Friday, June 26, 2009

How To Write A Short Story

I found a great article on WikiHow, explaining How To Write A Short Story. I really like it, and thought I would post the main steps on here. Click through to the article for more details!
  1. Read plenty of short stories
  2. Gather ideas for your story - learn how to brainstorm
  3. Choose an idea and start with the basics of a short story
  4. Know your characters
  5. Limit the breadth of your story - days or even minutes
  6. Decide who will tell the story
  7. Start writing
  8. Come out swinging
  9. Keep writing
  10. Let the story "write itself"
  11. Revise and edit
  12. Get some second opinions
  13. Incorporate whatever edits, revisions and suggestions are valid

  • Do research - i.e. if it's set in the 1950's
  • Use music to help connect you to emotions and events you want to convey

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guardian Short Story Competition

Are you a budding writer? Do you have a story tucked away that you've never had the nerve to show anyone?

Every year, in August, the Guardian's Weekend magazine publishes a selection of original fictions by the some of the best authors writing today. Last August's fiction special featured Annie Proulx, Julian Barnes, Alice Sebold and Tessa Hadley, among others, and this summer we'll be unveiling another line up of stellar names. But this year, yours could be among them: for the first time, we're inviting readers to submit their stories to our annual summer fiction issue.

We've asked authors William Boyd and Julie Myerson to judge your submissions, and they will be looking for the most original, gripping and well-crafted pieces of writing. Their favourite story will be published in the magazine; the five runners-up will have their stories published on

All you need to do is send us a story of no more than 2,000 words by 10 July. It can be on any theme, but it must be previously unpublished and we can only accept one story per entrant.

If you've got a story languishing in a drawer, or you've always wanted to try your hand at writing, but never had the reason – or the discipline – to get started, now's your chance.

Send your story by 10 July to Short Stories, Guardian Weekend, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU Please include a phone number.

See full article in the Guardian for full terms and conditions.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Still Planning...

Just in case you'd all wondered where I'd got to, I'm still busy planning out ideas for my new story involving little people. I'm now thinking of leaving out the Supernatural elements of the story, and have the only science fiction element of it being that they get shrunk in a top secret shrinking machine built by the government. I have heard that when creating a fictional story, if it's science fiction, then it's best to use only unbelievable thing, make sure everything else in the story conforms to the rules and technology of the world we live in now. That way it becomes more believable by the audience, and they won't just think the whole thing is completely made up. I hope that works anyway!

The basic idea is that the government is working on a top secret project where they intend to shrink human soldiers down to 5 inches tall, and have them work covertly in enemy territory. They would make excellent spies, and would be well trained to get the job done. Brings a whole new idea of warfare if you imagine miniature armies fighting each other. Tiny Soldiers could assassinate a Prime Minister, they could easily infiltrate government buildings and individual homes being so small.

My story will mainly focus on a small group of civilians, who either accidentally get shrunk, or the government uses them as test subjects, and then they escape. I just need to think of a reason why the government would use these people as test subjects, would they be people the government wanted to disappear? Or would they volunteer to be test subjects, assuming it's some medical testing, and not knowing exactly what it is until it's too late? Perhaps they desperately need the money? Especially given the economic climate!

Any help and advice would be gratefully received! :)