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 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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What I Am Proud Of In 2022

Antwerp – a winter break

This has been a very busy year for me as I am sure it has for you. Work has been hectic but I have managed to go from a five day week to a four day one, freeing up a little more time for writing and blogging. As well as this I have started to travel again. Here are some of my 2022 highlights.

– Being involved in the establishment of the Climate Change Collective. This group of bloggers is writing monthly posts about global warming and spreads the word about how people can become more environmentally considerate.

– Travelling around Northern Europe by train. In summer I was lucky enough to visit Amsterdam and Copenhagen. I also took day trips to Sweden and stopped off briefly in Bremen. To finish the year a wonderful visit to Antwerp was a brilliant finale.

– Releasing my YA book, ‘Being Watched.’ I loved writing this story which began life as a short story in my self published book ‘Short Dates’ back in 2018. A snippet from my YA Novel.

– Another trip that excited me was a little break in Edinburgh back at Easter. I wrote this guest post about the experience: Edinburgh – A Reader’s Dream .

– I have loved becoming a member of the wonderful blogging community. This year I have continued to expand my blog slowly and begun writing content for Medium.

– Somehow I have managed to keep up some basic fitness workouts during the year. Using the Own Your Own Goals Davina app I have kept going with aerobics, dance, combat and yoga. My personal faves are the aerobics workouts.

– I had a new kitchen installed and did more cooking than ever before.

I have achieved quite a lot this year. I am grateful to all the people I have collaborated with and appreciate all of the support I have got for the blog. My intention is to keep going with my Youtube channel next year and do plenty of travelling by train, possible starting with Basel and Geneva. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Please consider following my blog for more of the same.