Doing what makes me scared

By far the greatest challenge I’m having/going to have with my repurposing project is working with a genre that I’m not familiar with. Reading short stories and writing them are very different things; I love reading them, but now I’ve challenged myself to writing one and it’s a whole new ball game.

Does anyone have some advice for a short story amateur?

My original idea was interesting to me: I was going to take a small idea from an essay I wrote last year about what my collection of books means about me and turn it into a short story. But after thinking it over some more and talking about it with my group members, I realized I may be starting with too abstract a concept.

So now I’m switching gears!

I’m going to keep the idea of the short story because frankly it scares me and I want to learn how to write creatively. The original source will now be an argument I wrote for the pros of digital communication – how we’re all relying much more heavily on text messaging and social media to communicate and how this might not be a terrible thing. I wrote about how text messaging is merely a supplement to verbal communication, not a replacement, and that we’re all more than capable of talking to each other like the good old days.

Right now the idea is that my short story will be a Brave New World-esque situation and a theme regarding how we’re allowing technological communication play too big a role.

Cell phone screen reading "74 new text messages have arrived."
Sometimes way too big a role. [Image from Flikr user Noel Hidalgo]

While I realize this is still a bit of an abstract idea, I feel like it’s more readily transferable into a short story, which makes me feel better about it.

Time to buckle down and get creative. Wish me luck.

Brie Winnega

Hey, I'm Brie. I'm an English major who's addicted to reading, writing, and ponytails.

2 thoughts to “Doing what makes me scared”

  1. Hey Brie,

    As you know, creative writing is new to me as well, so you’re probably much better off getting your short story advice from Jeff. However, the one thing I would say (which you and Jeff said to me) is make sure there is some conflict. I think that’s one of the most important things in reading a story. Conflict makes the story engaging and intriguing. How will the conflict be resolved? Or not resolved…

    I like your new concept. I agree that it will be more easily developed into a short story. The idea seems more concrete to begin with. With your original idea we struggled to come up with real-life examples; there are plenty of examples of technology both hurting and benefiting our society.

    Good luck!

  2. Brie – I think your new idea is great! It’s a really cool concept and there are so many different places you could go with it. As far as advice goes, I’m certainly nowhere close to an expert but from the small amount of creative writing I’ve done, my main piece of advice would be to create your whole story before you even begin writing. Make a detailed outline, descriptions of characters, imagine the setting – figure out pretty much everything about the story. Then, when you actually sit down to write it, you’ll have a much better vision in your mind of your story and where you want it to go. Hope this helps!

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