Our theme this week is writing short stories for Amazon’s Kindle. I adore writing short stories because they’re fun and easy to write. You can write stories in any genre which appeals to you, and set them anywhere you like.
Let’s look at how you can write your short stories in your spare time, anywhere you happen to be. There are two processes: planning, and writing.
Index cards: perfect for collecting ideas and planning your stories
Plan your stories first, using index cards. Although I use Scrivener, which has an index card view, and the app Index Cards on my iPad, I nevertheless plan my stories and novels using paper cards.
You can shuffle your cards, and lay them out in patterns, and of course, you can carry them around with you.
Carry some blank index cards with you, and use one card per idea for:
Snippets of dialog, etc.
How to plan your short stories
Set a timer for 15 minutes, and come up with as many ideas for short stories as you can. Write one idea per index card.
Next, choose one of your story ideas. Set the rest of the story idea cards aside – you can use the cards later to write new stories, or discard them.
Create a couple of characters: write one character name per card. Each character needs a goal, or a problem that they’re desperate to resolve. Add that to the card. I like to add the character’s age to their card. If you like, you can write a description of the character on the back of the card. I don’t bother. Short stories are short. You don’t have space for long descriptive passages.
Decide how many scenes your short story will have. Scenes take place in real time. Then write one scene idea per card.
I like to aim for 20 to 30 cards per story. However, you can have as many as you like, or need, depending on how long your story will be.
Write a quick outline of your short story
Once you’ve got enough cards, so that a story’s taking shape in your mind, lay the cards out on a large table so that you can see what you have.
Then divide the cards into three sections: beginning, middle and end.
The middle will have the largest number of cards. If you have 20 cards, you may have five cards for the beginning and five cards for the ending, and 10 cards for the middle. Don’t get too hung up on this. Your story will change and grow as you write it.
Next, create a quick outline of your story. Work directly from your cards.
Write a first draft of your story directly from your outline
Once you’ve created your outline, write a quick draft of your story. Just type as quickly as you can – remember, shitty first drafts :-).
Once you’ve completed your initial draft, leave the story for a day or two. Then come back to it and write your next draft.
Try this simple process to write short stories in your spare time. This process works for many writers. Try it, then adapt it to suit your own needs. Have fun with it.
Did you miss these articles?
This week, our theme is writing Kindle short stories. Did you miss these articles?
Short reports and short stories can be highly profitable for writers. Consider creating many short projects, if you want to make more money per hour.
My constant refrain to all my writing students is: “avoid trading hours for dollars as soon as you can.” Writing short material helps you to do that.
Five easy and fun tips to help you to write your short stories.
NEW – “Fiction Fiesta: Write Short Kindle Fiction For Fun and Profit” – coaching workshop
Discover how to write short stories FAST. Write a short story a day, or a week, to build an ever-increasing income stream with the writing you do in your spare time. As your coach, I’ll guide and inspire you. Exercises will build your confidence. Your exercises will grow into stories you can publish.
Can YOU write short stories? Yes you can. You’ll love the Fiction Fiesta coaching workshop – it’s fun and easy.
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