If in doubt, cut it out

short story stackI have been writing a few short stories recently, but was struggling with one of them, one which I have mentioned on this blog before – about a teacher who gets involved in the troubled life of one of his students. The story was growing and growing of its own accord, and after a while I realised it wasn’t really a short story any more. I don’t really know what it was. So, I left it alone for a while, and went back to it with a fresh perspective. I started to write, and made a concerted effort to keep it short and succinct. Don’t worry about including every little detail. Does that line need to be there? If not, cut it out. Can the action be implied rather than described? If yes, don’t include it.

Needless to say, it reads much better now. More like a short story should; particularly one with mysterious characters and sinister undertones.

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