Short story writing – don’t try this at home! – Part 2

This is not a treatise, but a tongue in cheek, discussion on how to write short stories. Suffice to say this is not the definitive way of doing it, just mine. It works for me – it might not work for you.

There are two methods of writing, planning, sometimes meticulous planning, or flying by the seat of your pants, or being called a ‘pantser’.

The first has it all planned out before they start writing, from beginning to end, knowing what the end result will be. The second, well, we like to write and see where it takes us.

I like to think I fly by the seat of my pants, you know, like the reader who takes up the story and starts reading, not having a clue where it’s going to go. I prefer that blissful ignorance, of course, until I run out of ideas, roughly the equivalent of hitting a brick wall

Or that common enemy all writers have, the dreaded ‘writers block’.

I’ve tried both methods.

Each work, but in the case of the ‘planner’, you need to know where it’s going to start what’s going to happen in the middle and have the end firmly planted in your mind.

Not much good if a rotten character is making you angry and you want to kill him off, and in the most excruciatingly painful manner.

Flying blind gives you a little more creativeness and be able to go around a corner and see what’s there. It also allows for those complete changes of direction you come up with in the shower, the place that is a fertile ground for new ideas just when you’re running out of them.

But it can sometimes play havoc with word counts and if you’re trying to fit into 2,000 words, 5,000 words, or a lot less, taking the story where it wants to go is not a good idea, and sadly, I tend to let stories run their course.

And sometimes I like the idea of writing three different endings, and then can’t choose which one I like the best.

So, role model I am not. I like writing, and when I’m in the ‘zone’ it’s like I’m in another world.

But then, isn’t that the case for all of us?

More unclarity tomorrow!

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