Guest Author - Kathryn Jones Merry
Who is your muse? What inspires you? How many idea stashes do you have?
In today’s fast, new world that seems to remake itself every 10 years, you have to be quick if you want to stay ahead of technical advances. Is it a bad thing to keep technical information you would need from NASA rather vague and direct the story more to the actions of the characters? For the moment, it makes the most sense. Character development puts the reader right where you want them – emotionally involved. Once you have that, the story almost rolls out by its own volition. A downhill roll for a writer is fun as words pour out faster than 20 wpm and make up for the uphill grind. Do be careful and check that you didn’t leave bits of story behind while you were on a roll.
It may seem easier to tell a family story. Grandmother’s stories that remain hanging in the rafters of our memories are potentially explosive. Writing vignettes of the family’s past could possibly lead to a family feud. Just be careful when exposing the emotions of your family to the public, and you should have each person sign a release form. Discretion is always going to be the best approach. Of course, if you want to have a family feud, you may also want to procure a good attorney.
Animal characters are versatile within a story. For the child, the words are simple and honest, and the animals are colorful. But, the successful use of non-human characters in science fiction and fantasy has been amazing. Whether gentle or monstrous, readers love the unusual. Oh, if only whales could talk – maybe they do. Animals are also great with political satire.
The most important inspiration you can have is belief in yourself. Nearly every writer has sat with a laptop on a table covered with papers and coffee stains, waiting for inspiration. The great thing about short stories is, well, they’re short! You can start small and build the story out from its shell. It’s an easy way to get started. Write a sentence here, a sentence there, and before long you’re rearranging paragraphs. Moving lines, paragraphs and sections into a completed story is very satisfying.
Are you comfortable sharing what you write? It is a bit uncomfortable to ask, but receiving feedback that encourages achievement of your personal writing goals is well worth making the effort.