Showing posts with label short story writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label short story writing. Show all posts

Monday, October 17, 2022

Short Story Writing Builds Skills for Tighter Text


 Short Story Writing Builds Skills for Tighter Text by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Writing short stories is a great way to build skills and a daily writing practice. Don't try to understand what people want. Instead, figure out what you want to say and write the heart of it.

We will be more satisfied with our stories if we learn from the master authors of classical short stories. For a worthwhile reference see: https://americanliterature.com/   I am quite impressed with their menu options as well as creating a personal library for my quick “planning ahead” reads. At the top right, open the “login” and create your account with an email with password. Now start building your personal library.

Short Stories have traditionally ranged from 1,500 to 5,000 words (but 3,000 is more common). Short Stories use the 3-Act structure (beginning, middle, end) used for novel writing. A short story is condensed, with setting and action beginning from the start. Structure with art in the delivery.

How do we find great story ideas?
I have a book by Fred White titled: Where Do You Get Your Ideas? A Writer’s Guide to Transforming Notions into Narratives. He mentions:
* Sometimes a newspaper report will catch your eye or hit a nerve, and become a story.
* You might retell an ancient myth into a current tale.
* You’ve grabbed an idea you can work with. Here are some pre-drafting activities you might find useful. Lists can provide inventory for content; Maps help create a layout for events; Profiles help develop your characters; and Collages visualize your story idea.

In How to Write Short Stories, Jerry Jenkins includes several points. I have included a few below:
* Learn to recognize the Kernel of an idea, a memory, a problem or fear.
* Make a practice of jotting down notes to expand upon during free writing, discover what comes to mind. Descriptions of characters to add or a setting for the story might pop in from your notes.
* We come in contact with people daily: at the supermarket, walking, and on the web. Use some of those traits to help develop your characters.   
* Now start writing. There’s plenty of time for changes and additions once you have a draft. If something doesn’t seem quite right, cut it out (at least for now).
* Be sure to craft a satisfying end, that leaves the reader appeased for the time well spent.

The Take Aways:
•    When you have a collection of 12 or more Short Stories, consider combining them in book form as an anthology. Consider thematic clusters, or maybe choose all 12 of a similar theme. Plus, remember, a powerful, interesting title is key for grabbing the reader’s eye.
•    Approach magazine publications and propose adding one of your stories to a coming issue.
•    Where Do You Get Your Ideas? See: https://www.amazon.com/Where-You-Get-Your-Ideas/dp/1599635305
•    Jerry Jenkins https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-short-stories/
 

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Lyn-Stanley/
& https://books2read.com/b/valuestories


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Saturday, September 17, 2022

Short Story Benefits

 



Short Story Benefits by Deborah Lyn Stanley

Writing short stories is a great way to build skills and enrich our writing practice. Many writers use short story writing to develop a strong style and voice.

Free writing is a useful method for starting. Use prompts if you prefer. Anticipate that you will hit a kernel you can develop; go on with it and choose an inspiring image that relates. Paste the image to the top corner of your first page as a thumbnail. It will help you focus and to ignite your story.

Writers garner income from competition wins, and selling short stories to magazines. Competitions and Magazines expect short stories to be fiction. If you have a personal experience you want to use, fictionalize it.

Story starters or prompts work your imagination. You can use images, nouns from your life’s journey, nouns from the dictionary, or historical events; ex. While traveling to a new job, in a new town, he gets lost in unknown territory—a forest or desert, etc.

Now Write! Add structure, characters, descriptions, setting, dialogue to your story. You might select your characters based upon people you know. Describe interesting traits, habits, and looks---but mix it up so they are fresh characters. Stories are expected to have a crisis, a defining moment, that changes a character’s life or perspective forever. Build it.
(Check out Now Write: https://www.nowwrite.net/fiction/ )

Stories love structure!
The links below help empower your storytelling adventure!

Mia Botha, Writers Write
https://www.writerswrite.co.za/how-to-write-a-short-story-all-the-tips-youll-ever-need/

How to Write a Short Story That Captivates Your Reader, Jerry Jenkins
https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-short-stories/

And my review:
How To Write Short Stories and Use Them to Further Your Writing Career by James Scott Bell,
a Book Review

https://www.amazon.com/Write-Stories-Further-Writing-Career


Each chapter of this book broadens our knowledge and paints an exciting picture for growth through short story writing. Its focus is crafting stories, fundamentally strong; flash fiction, short stories, or book length. It includes samples of five short stories to emphasize key points of structure that identify and analyze the strength of each story. Best of all, the book encourages writing short stories; it will improve our writing.
The author’s intent is to strengthen writers for a lasting career of productivity and publication. I used the book to learn the keys to story structure and to help me develop viable story ideas.

I recommend this helpful, instructive book to enhance our writer’s journey.

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories.
She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at: https://deborahlynwriter.com/   
Visit her caregiver’s website: https://deborahlyncaregiver.com/

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:
at Amazon & https://books2read.com/b/valuestories


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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

5 Good Reasons to Write Short Stories

If you’re a person who wants to write a novel, good for you.

But did you know that many famous authors got their start writing short stories?

Stephen King, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway started their writing careers with short stories.

You might want to try this route, too, because there are loads of reasons you should be writing short stories.

Here are just a few:

1. Writing short stories will help you discover and learn more about the kind of writing you really enjoy.

You can try different genres to see which ones you enjoy the most.

You can also find out if you prefer writing in 1st person or 3rd person.

2. Writing short stories will help you become a better writer.

Short stories require you to write “tight” since they have fewer words than novels.

And when you write short stories in specific genres you get better and better at writing within these genres.

You also gain more skill with each of the story elements.

3. Writing short stories requires less of a commitment in terms of time and energy than novels.

Maybe you don’t have long stretches of time to work on a novel, but you can write a little every day or a little a few days a week.

You can easily complete a short story every month without committing to months of work.

4. Writing short stories can help you earn income and also develop a readership.

When you learn to write “marketable” short stories, and you understand which markets are best for your stories, you can start selling your stories to these markets.

You might also decide to turn your stories into Kindle Singles and start your own little publishing empire!

Either way, you’ll gain visibility as a writer and start building your readership.

5. Writing short stories allows you to develop many ideas in a short amount of time.

Most writers have all sorts of ideas.

So many ideas, in fact, that they never develop them all.

If you write just one short story each month, by the end of a year, you’ll have developed 12 ideas into finished pieces.

And by the time you’ve written 12 marketable short stories, your writing skills will have improved a great deal, and you’ll probably be ready to start writing that novel you’ve been wanting to write.

If you need a little help starting a short story, accept our free Cooking Up a Short Story Challenge at writebythesea.com, and you’ll get four weeks worth of tips, lessons, and resources so you write a “marketable” short story in just one month.

Try it!


For more tips and resources to help you become a better writer, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge.

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books, a writing coach, and editor at writebythesea.com.

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