How To Write Short Stories – My Way

Having now written many short stories and a novella, as well as my first YA novel, I feel like I can call myself a writer. A very new and inexperienced writer, maybe. I do know one thing though. I have learned a lot more about producing short stories since I wrote https://jamieadstories.blog/2021/06/06/how-to-write-a-short-story/ in 2021. This blog post is all about how I became interested in writing short stories and sharing some tips that I have taken onboard over the past four years.

  1. Study Writing

    For me, I knew I wanted to write something back in 2017 but I was not sure what or where to start. So I signed up for a fiction writing night school class which met every Monday. I was especially pleased to meet likeminded people who cared about the writing process.

    Unfortunately, this group had become more of a sharing experience. Each week we would read out our work-in-progresses and say nice things to one another. The positivity was great but I didn’t learn anything at all.

    Rather than going to a class, I would say the best way to learn is by absorbing a lot of short stories. Different types of short stories from a range of authors worked for me.

  2. Go With The Flow

    My first attempt at a short story was a morsel of an idea about a guy getting his car stuck in snow on the way to work. I decided that I wanted him to meet someone during that incident and find a potential date. So I went for it and produced ‘The Oddest Of Dates’. After showing a few friends, I realised that I had a story with plot points and it kind of worked.

    Don’t overthink things. Get something written and show someone you respect. A brother, a best friend, or a work colleague… See if it feels like a story to them.

  3. Keep The Focus Tight

    Make sure that you don’t allow yourself to go off at tangents. Yes, you will need side characters but don’t waste time explaining their back stories. If you want to know how to write short stories, the crucial thing is focus.

    Short stories need to revolve around one event or idea. If not, they soon stretch out into novellas and novels. Sometime that can be a good thing but if you want to write shorts, keep them ‘short’.

  4. Have A Central Character

    Too many characters can make a story complicated. Whether it is told in the first person, third person or the close third person (which Liane Moriarty uses), outline one main character. Then make the reader quickly start to care about them. Empathy is powerful and if you can build up a rapport between the lead and the reader – great!

    Write about someone’s personal experience. Short stories can educate, entertain, illuminate and indulge. Too many distractions make short stories clunky. Stick to one main character.

  5. Keep The Pace Up

    Most readers who like to read short stories, love quick tales. The good thing about short fiction is you can usually read it in one sitting. Don’t drag it out. Put the reader in the character’s life and detail the situation they are facing. Get them to face their predicament and then stop.

    A good short story is easy to read, swift to get to the point and satisfying when it reaches its climax.

  6. Enjoy The Process

    The most important thing for me is that I enjoy the process of putting together a short story. When it starts to feel like a drag, have a break from it. If you are having to force out a narrative, maybe that particular tale isn’t worth telling right now.

    If the story feels right, you will love writing and sharing it. If it just feels forced and stale, pop it on the shelf and return to it another time. Or don’t.

    Just make sure you get some pleasure out of making short stories.

If you have Kindle Unlimited, perhaps you would like to check out my original short stories. I would appreciate some reads to celebrate the fourth birthday of my book Short Dates. Thank you so much for checking out my bookish blog,

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Thrown – Book Review

I have always liked Sara Cox and remember seeing her present the Big Breakfast as well as the Radio One Breakfast Show back in the early 2000s. She made me smile when she hosted ‘The Great Pottery Throwdown’ and I especially enjoy her TV panel show about books – ‘Between The Covers’ – on BBC 2. So it was obvious that I would want to try out her autobiography and now this new work of fiction, which is called ‘Thrown’.

I was lucky enough to bump into Sara Cox at the Eurostar terminal in Amsterdam in the summer and she had a book tucked into her pocket. We spoke about her TV show and she mentioned that she actually read each book that would be discussed in the upcoming series. She was absolutely wonderful to chat with and I later discovered that she had a debut novel – which is what I reviewed in this post.

I am excited to have offer this book for review.

What’s It All About?

Four women join a new pottery class at their local community centre, not knowing just how important that group would be for them. Becky hopes that the class will breathe a new breath of fresh air into the venue which had been struggling to find users.

She had an ex-boyfriend in prison who was soon to be released and her son was about to go abroad and work as a club rep. Meanwhile, Sheila was getting used to her son having flown the nest and her husband being unwilling to consider retirement in sunny Spain.

Jameela was a successful lawyer whose inability to get pregnant had forced a wedge between her and her husband while Louise was longing to work in a more creative career.

The pottery teacher was handsome and intriguing with a skilful way of bringing the potters together. Each chapter was told from a different character’s viewpoint and the storyline was cleverly entwined.

In A Nutshell

The book was cleverly written and I could feel the northern aspect of the setting. Sara worked hard to give nuggets of information as the book went on. Her narrative was moving, amusing and relatable. The pottery references were interesting and the use of humour was great.

I would totally recommend picking up a copy of this very warm and inviting book. As a book review writer, I really have enjoyed both reading and reviewing this new novel.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you will consider commenting and following my blog for future similar content.

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If you have Kindle Unlimited, perhaps you would like to check out my original short stories. I would appreciate some reads to celebrate the fourth birthday of my book Short Dates. Thank you so much for checking out my bookish blog,