Elements of a Short Story


In honor of the upcoming release of the first book in the new series of devotionals for fiction lovers, I thought my readers might like to know more about the authors who contributed short stories to the book. This week’s guest is Nancy Arant Williams.

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How is writing a short story different from writing a novel? How are they similar?

The difference is the focus. A short story must get to the point within the first sentence/paragraph and not include as many nonessential details.

Nancy Williams Graphic

What do you enjoy about writing short stories? What are the challenges?

They move fast and hold the reader’s attention with every word. But they have word limits, which makes tight writing essential.


What are the benefits of getting a short story published?

It can have a much wider readership than a novel, especially if it’s included in a collection.


Have you ever published a short story other than through this Fiction Lover’s Devotional series? If so, where?

Yes, through several collections in Paul Dawkins’s Celebrations book series.


What advice would you share with someone who wants to write short stories?

Practice tight writing. For instance, make yourself write a comprehensive sentence in twenty words or fewer. As you make a habit of deleting unnecessary words and phrases in your writing, your skill level will increase, making short stories the perfect outlet, even for personal creativity.


Nancy_WilliamsNancy Arant Williams is a multi-published author and freelance book editor. She and her husband live in the heart of the beautiful Missouri Ozarks, where they own and operate an upscale, single-unit B&B called The Nestle Down Inn. Her passion is to encourage people to soak, going deeper in the things of God so they can catch the fire and move in sync with the Holy Spirit, healed and empowered to win the lost in the final-days move of God. Check out her websites at www.nancyarantwilliams.com and www.nestledowninn.com.