My Writing- short stories

A Run to Remember.

This is a short extract from one of my short stories published in a book known as ‘Short Dates’. I hope that you like it and consider checking out more of my work.

My collection of short stories.

The sun was shining and I felt uplifted. This was the first time there had been a cloudless sky in months. Digby sniffed at my heels noisily, begging to go out on an adventure. I figured it would be a good idea to go for a run and take the pooch with me. I tied his lead to his collar and grabbed some earphones. A new album was downloaded and I was ready for a nice start to the day and a chance to clear my head. As I ran off down the street, the dog stayed close by my side, striding powerfully as we crossed the road and went down the alleyway.


The new beats filled my head and I began to step in time to the song. The dog was happy stretching his legs and stopping now and again to explore the lamp posts. I was determined to carry on running every time he stopped and so I jogged on the spot. I must have looked strange but I didn’t care. This week had been a stressful one with loads of work deadlines and the washing machine breaking down. At least I had had that date with Sarah on Wednesday. She really was a great laugh and I couldn’t stop thinking about how fit she was. It was good to know that afterwards she wanted to text and tell me what a good time she had had. It was a bit of a shame that she had not texted me today though. But I guess it was early and there was plenty of time for that. I had decided that later on I would invite her over for a take away as I was aware there was a film on TV tonight that she was keen to see.


Digby had liked her. She popped round mine before we went to the pub and grabbed some cheeky cocktails. He had got lots of attention from her. She was so easy to get on with. Not easy for a guy round here to find someone worth the effort. But she was definitely worth trying for. She was sexy, clever and had a cool sense of humour. Digby did not take to everyone. I mean, he always chewed at my mum when she came round. He gave her a hard time and barked and hissed at her. Sarah made him docile and sweet. She got him to roll on his stomach and flirt with her. He flirted a lot better than I ever could.

How To Do Editing In 7 Easy Steps

My Top Editing Tips

The writing process is fraught with many challenges and can be very time consuming, but for most of us it is a labour of love. Whether writing blog posts, short stories or non-fiction, the hardest part is usually the editing. Trying to finalise a piece and make it presentable enough to share with an audience can be very stressful so I thought I would share with you some tips that I have learned as a fledgling writer, teacher and blogger.

  1. Look away

    When you have finished an initial draft of something, always give yourself some space from the project before attempting that very first proper edit. For a blog post, leave it an hour before returning to it. When writing a story, try to give it a few days or even a week and then you should be able to look at it again with fresh eyes. After this the editing can begin.

  2. Read it aloud

    Find a quiet space and read out loud what you’ve written so far. I always find that my fluency improves so much after I have heard myself read my work aloud. You definitely quickly discover where something sounds repetitive or incoherent. If it doesn’t sound right, it probably won’t read right either.

  3. Check your pronouns

    It sounds like a small thing but it really is important to make sure that you have used a selection of pronouns rather than just repeat ‘they’ and ‘he’ or ‘she’ over and over again.

    Along with this, check that every sentence has a different starter. A long list of sentences beginning with ‘She’ can soon bore a reader and cause them to give up altogether. Careful editing of this can make all the difference.

  4. Read it to a trusted friend

    This sounds pretty obvious but it’s not always something that people feel comfortable doing. Asking someone else to listen to your story or article can be very handy. They can tell you whether it flows or not and let you know their favourite parts. Once you know the best bits you can think about expanding these elements. This may even result in you cutting other parts out that didn’t seem to resonate as well.

  5. Be prepared to rearrange

    At times, it may be useful to reorder the paragraphs within your text. Usually, having read it to yourself and showed it to a friend, you will have new ideas about the sequence. This may not be the case with a story so much but could apply to blogs. Even writing out these points, I have changed the order as I reviewed my content.

  6. Ask some questions

    When you get to the stage of editing your work have these questions in mind:
    1) Does your story or blog have a clear message?
    2) Does it make sense on its own?
    3) Are you able to summarise the story in a single sentence?
    If you can say yes to these questions then you probably have something ready to publish.

  7. Let it go

    There will come a time when you will have to let your project loose. Having followed the above steps, your short story or blog should be in a good position to fly. Be prepared to show the world and leave it to simmer for a while before thinking about it again. Then promote it with all of your energy and enjoy responding to readers’ comments. Comments, after all, make writing all the more worthwhile.


