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A Short Story Start




4 Months

About the Course

Writing short stories is an art and a craft that requires skill, creativity and discipline. In this course, you will learn how to write short stories that captivate readers and showcase your unique voice. Short story writing is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice. You will explore modules about what's involved in writing short stories.

The course consists of modules, each with a specific learning objective and a practical assignment. For each module, materials have been provided to help you through the course and allow for quick references or easy use to complete assignments. There is no pass or fail; the information provided here is meant to help you hone your craft. In our lessons,

You will learn how to:

  • Find ideas and inspiration, by

    • using prompts

    • using our prompts

  • Develop characters and plot, by

    • creating short character bios

  • Create scenes and dialogue, by

    • creating short worlds

  • Use point of view and voice, by

    • understanding POV

    • understanding types of POV

    • understaning what works for your story

  • Edit and revise, by

    • learning what's involved

  • Submit and publish, by

    • learning how to submit

    • finding where to publish

    • joining an organization

Forum: Feedback For Your Work

Forum: Use our prompts

Practical Assignment



Module 1: Multiple Lessons

What is a short story? In our lessons,

You will learn:

  • the definition and characteristics of a short story

  • the benefits and challenges of writing in this genre

  • how writing short stories differs from writing novelettes

  • to explore the differences between writing short stories and novelettes

  • how a short story is different from flash fiction

  • how to choose the best format for your story idea

  • how to choose a sub-genre and theme that works for you

Practical Assignment



Module 2: Multiple Lessons

Developing ideas. In our lessons,

You will learn:

  • how to generate and develop ideas for short stories

  • how to use brainstorming

  • what types of brainstorming exists

  • where to generate ideas from

  • types of short stories you can write

  • to find sources of inspiration

    • ie., images

Practical Assignment



Module 3: Multiple Lessons

How to structure and plot your short stories. In or lessons,

You will learn:

  • to create effective hooks that set the tone for your story

  • to use a limited scope by narrowing down your focus

  • to choose a specific situation or conflict or problem to explore

  • how to avoid info-dumping

  • to create a compelling middle that builds tension and suspence to move your story forward

  • to use foreshadowing

  • to use hints, clues and surprises

  • to create a clear and effective plot outline for your stories

  • how to use elements such as conflict, climax, and resolution to keep your readers engaged

  • how to end with a twist to leave a lasting impression on your reader

Practical Assignment



Module 4: Multiple Lessons

How to create and develop characters for short stories. In our lessons,

You will learn:

  • how to create realistic and relatable characters for your stories in limited space

  • how to create a simple character profile

  • how to use dialogue, description and POV to reveal their personalities and motivations

  • what else you can use

  • how to watch for telling instead of showing

Practical Assignment



Module 5: Multiple Lessons

How to edit and revise your short stories. In our lessons,

You will learn:

  • how to write your first draft

  • how to write for clarity

  • how to write for coherence

  • how to develop your style

  • how to revise and polish your stories

  • how feedback helps

  • why you should revise, revise, revise

  • some self-editing, and proofreading techniques

  • how to find a writing buddy with similar goals

Practical Assignment



Module 6: Multiple Lessons

How to publish and market your short stories. In our lessons,

You will learn:

  • what is an anthology

  • how to find suitable markets for your stories

  • how to write a cover letter

  • how to write a proposal

  • how to follow submission guidelines

  • how deal with rejection and acceptance

Forum Discussion: resources for submissions

Practical Assignment



Module 7: Multiple Lessons

Condensing a story. You will discover how condensing a story into so many words is hard, but also rewarding. In our lessons,

You will learn:

  • to focus on the essential elements

  • the essential skills and techniques

  • to cut the fluff

  • to write for limited word counts

Practical Assignment



Module 8: Multiple Lessons

Anthologies. Discover how to create your own anthology. In our lessons,

You will learn:

  • what the importance an anthology is to a short story writer

  • where to find anthologies to submit work to

  • how to submit your stories to publishers and magazines

  • why following guidelines for publishing are extremely important

  • how to prepare for rejection and publishing

Practical Assignment



Forum Discussion: Feedback for Your Work

Forum Discussion: Places to submit work

By the end of this course, you will have written at least one complete short story that you can be proud of and share with others. You will also have gained the confidence and skills to continue writing more short stories in the future.

Course Summary Video

Breakdown of Fees: $

$ 200.00 - base programming

$ 200.00 - For module set-up

$ 400.00 - For lessons: including:

  • videos

  • our copywritten forms

  • other materials

  • research

  • resources

  • forum access

  • Practical Assignment & Instructor Assessment

  • quizz

  • summary

  • instructor access

  • 6 month access to program


  • taxes

  • service fee

Notice: All information, forms and content provided for this course is strictly the property of Dark Dove Publishing, The WRITE Affiliates, and J.L. Slipak and should not be copied, reused, rebranded or altered in any fashion for unauthorized purposes, and without explicit permission to do so by the aforementioned parties, hereto.

Any infringement of copyright, trademark, or registration will result in legal actions being taken against violators. Permission of use is governed solely for this program/course as provided strictly adhering to copyright laws of Canada and the United States and for no improper purposes in accordance to the law.

For terms and conditions governing refunds, go to terms and conditions in the main menu under Dark Dove Publishing. All personal data is subject to our privacy policy listed below. Although Dark Dove Publishing strives to provide correct and appropriate materials, any errors or ommisions should be immediately brought to the attention of Dark Dove Publishing in written form by sending an email to:

Private information is forbidden on public forums. Any links or emails provided there will be deleted. All posts are governed with the strictest policies. Please remain professional with conduct when using services, products, access and other items belonging to Dark Dove Publishing, The WRITE Affiliates, and J.L. Slipak, as per the terms of conduct and program/course polices provided with each course description.

All courses are for informational purposes to fine tune and hone the craft of writing. None are for official certification toward a degree, diploma, or professional certification in any form. Go here to read further terms and conditions

Your Instructor

J.L. Slipak

J.L. Slipak

Certified Freelance Writer, Editor, Published Author, CEO of Dark Dove Publishing, Over 40 Years Experience in the Written World

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