ZIP Document of Learning #3

Reflect on your inquiry question and how your understanding is changing, becoming more focused, or is perhaps being reaffirmed by your research. What do you now know that you didn’t know when you started this inquiry.


What makes a good short story? I have finished my research on this question and the question hasn’t changed, but my understanding has. I have found out quite a bit about short story writing, here is a list of some key points I’ve synthesised from multiple :

Start with a hook

Make sure every sentence advances the plot, or gives backstory

Create the plot before you write

Create meaningful characters

Leave out unnecessary details

Choose a ‘mood’/emotion for your story and stick with it

I found the last point to be the most interesting. The stories I have read usually only have one mood, and multiple websites have stated that short stories should only have one mood, because this mood can add detail to your story, without adding length. Having only one mood with your story will let readers infer and imagine the scenes, and the writer doesn’t have to add any more detail. Also, having more than one mood will defeat the purpose of the mood. Having multiple moods will confuse the reader and the story will need more details to make sense.

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