Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing short stories

I'm not one of those people who is constantly running through creative story ideas and character maps in their heads, however every once in a while, I have an idea that I feel is right.

To quote a line by the great Richard Yates: "Still, I think creative work is what I'll always admire most-making something out of nothing; putting something into the world that wasn't there before."

That's the beauty of writing. Even if it is only you who ever read it, you are still creating something out of nothing more than a few ideas deep within you. But that is no easy thing to do. As I have already written about concerning my novel, it's very difficult to come up with thousands and thousands of words that work together to form a story.

That is why I like I like to turn to short stories. Less time involved to make a great work of art. Sometimes I have sat down and written a large amount of a story in one sitting. Later on I can go back through, edit, add, remove, or change things that I don't like. Sometimes I take weeks to write one story. Some small ideas take nurturing and time to grow bigger and bigger. 

Something I find very fun about writing short stories is getting to know your characters. When do we ever get the chance to determine exactly how a person is going to be other than in creative writing? You can add all the elements you love in a person and leave out the ones you don't. However, I do find that when writing more and more about a character they sometimes take on a life of their own. They change and evolve into something you might not have envisioned in the beginning. 

How to write a short story: 
  • Have an idea. I believe art imitates life so go ahead and start with your own life and all the life around you. 
  • Start writing whatever you think up. Don't edit yourself. Just get your pen moving or your fingers typing. You can always go back and change.
  • Don't over judge your work. It's called creative writing. Being creative has no rules!
  • Edit. When you read over something you wrote in a hurry you'll quickly notice a few mistakes. You knew what you were trying to say!
  • Share it with your family and friends. They will always think you are a great writer!
Any questions/comments/suggestions? Leave them in a comment for me!