Technology has made it easier to read on the go, but it has also shortened our attention spans. With more people reading literary journals on mobile devices, most literary editors are leaning toward accepting short stories that are 3,500 words or under. If your short stories tend to run longer, you may have a harder time finding readers and editors who are interested. To boost your odds of getting an acceptance and ensure that your short stories are short enough, Writer’s Relief has a few tips for you.
Keep the scope small. In other words, condense the time frame. Think of it this way: For a short story, you don’t want to write about Joe Lucky’s life from the time he was born until his death. You should focus on when he finds a winning lottery ticket in a jacket he bought at the thrift store, and what happens as a result.
Set the perfect pace. Pacing is essential to every story, but especially in a short story. But be careful: Overly fast pacing isn’t necessarily better, because your story will then feel too rushed. Finding the perfect pace is a big part of getting the reader hooked and getting your short story published.