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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/newsletters/action/archives/id/10598
Short Stories: February 03, 2021 Issue [#10598]




 This week: Make Your Own Story
  Edited by: Legerdemain
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

The purpose of this newsletter is to help the Writing.com short story author hone their craft and improve their skills. Along with that I would like to inform, advocate, and create new, fresh ideas for the short story author. Write to me if you have an idea you would like presented.

This week's Short Story Editor
Legerdemain



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Letter from the editor

Make Your Own Story


People have asked me, where do you get your story ideas? I always tell them, it's not hard to come up with ideas. The hard part is executing the writing to show your readers what you had in mind when you began to write. Sometimes I get halfway through writing a short story and I realize everything in my head is not making it to the paper. I needed to put every detail down so the reader can "see" what I am seeing in my head.

Early on, I wasn't a big believer in outlines. But over time, I was convinced it helps to use an outline to keep myself on track and make sure each element of the story makes it to the paper. If my characters are moving around or traveling, I make sure I impart that to the reader. Just like showing your reader what characters are conversing and what they are doing while speaking, you have to make sure they have a place. For me, having an outline helps with place and time.

Sure, sometimes I fall in love with one of my characters. They end up with their own side story and highjack the storyline for a while. Fun to write, but I always have to examine if they truly forward the story or if they're a distraction and confusing my reader. Every writer has their own style and method of dealing with these characters. Sometimes they end up with their own story, some end up on the cutting room floor.

In all, make your own story, give it life and enjoy the characters you create. And as always, Write On!


This month's question: What do you do with distracting characters? Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!


Editor's Picks

 Driving  (E)
A young woman tries to earn an important credential.
#2241833 by Green Actor

Excerpt:July 5, 2018, was a sleepless night for Jennifer Drangmeister. She had spent nearly the whole of that day cycling all over town in search of a job. Given that she was going to take her driving test first thing next morning, she thought, that may not have been wise.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2224415 by Not Available.

Excerpt: EIGHT HOURS HEADING WEST into the afternoon sun took its toll, but I had to keep moving. That cop back in Zanesville hadn't seen my license plate, but he had a good description of my car, and me too. Somewhere around St. Louis, I pulled into a rest area to give my eyes a break and search the internet for a place to hole up.

 
STATIC
The Repentant Bully  (18+)
Ron regrets bullying Samuel in high school - 2nd place What a Character, December 2018.
#2176534 by Christopher Roy Denton

Excerpt: Ron Johnson hesitated in the hospital corridor, reluctant to open the door and confront his past. While he struggled to steady his racing pulse, he adjusted his gray tie and ran a hand across his crew cut. This was the right thing to do.


 
STATIC
The Child of the Water  (E)
A glance into the past of one of my characters from the Elementals series I'm working on.
#2188026 by LazyWriter

Excerpt: Rarbyakh Gurrgish was a boy of just fifteen when the sea monsters approached the humble village of Tronrus.

He had gone with his father to help capture some decent fish to sell. The bigger and rarer the fish, the higher the price, the more variety of food they could eat. His sister had been complaining loudly for two weeks that eating the little fish that were common to these parts was getting tiresome.


 
STATIC
Dead Cert  (18+)
When a "character flaw" might get you out of that hole it got you into in the first place.
#2153770 by deemac

Excerpt: Harry had been barman at the North-West Belfast Social Club long enough to know Spud Murphy's drinking habits by heart. So Spud's usual perfectly creamed Guinness was already perched on top of the bar as he came bouncing in through the door.

"Well, whaddya know?" exclaimed Harry, "If it isn't old Jack-in-the-box himself! And why, may I ask, is that unaccustomed grin splitting your ugly mug in half today?"


 The Costs  (13+)
Conflict arises between colonists on an alien world. 2nd Place, "What a Character" contest
#1869535 by Mitchopolis

Excerpt: The vibro-axe kept binding in the dense logs. “You broke it again, Dad?” Roby peered down at his daughter and mimicked an angry glare, followed seconds later by a smile reserved only for daughters. “Maybe, Trina, but I suspect it’s these cursed trees on this damn planet.”

 Mexican Standoff  (ASR)
Newbies Academy Challenge; 500 words from the POV of two characters/Twisted Tales Contest
#2085076 by Santa

Excerpt: At this moment, Paca was not free. She stared across at Alejandro; bound. How did they get here?

Strong since a child, Paca fought for freedom from the time she was a little girl. The first taste of the life she wanted, her university days. Every experience unique; life was so different on the farm. She met Alejandro during the first semester. She did not think he knew it, but she chose him on that first day. She encouraged his efforts to gain her affections while she studied.


 
STATIC
Imaginary Can Mean Real  (13+)
If characters were able to talk, what would they say? A story on having faith as a writer.
#2059451 by Storygirl95

Excerpt: "Guys! Come on everyone, please. I need at least something. I can't just leave it an empty page. Guys!"

My pleading falls on deaf ears. They are all ignoring me. How am I supposed to write if I don't have anyone to work with?

