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How to Write a Short Story with First Draft
Sunday, March 13, 2016

In case you haven't heard, writing a short story is now just as easy as writing an article or blog post with First Draft. That's because First Draft gives fiction writers the same tools and resources that non-fiction writers have, plus a little more just to make things interesting.

Here's how to write a short story with First Draft and access a treasure of time-saving and idea-generating tools that will make the whole process not only more efficient, but even a little exciting.

How to Generate a Short Story

As you might already know, First Draft generates 'How-To' and 'Opinion' non-fiction articles. As of March 2016, however, it now also generates short stories from the set of options available from clicking the Write button.

To have First Draft quickly generate a short story, first make sure that your Product name, Purpose, and Benefit fields are filled in correctly, and then change the value in the word count and/or pay-per-word field if necessary. When finished, click the Write button and select the Fiction option. If you'd like to include a little dialogue in your short story, make sure it is selected as well. Then click the Full Article button.

 

First Draft will generate a short story complete with characters, actions, props, and more. And yes, the story is yours to modify in any form or fashion.

Make Your Short Story Interesting

Since First Draft's Short Story generator is focused on fiction, writers have the opportunity to be more imaginative than with First Draft's articles or blog posts. That's why you'll see a set of buttons in place of combo boxes when First Draft is in Fiction mode. These buttons represent 36 different categories of props (items, actions, situations, people, etc.) and when clicked, they insert a random item from those categories into a current story.

 

This gives writers the opportunity to be spontaneous and throw a surprising but relevant element into a story -- all to shake things up and perhaps even spur the imagination even further.

You've Got a Helping Hand

While writing with First Draft in Fiction mode, you might notice that some of its prop buttons light up and then dim back down. This is a purposeful and planned feature that suggests a good time to insert a random but relevant item. An example time is when a writer is typing a short story about cooking and then the Food button lights up, or when a writer is typing a short story about the Vietnam War and the Weapons button lights up.

Clicking a button will insert a random but relevant item into a developing story. But it isn't necessary to do so. Writers are free to ignore the activity going on in that section and write in the Edit area as before.

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