I joined a group that deals with flash fiction on Scribophile. Every week there’s new prompts that help inspire your writing. The last prompt I ended up writing a piece that was very emotional for me. The end of an abusive relationship, one that led to a happy ending. I received lots of praise on this work and one said that they would love to see me expand it into a short story. Maybe even have it published. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.
So, I have been working on this piece while my novel sits on the back burner. Not that I don’t want to finish my novel, I do. I just need to push past this feeling of re-writing my chapters and then continuing on. It’s hard to do, especially as the quality of my writing has expanded a bit. I need to tell myself to chill and wait to edit when the whole story is written down.
I did some research on short stories, one to discover what length they should be. In all of my searches, I have found it to be between 1,000 & 7,500 words. I am aiming at coming in around 3,000 words. Right now I am at 1,200 words and still need to flesh this story out. It’s hard. When writing this piece memories come rushing back and I find tears filling my eyes. Immense relief follows as I remember that I got out. The main thing I am hoping for is that if this piece is published, it will reach women out there in similar situations and give them the courage to leave.
If you are used to writing novel length pieces, you will soon discover that anything short is difficult to do. You find yourself expanding your ideas, wanting to start earlier in the story. Anything so that the whole story is told. That is not the way to write short stories. You need to start as close to the end as you can and provide just enough information so that the reader isn’t left wondering.
Here is a site that I found useful while searching for tips on writing short stories. Maybe it will help you too.