I have plunged into the world of my subconscious, trying to write the first chapter of a new book. It's been a while since I've written a whole novel, and I'm getting antsy.

In the imagined workplace of my mind, it's serene and peaceful.



 
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Ask & Answer

This month's question: What do you do with distracting characters? Send in your answer below! *Down* Editors love feedback!

Last month's question: Do you experience brain fog? What are some of your solutions?


CREEK : Yes. I experience brain fog or whatever it is. I don't write but postpone it to next day hoping everything will be alright. I wake up feeling refreshed, have my milk tea and chat with my hubby. Yesterday's writing is in the back of my mind. I try to push it away. I switch on T.V. and watch news. After cooking, I go and have a bath. But, still, I was unable to start writing something for my blogs or writing.com. I don't know when I will defeat brain fog.

Nwriter : Yes, I have experienced brain fog. it was very severe. I was sleep deprived for long due to pain from a back injury.in fact, i am just getting back to my feet. Mental Physics, a form of yoga and philosophy, based on the eight fold noble path helped me a lot.

♊️GeminiGem💎 : I have definitely experienced brain fog, but it isn't an "everyday" type of occurrence. It has to do with my health, linked mostly to extremes like post-radiation treatment for cancer, post covid vaccine, or when I am exhausted mentally, physically, or emotionally.

FlyingDuckManGenesis : I think so. Sometimes it takes me a very long time to come up with a good idea. You could say my brain is like an old Commodore computer sometimes.

Steven (PLEASE BUY MY BOOKS!) : If I get brain fog on one story, I just go to another.

If it is a general brain fog I find that one of two things helps - (1) play an instrument (I'm a drummer and am learning guitar), or (2) doing something physical (I have set a goal to get my double somersault back on the trampoline, or I lift weights or, if I can, go to wrestling training... stupid COVID).

So, basically, something not writing. Not that it happens too often... fog most often when I've written too much.

Kåre Enga 🇹🇭 Udon Thani : It worries me because of my age. I suspect a lot of it has to do with stress in my case. 2020 was a year of fog and depression napping. For me 2020 isn't over yet.

To snap out of it? Focus on the present rather than try to find something in the clutter of my mind. When I travel I'm in less of a fog. Movement clears the air.

Jimminycritic : Yes, I do have it. I actually rely on notes and reminders I can set on my phone or alexa. Meditation helps, but so does asking people for help...

Pesky Amanda A.K.A. LadyNazlia : I usually shift my focus. If I can't accomplish anything with a poem I'm working on, I'll shift to writing a song or a short story or something just to give my brain a break.

TJ-cupids-crazed-collaborator : I thought everyone experienced brain fog from time to time. I know I do, on occasion, find myself in a mental fog. One big cause of brain fog for me is being tired. I'm not talking I got up early and now it's late, I'm talking getting a good eight hours of sleep, but needing two or three days to get it kind of tired. Another source is just having too many things going on at the same time with no breaks and no way to keep up with them all; this fog also includes a deep, pounding, headache.

What are some solutions? Get enough sleep, but for me, if I sleep too long I can also get brain fog. Try to minimize stress, and just get a break from things once in a while. Unfortunately, all of these are difficult to attain at the current time. But, one more week and then the schools reopen and there should be a break during the day.

I plan on utilizing some of this time to go sit out on the frozen lake and try my hand at ice fishing. It sounds like a good way to work out all three problems, I can sit in my shelter and nap, I can escape from some of the daily stress, and I can relax and be uninterrupted; I may even get a chance to read some of my books I've been trying to get to.

elephantsealer : Brain fog? I get a lot of that!!! Nevertheless, I try to remedy the situation by either reading a book, watch something interesting on TV or read the newspaper. Do you know that one gets a lot of inspiration through all these media? Well, they have so far not let me down!!!

MoonMyst~🌌 : Getting enough sleep helps andd eating right, but now I'm not able to so I'm very selective about what I eat. I try to be active on a daily basis but allow for those days my energy level is low. Even a little bit helps. Have to listen to your body.

jdennis : Fog is scattered particles of water, which are so small they float in the air atop the ground's surface. Brain Fog is tiny pieces of worrisome thoughts scattered throughout your brain's processing functions, causing chaos by fogging your mind and shroud your logic. A change in the atmospheric pressure eliminates the particles of water floating in the air, much as a shift in perspective will clear your brain of those useless thoughts.

Anna Marie Carlson : Not too often, but when I do, I anticipate that the fog will be lifted so that I can continue to write. One of my solutions to get rid of a brain fog is to make an attempt to write something a little different than my norm; it's like getting out of my comfort zone for a little while and challenge myself to at least give it a try. I also pray that the brain fog would be over soon.

TheBusmanPoet : Sometimes. My solution is to lie down until it clears itself. *Smile*

Redtowrite : Sometimes you can go with it and write some of the most imaginative poetry, just flow with the images that come up.

Thanks to everyone for your replies! Leger~

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