Short Stories: What’s the trick?

I have novels upon novels on my hard drive in various stages of completion but one thing I am lacking is short stories. And you know what? That kinda sucks. Short stories are more marketable, easier to sell, great for establishing yourself as a fiction writer and much easier to edit. But I just can’t seem to nail down the most simple aspect of writing one, an idea.

If you asked me at this moment, i could fire off about five novel ideas for you. I have so many I can just give them away. But a short story idea… well if one comes around (which it rarely does) it’s either partially poached, horribly contrived or makes no sense. I can’t do it.

So, I really would like to know, how do you do it? How do you pare down an idea enough to make it 7,500 words or less? Or conceive of something that’s no so complicated to begin with? How do you convey something meaningful or interesting or funny or whatever in a short format? Tell me your secrets!


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