If you enjoyed this post, perhaps consider following my blog for more of the same type of content.

Here is a post that I recently wrote about short story writing:

You can find out about my own writing here:

How to Write a Short Story.

writer working on typewriter in office

Have you ever wanted to write a short story? Maybe you plan to release a collection of short stories on Kindle? Or do you simple enjoy writing short fiction for pleasure? Here is my ‘How To’ that will give you some simple tips to help you along the way.

In my experience, writing short stories can be a very satisfying way of exploring the writing process. Not only is it fun, but it trains your mind to think more carefully about structuring fiction and starts you thinking about the stories that you read more analytically. Take a look at my steps to success and let me know what you think.

  1. Set a seed

    Every story starts with a little nugget of information; an idea. For the purposes of this article, let’s refer to it as a seed. Unlike with a novel, you only really need one fully formed seed to develop a brilliant short story. This can be an event, such as an accident on the way to work, a chance encounter between two potential lovers or a family day out to the zoo.

  2. Add a little compost

    A short story can require some planning, although that’s not always the case. It can still be organic as long as you have certain things in mind. Without all of the extra padding of a larger novel, you are not quite so restricted in fitting into a complex web of plot, setting and character development. You do need some compost though to root that original idea firmly into the ground and enable it to grow.

    A short story still needs one or more of the following:
    * A purpose (to simply make the reader smile or to point to a moral)
    * To have a strong voice (whether written in the first or third person) which is consistent and relatable.
    * An emotional tug (something to involve the reader and draw upon their empathy, thus sustaining their interest).

  3. Watch it grow

    ‘A watched kettle never boils’ they say, but a neglected story never finds an audience either. You need to review your writing regularly and be open to making changes as you go along. Reading it aloud can help you to uncover any parts that might sound too clunky. After all, if it doesn’t read well out loud, it probably won’t hold your audience’s attention for very long.

    Having said that, taking some time away from your writing to do other things can enable you to examine it with fresh eyes and pick out bits that you want to develop or need cutting completely. Editing is a harsh business but you just have to be confident in your own abilities and snip off some of those dead leaves.

  4. Keep it out in the open

    Sometimes you may be tempted to shelve a project quite early on. You may have that initial inspiration for a story and then life takes over and you file it away in a folder on your computer and before long, it’s just a distant memory.

    My advice would be don’t shy away from it. Keep coming back to it, even if only to add a sentence or two. Think about what you like about it so far and what else it really needs to tie up loose ends and bring it to a suitable ending.

  5. Water it

    The most important aspect of writing is editing, especially when you have a first draft. Sometimes the best way to begin with this is to share it with a trusted friend. Pick someone who will take it seriously and give it due consideration. Ask them to discuss it with you or even persuade them to listen to you reading it aloud. Once you have got a feeling for their reaction to it, hopefully they will be able to talk about what they enjoyed the most. Sometimes, without the need for negativity, just being aware of the most appealing sections can help you a great deal with a final edit.

    When somebody else shares the highlights with you, it can be easy to focus on those and make sure they are drawn attention to, sometimes by contracting other content or sidelining it altogether. It makes sense to embellish the good stuff but also make sure the overall story stays true to the message that you want to give. It is your story and you should feel comfortable with the direction it moves in. If you feel concerned that other people are changing that initial seed then hold your horses and stick to your guns.

  6. Put it in the window box for all to see

    The last stage of writing a captivating short story is letting it go. By this, I’m not referring to Frozen, but I’m saying simply put it out there in the big wide world. Short stories may be written for you alone and that’s fine. But if you do want to share your work then go for it. Pop it on your blog or include it in a website that allows you to publish your own work for free, such as Wattpad. Shout about it on social media, perhaps utilising one of the #writerslift opportunities on Twitter or shameless self promo threads.

    Be proud of what you’ve achieved and celebrate your accomplishment (perhaps even open a bottle of bubbly).

    All writing is challenging and takes a lot of effort to complete. So if you have spent time putting together a short work of fiction and have made sure to follow the above steps, you will definitely deserve to celebrate your achievement. I hope that you will begin to love the writing process as much as a I have. You can see some of my favourite short books here:

    If you found this helpful, please drop a comment below and perhaps consider following my blog for similar content.

writer working on typewriter in office
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