Where do stories come from?

That was the question on my mind Tuesday morning as I unpacked my iPad at the coffee shop. My friend and I meet up occasionally to chat and write. I set a goal for this week:

One new short story each week in August.

It may not sound like a lot to you, but it’s a lot for me. If you haven’t noticed, my writing style leans toward the verbose. Me and “short” are aquatinted, but do not have a happy relationship. I have many short stories started. Some even have endings, but few are complete. Since my Beta Readers have Midnight Bites for the month, I decided this is the best time to concentrate on shorts. 

What to write: 

  • First, I searched through all the shorts in my files in need of completion. 
  • Second, I read through blogs and shorts out on the web offering prompts and ideas.
  • Third, I cast my eye through my “unused scenes” folder from Midnight Bites and Midnight in Line and Form.

Presto! A story formed in my synopses like storm clouds on the horizon. I let my fingers loose on the keyboard. Before the morning was over, I had a complete story written – except for cleaning up the bodies. It felt terrific to write a complete story in one sitting. 

All this brought me back to my original question: Where do stories come from? As August progresses, I hope to keep up the pace. I don’t expect to write a new short every day. I’ll be thrilled with four new stories (complete and ready for editing stories) by the end of August, but I will follow similar procedures each time I sit to write. I’ll make notes and study my notes at the end of August to see what works best for me.

Any tips? What inspires you to write a story? 

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2 thoughts on “Where do stories come from?”

  1. For me, either I have a story or I don’t. But once reading, I too often struggle to figure out where I am going with it.

  2. It comes from the ether for me. I believe we’re mostly radio receivers just catching the signals of the universe (woo-woo, yes), and the best writers are just people who’ve learned to listen best.

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