Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Month of Writing Short-Stories…And Still Going Strong

Remember my new year’s resolution to write one short-story a week for the entire year? Well, glad to report that I’ve written four so far and am still progressing nicely with my plan of completing one per week. So what have I been writing about?

Everything. Actually, I’ve written several short-stories inspired by my home town of San Francisco, and have been pleased with the results considering I’ve never really written about the city before. On top of that I’m continuing to write historical fiction, but I’ve also found that writing these short-stories has actually helped improve my novelistic writing as well by driving me to get to the point sooner in a narrative and maintain the tension throughout a scene.

So what short-fiction have you been writing lately? Do you ever write about your hometown or your locality? Has writing a different kind of fiction ever helped you improve your overall writing experience?   


  1. I really need to start writing more shorts. I'm sure I will be soon. I've been working on my novels lately. Glad you are enjoying the journey.

  2. Ah, San Fran. Love that city. I lived there for two years when I was a teen, and my father was stationed at Treasure Island.

  3. I should write about my hometown sometime. I think people who have never been here have pre-conceived notions about the place, but I really love it :)

  4. Good for you, Mark! Blog hops are a great way to get me to write short stories, because otherwise, I tend to stick to novels.

  5. Interesting. I haven't delved into any of these yet - not much with short stories lately or my home town. You've got me thinking tho. Love the idea of this and I think it would help me grow as a writer. Think I may have to try it out. :) Thanks - and good job!

  6. You've done really well, Mark. My story locations this month are 36,000 thousand miles above Earth, The Lake District (UK), Turkey in the 17th Century, and the Octopus Nebula, light years from Earth.

    My stories get around a bit.

  7. Stay on target - that's awesome! I really haven't done many short stories. Just trying to complete one more book right now.

  8. What a great goal! I struggle with short stories (as you'll see when you read mine). I do much better with long fiction. I guess I must be long-winded :-)

  9. You're right, short stories require a whole different skill set than novel writing. Great way to learn how to cut the fat in your writing and get to the point. Keep it up! I hope you will find some places to submit them too.

  10. Ever considered writing a historical book set in old timey San Fran? Just thinking aloud.

    The last short story I wrote was a memoir about Outdoor School. Does that count? I'm terrible with short stories.

  11. Way to go, Mark! Now to find paying markets, polish those tales up, and send them out into the world.

    You're absolutely right that short story writing can only help our novel-length pursuits. Amen!

  12. I've never been any good at short stories, though I used to give it the old college try. I wish I had a more interesting hometown to write about - San Francisco would be great!

  13. Hooray for your progress! :)

    I've thought about writing about my locality. I recently watched a documentary about the area which was interesting--but I'm more strongly attracted to SF/F.

  14. Aloha Mark,

    Thanks for the comments - and the follow - and have done the same.

    You're a brave man for trying the Spam sushi, but now you have me wondering.. I should try it one of these days!!

    Good luck with the short stories a week project... seems like a great idea, and it's going to keep you on your toes!

  15. Great that you've stuck to your target. I posted about them recently, but I actually haven't written a short story in over a year. I can't seem to write more than one thing at a time, and I want to finish this book. However, I do think that novel writing can improve short story writing and vice versa. Any practice helps.

    I have written one short story set in my hometown of Brighton as I wanted to write from the POV of a child, so I described things as I saw them then. My protagonist had a much more deprived childhood than I ever had, though!

  16. Excellent on keeping with the resolution! I haven't written any short stories in a long time, but one of my professors is having us write for ten minutes a day about anything. Well I just got that assignment a couple hours ago so I haven't done any yet, but I think it'll be interesting.

  17. I've never really written short fiction. I find it so much harder than writing a novel! I just don't know how to wrap anything up...quickly. LOL. Good for you though, keeping up with your goals! That's wonderful and not easy to do!

  18. Good for you! I'm with April...writing short fiction is so much harder for me than novel writing.

  19. That's awesome, man! Writing flash pieces has really grown on me in the last few months, like a little sense of accomplishment in under an hour. :)

  20. Hello Mark:
    Writing short stories is so demanding and we are so pleased to note that you have managed to keep up to your target. We are sure that you are right about its effect upon your novel writing skills and, who knows, perhaps you will collect them together as a series when you have finished?

  21. Miranda – Thanks! It’s good to be writing:)

    Donna – Neat! What did your dad do on Treasure Island?

    J.A. – The same definitely applies to my hometown, maybe that’s why people like us need to write about it.

    Emily – I used to be the same, until quite recently. I’m glad for the change and am trying to branch out.

    Leigh – Do try! I think you’ll find it refreshing:)

    Deborah – Wow, that’s an intriguing story. Your stories do indeed get around, good luck!

    Alex – I’m working on writing a novel at the same time, because well, life’s too short and I can’t wait. But I understand the need to focus on a project at a time sometimes.

    Susan – Your short-stories were awesome! Very interesting and very well put together:)

    L.G. – Yup, I’m cutting the fat wherever I can. I haven’t even really thought of submission yet, I just want to writer them:)

    McKenzie – I have thought of it, although I have so many other historical novels I’ve been dying to write first, but that’s not a bad idea:) Memoirs count in my book, for what that’s worth;)

    Milo – Thanks man, you are the inspiration! I haven’t really concentrated on submitting anything, I’m just so happy to be writing:)

    Susan – I suggest giving it a try, as I thought the same thing about myself until this year.

    Eagle – Thanks! I prefer Historical Fiction myself, but I’ve found that with short-stories you might as well try different genres…after all, what have you got to lose?

    Mark – Thanks for the follow! I love the spam sushi:)

    Nick – It definitely has helped improve my writing overall, and has made me rewrite my stuff a lot more too. It also feels good to get an entire story churned out in a short period of time!

    Aubree – Thanks for the support and the follow! I suggest giving your professor’s idea a try, it can’t hurt:)

    Jeremy – Thanks man!

    April – I felt the same way until recently, but I just forced myself to write short-stories and it happened. I definitely prefer novels, but I’m really enjoying this exploration:)

    Susan – It certainly can be, it just depends upon the story...or so I’ve found.

    David – Yeah, flash fiction is even shorter to me and I don’t think I’m ready for that. But I’m loving branching out of my box, so to speak.

    Jane/Lance – Not a bad idea, but I don’t think I’m there yet, in either talent or length, but I’m liking your ideas here:)

  22. Its great that you are sticking to your New Year Resolution. Writing short stories is a wonderful way to practice your writing skills as short stories means that every word has to earn its place in the story.

    Read the first story about the Killer...its good :)

  23. I'm playing about with some short story ideas at the moment - mainly because I'm avoiding what I'm actually supposed to be doing :-)

    Well done for keeping up with your target.

  24. Rachna - Glad you're enjoying the stories:)

    Sarah - Yup, I do the same thing sometimes, but at least you know you're doing writing:)