure. Just humour the old woman, he thought..more


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