Like the lovely, honest, and awesome KAK proclaimed yesterday, "I find writing fiction under 100,000 words an anathema." Yeah. I don't do short.
WITCHES: Wicked, Wild and Wonderful available here. It's a sweet --ha!...ahem-- little tale nestled in with the likes of one Mr. Gaiman, a Ms. Le Guin, Ms. Lackey, and Ms. Yolen. (Couldn't resist the pimpage.)
Every time I've tried to write a short story, I get a novel. I ask all those questions that Tuck included in his post here for this past Monday, only I ignored the repeated 'reader' answers of "I don't care." I had to delve deeper and find those answers, find ways to tell them in the course of the story.
That being said, I cannot offer you any tried-and-true short-story tips that I can feel solidly honest about. But since I don't want to be an unhelpful word-whore...I found these tips on line. **I like #6 most of all.**
- Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
- Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
- Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
- Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
- Start as close to the end as possible.
- Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
- Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.