Do you like to write short stories? I came across an article a while back that addresses what the writer calls a “short story sweep.” I had not heard of it before now. Blogger Brian A. Klems’ article, “How to Broaden Your Short Story’s Scope,” written on the Writer’s Digest blog, goes into detail of what a “sweep” is.
He writes: You may never have heard of the sweep; it’s not discussed in texts or fiction seminars and may sound a lot like background, setting, exposition or backstory. The sweep certainly incorporates elements of these (and, like them, can be used for effective foreshadowing), but it’s also more. The sweep encompasses grand events—physical, historical, generational, psychological, emotional—and involves a sense of time and distance, stretching the reader’s mind beyond the expected confines of the short story.
He goes on to show examples of what he’s talking about and these are pretty neat. I found his article fascinating and I think you will too. Next time I write a short story, I will refer to what he has written in his article.
And if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, try the Creative Writing Prompts blog that has hundreds of ideas to choose from. Good luck!
“Although there are no set rules on length, a short-short story usually runs 500-1500 words, a short story about 2,000-7,000, a long story about 8,000-15,000, and a novella about 20,000-50,000.” Writing Tips from Reader’s Digest Weekly Planner