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I went to a very interesting short story workshop recently in which we were forced to write and submit a bunch of short stories in a relatively short time period. I gleaned some things which I want to share with you all.
- Write the (first draft of the) story! There's no magic potion or circumstance you need to write a short story. Just do it!
I've blogged here many times about how to write a short story, for example, see Short Story Cheat Sheet. In a nutshell, you need a protagonist, a problem, and the protagonist needs to do something to try to solve the problem.
- Revise the story. I am a strong believer is following your muse. Part of that is figuring out what writing method works for you. Some people can dash off one draft of a story and have it be perfect. I am not one of those people. I need at least one reader to set eyes on it and tell me things like, "This character is too stupid to live." And then I can say, "Now that you mention it, oh, yeah..."
So, figure out what writing method works for you. FYI-every writer has their own method.
Be warned, however, don't get trapped in revision. Don't let this step stop you from the next step.
- Submit the story! Again, there's no magic potion needed here. Find a market and send it out! A helpful place to find markets is ralan.com.
Of course, we would love to get your story here at Electric Spec. :)