Trying out this short story stuff

Over the years I’ve been told by countless friends and family that my inability to complete an actual story may be directly related to a number of factors. They’re listed here in the order of what I believe to be most likely to least likely:

  1. Easy to Distract
  2. Boredom
  3. Laziness (OK nobody actually said this, but I KNOW they thought it!! I could see it in their eyes, I swear!)

The suggestions for working around those factors have been more numerous. The most repeated one was actually something I kept intending to try, but never got around to it. Keep in mind, my imagination has a constant reel of what-ifs throwing story ideas into the whirlwind of my brain even while trying to finish the story I’m currently working on. It makes it difficult to concentrate long enough to complete a story from start to finish, and when I do manage to get past chapter 7 (my current highest-reached chapter for my stories), by then the story has fragmented into so many bazillion other stories I have forgotten the exact reason for this specific title. Thankfully I’ve found re-reading the last few chapters helps keep me focused, while allowing me to do on-the-job editing to make the finished-product editing a bit easier. In all honesty, I love writing and filling pages with stories and words, but my absolute favorite part of the whole process is going back and re-writing, refining, and smashing my head into a wall for misspelling. OK the last part there isn’t nearly as fun as re-writing 😛

So, in keeping with my tendency to get side-tracked, the “Write a Short Story!” phrase finally penetrated my (rather thick) skull and I set about trying to figure out how to get an entire story into a “smattering” of words. The first step (for me) was to conjure an entirely new character, new world, new set of circumstances. My other characters and worlds were already built up to such complexity that even thinking up a new story to fit into them would eat up an easy 3,000 words. Add to that the actual story, from beginning to end, and it may as well be a novel.

The world that was revealed was actually more characteristic of those Goosebumps-type stories, complete with target audience: 10 year old boys. The proceeding story was a total of 1,178 words. The nice thing about the story is that it actually left a nice arched doorway, sans door, waiting for another short story to continue the trend.

The not-so-nice thing about the story is I kinda…well, let’s just say, Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl” is going through my head but with “killed” instead of “kissed.” Sigh!! The only reason I “liked” it is because I FINALLY FINISHED A STORY!!!
  1. I've tried outlining but it always deviates too much or ruins the story. Imagine building a house the way we write – Winchester Mystery House anyone?

  2. I've tried outlining but it always deviates too much or ruins the story. Imagine building a house the way we write – Winchester Mystery House anyone?

  3. You might try outlining first too. I don't do that I prefer to write as it come to mind. But that's me. Both styles work. Also, I don't go back and edit until a WIP is done This is because I get distracted with the edits and never finish the story.

    You will also find unfinished stories a common problem among most writers. This is because sometimes a story just runs out of places to go. I have more then my fair share of unfinished stories at various lengths. I have used some of those in other stories and others are still stewing in my brain.

    Writing takes focus, and I have been distracted too. I am thinking I may follow the advise of a member is my writing group who set a goal of one short story a month and a novel a year. Set some deadlines for myself. But we will see. Others set deadlines by word court. For example the will set 500 words a day. Or 3000 a week. Something like that.

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