How to Write a Short Story

How to Write a Short Story

Writing a short story can be creative and fun if you don’t get bogged down in too much technique and protocol. Many, many people are drawn to writer’s workshops and creative writing classes in search of learning to write.

Unfortunately, workshops and classes are not always the best avenue to learn how to write. When it comes to writing a short story, you can learn all the technique in the world and still not write a great short story.

If you choose to take a workshop or class, make sure it is the one for you. It might not benefit you to take a workshop or class that has too much focus on technique and writing the “right” way.

Writing a short story is an extremely creative process, and it is important to let the creativity flow. While many people find workshops and classes to be very beneficial, the key is to find the one that works for you.

Sometimes too much focus on grammar, spelling, and the so-called technique of creative writing can sap the creativity out of the process. The point of creative writing is to write creatively. Although that might seem obvious, there are plenty of writers who forget to make this a priority.

Assuming that writing creatively is your priority and that you want to write a short story, try a few helpful hints. Nobody has the exact recipe for how you write best, so it is important to remember that there are no hard and fast rules.

  • Do something creative for yourself before you begin to get yourself in the right mood. Light candles, play soulful music, dance in your living room, call a creative friend, walk the beach, or do something that inspires you and validates your creativity.
  • If you have a faith in nature, the universe, God (or Allah), Buddha, or any other so-called higher power, you might want to say a prayer, do a meditation, thank your creator, or in some other way affirm your trust and faith in this entity. If you do not believe in a higher power, that is okay. This is only a suggestion that some writers find to be helpful.
  • Start writing. You do not need to plan ahead. You do not need to take notes or form an outline. You certainly may do so if you wish. But to really stay true to creativity, trust the process of it. Be creative. Let your imagination and inspiration guide you. There is no right or wrong, no good or bad. Just let yourself play and enjoy writing creatively.
  • You might find along the way that something keeps trying to bog you down, such as that old feeling that your writing isn’t good enough and that your technique is not up to par. Do not worry about your technique for now. Unless you plan to win some great award, this should not be an issue. Even if you want to win an award, remember that some of the greatest writers of all time did not worry about technique. Look at James Joyce, for instance. His book “Dubliners”, one of the most famous books of all time, certainly did not adhere to any traditional sense of what a book “should look like”.
  • The final, and most important, took is to ENJOY YOURSELF. Let the writing flow. Don’t worry about editing as you go along. Certainly, you can edit along the way if that makes you happy. But you might enjoy the creative writing process more fully if you let your imagination lead the way – and let the creativity fall into place.

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