Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thursday's Children: Short Stories

Welcome to the Thursday's Children Blog Hop, where you can share your sources of inspiration during your writing journey. Make sure to check out the other bloggers via the Linky List at the bottom of this post, and if you want to join in, just sign up and go!

Inspired by short stories.


Ever try writing a short story?

How about two? How about fifteen?

I loved writing short stories long before I loved writing full-length novels. There's something freeing about not having to worry about markets and genres and multiple-book story arcs... something freeing about just being able to write.

Lots of things inspire me about the process of writing a short story:

(1) Because they're shorter, you can write more of them. Imagine being in a constant cycle of concept development, planning, writing, and editing. You can brainstorm an idea one day, then write and edit it the next. No nugget is too small to be the star of tomorrow's story.

(2) You can experiment. Ever written a story from the POV of a dog? Of a carpet? Of three characters? Of twenty? Ever told a story backwards? Via text message? With a narrator who knows more than they reveal on the page? Why not flex your literary muscle and challenge yourself by experimenting with your writing.

(3) It's more challenging. Imagine taking all of the elements that make a 90,000-word novel engaging, and accomplishing the same thing in only 3,000 words. With short stories, you have to start faster, write your characters stronger, and make every word, sentence, and paragraph count. It's storytelling stripped down to its essentials.

The next time you find yourself stuck... try taking a break from novel-writing and challenge yourself to write a few short stories. You'll feel the thrill of creation, discover a new style or voice, and invigorate yourself with the challenge that comes with limitations.

Go for it!

Don't forget to check out the Blog Hop, and join in, too!

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