I’ve learned a lot from the first short story I wrote, including some stuff from the feedback I’ve gotten from everyone. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Other writers have their own style. Take style advice sparingly.
- If a kid is narrating, make them sound like a kid.
- Don’t read your own story for at least two days so you have a chance to forget what you wrote
- Double-check for similar-sounding names from other books/authors
- Even a short story has a beginning, middle and ending.
- Avoid repetitiveness, particularly in a short story where it’s far more obvious.
- Your spouse can be your worst critic and your biggest fan simultaneously. Remember: They know you better than most people, so they know when you’re putting your all into something and when you’re just being lazy.
One thing I’ve decided I enjoy immensely is bouncing ideas around with someone like my husband. He’s one of those people who nit-picks everything, uses yes-or-no answers, and doesn’t confine his feelings to gray areas. If he likes it he’ll say so, and if he doesn’t he’ll call it crap. While his taste in books and movies may leave the majority of people scratching their heads (I know it often leaves me confused!), it helps to have someone give advice and insight instead of sugar-coating everything.
The next short story I’m working on is almost done churning in my mind. It’s a combination of Fantasy and Society, almost an intellectual piece. My favorite stories are ones that make a person think beyond themselves. It’s the Libra in me that wants to show the world “LOOK! There are at least five thousands sides to every story! Stop thinking you’re the only person with eyes!”
The other year-long story I’m working on is actually loosely based on my best friend/sister-type Sara. I’ve even gone so far as to name the main character Sara 😀 It’s coming along a lot more happily than the past books I’ve tried to write, mainly because it’s actually really interesting and there’s always something going on. The main character does seem to have an internal battle with depression and connecting to people, but the hope is she’ll blossom and take on the world with the internal strength she will discover. She’s got unique abilities that make the story a Fantasy-style book, and it’s written in a vaguely Young Adult manner.
A lot of the inspiration for my stories comes from dreams. The dream I had last night brought out a lot of ideas, most of which must be written down ASAP before more dreams take up all those creative nooks and crannies.