WRITING SHORT STORIES

Judy Ann Davis
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Do you like to read short stories? Even though it’s one of the most demanding writing forms because of its concentrated plot and characterization, writing short stories is also one of the most personal and fun writing formats.

Short stories allow the reader to meet a new character or characters, experience a situation, setting and conflict in a limited amount of words and reading time. Short stories allow the reader to get a glimpse into someone else’s world and often finish the entire encounter in one sitting. And if the story is an emotional, humorous or a suspenseful one, the reader gets to cry, chuckle or cringe as an added bonus. What can be more fun than that?              

Our lives are filled with short stories.

Every day we tell or hear a short story.  It can be a long harrowing story steeped with conflict or a short slice of life that depicts the everyday life of ordinary people. There’s the caring next -door neighbor who goes to the aid of a sick friend across town and gets a speeding ticket on the way home. Or the irksome elderly man in the check-out aisle (ahead of you, of course) who argues with the weary cashier over his expired coupons–and who finally decides to abandon half his items while the line grows longer and longer. . .and longer.

The difference between being a short story teller and a short story writer is just simply having the ability to put your story into a permanent written format that has a beginning, middle and end.

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Many ideas for writing a short story start with an incident.

It can be something you read, something you heard, something you’ve seen or something you’ve experienced. It can be a “What if” moment when you’re daydreaming. Obviously, every incident must be expanded into a story idea and encompass a few basic fundamentals of short story writing like plot and problem, setting, characters, time and theme. And like any fiction, characters and conflict drive the story in the short story.  

Unlike novels, short stories can be created in reasonable time frames that range from short shorts of 500 words to novelettes of 10,000. If I had to make a list of my favorite short story writers, the Grimm Brothers, Alice Munro, Edgar Allan Poe, Jack London, and Louis L’Amour would be on it. Who are your favorites?

Judy’s FAVORITE AUTHOR LESSON:

As a writer, be situationally aware. Look around you when you’re out and about. There’s ideas and stories if you carefully observe…or even eavesdrop!

Coming May 17th – FOUR WHITE ROSES

A Contemporary Mystery and Romance

Writing Short Stories
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And here’s a snippet from the novel:

Rich leaned against a post and reread the letter, then stared off to the distant hills fading away as gray dusk turned to darkness. One more thing to add to his long list of things to do. Renovate the outdated monstrosity of a house. Find a buyer at a worthy price. Go on a wild goose chase to locate a half-sister he didn’t even know existed. And last, unearth century-old jewels from Austria—rubies to be exact—that no one else in over a hundred years could locate. Rich sighed. What a fine cactus patch he fell into! Now his plan to blow into town, sell the house, and make a quick exit within the month was shot to hell.

“Did I throw you for a loop, Richard Lee Junior?” a scratchy voice asked.

Rich jumped and looked around. From the farthest corner of the porch, a rocking chair moved slowly back and forth. Back and forth. But there was no one sitting on it. The night was still and tranquil without a hint of a breeze.

He set the glass and letter on the railing and rubbed his tired face with his hands. “It’s been a long day,” he muttered to himself, “and now I’m hallucinating. I swear I’m hearing a voice sounding like Grandmother Gertie’s.” His gaze traveled to the moving rocker, and he gave it a quizzical look.

“You are hearing me, young man,” the voice said. “Hallucinating, my foot.”

Rich continued to peer at the rocker, now rocking at a faster pace.

“Grandmother? Gertie? Aren’t you supposed to be dead?”

“I am dead,” the voice replied.

Find Judy Ann Davis:

Blog: http://judyanndavis.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.judyanndavis.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Ann-Davis/e/B006GXN502/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudyAnnDavis4

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