Make Something Happen

IMG_4445

A little more than a year ago, I started reading slush for an online flash fiction zine. I expected to learn tons about writing short stories and flash in particular. And I did.

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that in 2017, I took up the Ray Bradbury challenge to write 52 short stories. Bradbury says it’s not possible to write 52 bad stories, and I aimed to prove him wrong.

Honestly, my first five or six stories looked like 52 bad stories was a possibility. They were only good for the trash heap. But, with a little—okay a lot of—help from Anna Yeatts and my experience reading slush, I had five stories accepted for publication last year.

The main thing I learned about writing short stories was that something has to happen. It’s fine to have dark and stormy nights or bright and sunny days. Lovely prose is a delight. But if nothing happens, you ain’t got story.

This is where I think a lot of writers (based on my slush reading) get a bit lost. They have a great premise, but nothing happens.

For example, I wrote a story called “The Stain on the Wall” about a mother and son who move into a house where a tiny stain on the staircase wall keeps getting bigger. But there it stopped. All premise, no story. What’s behind the stain? Ghosts? Poltergeists? A doorway to hell? And what happens to Mom and son?

Never figured it out—at least not so far. So not a story. Yet.

Speaking of stories, my query saga for my completed novel, The Last Summer Queen, continues. Eight queries out the door with a ninth tomorrow. Two “not interested” replies. Notice, I’m not calling them rejections.

Please keep on sending lucky vibes my way. Fingers crossed.

2 thoughts on “Make Something Happen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.