I learnt a long time ago that setting goals is not the best way to encourage me to write. It makes writing a chore rather than a pleasure, and I do not want writing to become that. Instead, I just make copious notes and, if I’m lucky, they get turned into short stories.
My goal from now is to type up all my nanowrimo stuff, since I wrote it out in a single notebook throughout the month. I don’t know how many words I got up to, and I’m eager to find out! It’s not going to be 50,000 I don’t think, but it’s a start, at least. In future I’ll probably stick to using one notebook at a time- it’s good for keeping track of things, and it feels good to fill up the book!
I’ve also been entering a few short story/flash fiction contests on wattpad, and seeing how I go with those. I have a few ideas for longer stories again, but I want to write a decent amount of them in advance before I post, since I’ve always been terrible with update schedules.
That is productive! What’s the anthology?
Hopefully there will be a new one soon!
Don’t worry about it
I am, but I’m not sure what I want haha
Agreed! I haven’t gone back since I started in notebooks either. Typing it up is a bit of a chore, but I find it really useful for editing.
Always a good idea. Better for the readers and for your stress levels
What’s the biggest thing you’ve improved on since you first started writing short stories?
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It’s certainly forced me to be more succinct, although reviewers on the WP main site still say my paragraphs are too long.
Over the years I’ve also learned to control my comma habit.They were like confetti in the stuff I was writing at university.
Every quarter we put out an online anthology ‘zine of members’ stories on our website. Maybe about half-a-dozen members contribute - which is the active membership. We have more members, but not as active.
Cutting back on words. Writing short stories has taught me how to use words effectively. If a word can do double duty - use it!
Focusing on specific subtleties rather than making it a gore fest.
Also, not listening to anyone that things their publishing just “hangs the moon.” I’m looking at those who hate self-publishers. I’ll do a hand drawn cover, if I want to do a hand drawn cover. My mind will not be changed, find greener pastures.
Writing advice isn’t always the same as publishing advice. Sometimes they overlap, but they’re different disciplines. You can publish a book of your own acrylic paintings, for example. Or graphic novels.
They can dislike my paintings and sketches, even hate it. But don’t you dare tell me I have no right to use my own art as a cover.
In short: A less productive year overall, cause of having to deal with folks sometimes they confuse writing with publishing.
How to create an impact with minimal words and get readers connected with the characters. Since short story is like a scene or a chapter from a bigger picture I’ve learnt to carry on with a specific mood throughout the story, the same way a chapter would in a novel.
Plotting, and making sure I go into the story with the end clearly in mind. The first few short stories I tried to write were things that I thought were a cool concept but didn’t necessarily have a strong narrative behind them. A lot of them I couldn’t finished, and the ones I did had an ending that felt abrupt and unearned. I think when I was only writing longer works some of my problems with plotting was masked by the volume of words, but in short form the bones of the story - or the lack of them - was really laid bare. I know I’ve improved on this just by the fact that I now complete the stories I start most of the time.
What is it for you?
Actually finishing a story I have the approximate attention span of a hummingbird on crack cocaine, so I’ve always had trouble completing anything. My first short story was 13 chapters and it was originally part of a longer work, but then I realized that I could turn that chunk of the longer work into a short story and work on completing something for a change
Btw, hello, everyone! I’ve shown up here like . . . twice before haha.
I wrote and liked what I wrote (even if it was bad).
Wow I was the opposite of that!
I’m the same in this. The 50-word stories I wrote/write were a pretty big part of me learning that.
A good approach to take for a hobbyist online.
This is a big part of short stories and something people find hard when making the jump from novels. Definitely something I’ve improved upon too
I had this issue too
sometimes I still do, but at least I’m getting better at seeing it and not sharing