Thursday, June 13, 2013

Approaching a Short Story When You Have Writer's Block

As school winds down for me, assignments have been pouring in. I've been writing two short stories over the past few weeks for my Writer's Craft course. I've never had a problem with plot ideas, until now. I tried my usual techniques:

-Scrolling Pinterest inspiration boards like there was no tomorrow
-Going through old ideas that I wrote down in my writer's journal
-People watching
-Listening to music

But nothing was working. There just wasn't enough words in the short stories to use any ideas that were remotely interesting. Here's what I learned:

-Think of some different types of relationships (the stranger the better) and write about a scenario they go through
-At the root of a good story the MC's day doesn't go as planned
-Add subtle details about the characters throughout the story, avoid block descriptions
-Put the climax as close to the end as you can
-Juxtapositions make for good stories, especially in characters

I also found this article helpful in regards to the structure of short stories.

Maybe you're writing a short story for a contest, for school or maybe just for you own enjoyment. Whatever, the reason I hope these few tips that worked for me work for you. I'm going to finish this short post of with a writing prompt in the form of a picture:

Who is this? Who's toy is that? What's going on in this scene?

What I'm reading: The Mind's Eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson
What I'm listening to: City and Colour
What I'm watching: Mad Men


  1. I try and get inspiration from the same place you do - pintrest. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

    1. Yes, Pinterest is a hit and miss for me! Sometimes I'm inspired and sometimes I fall into the black hole of procrastination.


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