Fiction scares me. It scares me like nothing else. I wrote a story a few months ago that I was afraid to share with anyone. It dealt with really dark material. Suicide. Heroin. Prostitutes. Lying. Cheating.
My mind raced. Would readers think I endorsed all of these things? Or, even worse—would readers think I am a lying, cheating, drug user? What if the writing was just flat out terrible? These questions and a thousand others piled up in my mind. (You can read the short story I wrote here.)
But I ignored the voices. I shared it with others, in spite of my fears.
Why would I subject myself to such a frightful process?
I believe writing short stories is crucial to my growth as a writer.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to blog. Blogging can be really fun. But let’s face it, anyone can blog. Writing a short story is walking out of the on-deck circle and stepping up to the plate.
Okay, so where do you start? What do you do?
First, write something. ANYTHING. Get it down—even if you hate it at first. DON’T give up. Keep writing.
Write, write, write!
I recommend buying Joe Bunting’s “Let’s Write a Short Story.” I must disclose that Joe is a friend of mine—but please know I would wholeheartedly recommend this book even if I didn’t know Joe.
This book is the ultimate resource for anyone interested in writing a short story. This ebook is very easy to read and is packed full of helpful advice.
Here’s how I recommend you use this ebook:
1. Read through this book and take some notes as to what stood out.
2.Then apply it to what you wrote when you revise.
For example, I enjoyed the section about the 8 Literary Techniques of Prize-Winning Stories. One of the tips is to write intentionally long sentences; an excerpt is given from Tim O’Brien where he wrote a longer sentence. Then the next tip is to write short sentences. An example is given from the work of Cormac McCarthy. Then it is noted how each style is used to achieve a different effect.
In my story The Last Fix, I used primarily short sentences to keep things as action-packed and tense as possible. But that pace can and will wear out a reader. I know I will have to use intentional longer sentences in the story to give the reader a rest.
This is just one small sample of useful information in the ebook. I truly recommend this fantastic resource.
If you get the ebook today you will get it at a discount, as the price will go up on Thursday (8/30). You can buy the book here.
What is something you can do to step up to the plate TODAY?