Writing Poems and Short Stories

There’s no better way to practice the art of writing than to write a few poems and short stories. Have you ever tried your hand at them? It’s surprising the number of writers that have never done this. Instead they jump straight in with their first novel.PoemsPoems are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Why? Because they force you to either rhyme or scan or express your feelings. And most poems are quite short, probably less than 200 words or so. Stuck for a subject? Then just pick a sentence from a book and write a poem about it. It doesn’t have to be very long. Or else choose something in your house, or your son or daughter, or your cat or dog. There are a hundred different subjects you can find. Let me try my hand at a limerick:I once had a big tiger cat
Who got incredibly fat.
I cut out her food
She got in a mood
And she swallowed my other pet, rat!There we go, less than five minutes and that included being attacked by my cat, Pipsqueak. She’s a little one year-old tabby by the way. The point is it’s not that difficult to write poems and practice the art of writing. As we’ve said already, the more you write, the better you will get.Short StoriesOnto short stories. The beauty of short stories is that you don’t have to sit at the keyboard for days on end to finish them. Ideally, short stories should be somewhere between 3,000 and 10,000 words in length. Assuming you write at about 1,000 words an hour, you can see you’ve only got to write for three to ten hours. I write at about 1300 to 1600 words an hour usually, so I ought to be able to write a short story in two to seven and a half hours. That’s only a couple of days work! Think about it, you can have a complete story in two days!How do you write a short story? First spend a day or so planning the story. Lay out a simple plot, introduce a couple of characters, add some conflict and there you go. Then jot down somewhere between ten and twenty story points. Next re-order them to make sure the pace of the story is correct and the conflicts are in all the right places. Finally, start writing. The objective is simple. For each story point you are going to write somewhere between 300 and 500 words. Don’t worry about getting it exactly right, just write. Don’t self-edit, don’t re-read what you’ve written. Just write each story point and move onto the next. At the end of your exercise you’ll have a short story that will be ready for editing at some point in the future. And I’ll say this again; just leave the story and let it mature on its own in the dark. Let the book ‘cook’ for a while and for now just be happy that you’ve written a short story.Another reason for writing short stories is to discover those that could be turned into full-length novels at some point in the future. Sometimes an idea we have for a story doesn’t go anywhere. We write the ten to twenty story points and that’s it. There’s nothing more in it. But sometimes, we write the short story and suddenly realize there’s a whole world waiting to be discovered in this story. It has the makings of a full-length best seller. Welcome to the world of finding your niche!At the beginning of this article I wrote that some people jump straight into writing their first novel instead of practicing with poems and short stories first. Hopefully you understand the point a little better now. The truth is that most writers have a hundred story ideas, and sometimes one or two they are convinced will turn into novels. But that’s it; they’re just ideas. Like anything in life, you need to prove the idea. You need a prototype. The short story is your prototype. Once you start writing your ten to twenty story points, you’ll soon discover how long the legs on your story are. As an example, when I write my YA fantasy novels I generally need between 200 and 250 story points to complete the novel, and each story point converts to about 550 words. This gives me a novel of about 125,000 words. It’s tough to come up with 200 story points out of the gate and it would be terrible to get half-way through a novel and discover you have nowhere to go.So, your task is to write a short story over the next few days so that by the time we get to the article on self-editing you have something to work with. Enjoy!

Short Stories About Love by Julia Valenskaya

Julia Valenskaya’s One-Cup Stories Are For The Heart and SoulTaking a short break from my usual routine during the day I stumbled upon Julia Valenskays’s website and decided to read two of her One-Cup Stories entitled Everlasting Love and The Flight. Never can I say have two short stories that took all of minutes to read had such a profound effect on me.Each word of Julia Valenskaya’s short stories engaged me each step of the way. These simple short stories are a must read for people who enjoy a brief break from reality from time-to-time. Her two stories Everlasting Love and The Flight are two stories from her series of One-Cup Stories, Sentimental Collection. If these two stories are any indication of what Julia’s other short love stories are like, I can almost guarantee that people will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed reading these two stories.The first story I read was Everlasting Love. This story is based in nature and is all about love. The story takes place on a very scenic beach. What I liked most about Everlasting Love is that it is provocative but in a very innocent way. While reading the story, I found myself feeling as though I was right on the shore’s edge with waves breaking at my feet.Not too many authors have the ability to captivate the reader’s mind like Julia. I must say I was extremely impressed with her prose. Julia does a wonderful job when it comes to engaging the reader. Everlasting Love grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go. It is with rare occasion that a short story that takes two minutes to read can have me at the edge of my seat wanting more.The second story I read in Julia’s One-Cup Stories series was The Flight. I was delightfully surprised that I could be so amused and engaged by a story about two leaves. Julia’s writing style made me feel as though I was one with nature while reading this beautiful short romantic love story. This story like Everlasting Love had me wanting more.I am happy that I came across Julia’s One-Cup Stories. It is not every day that I can come across a website that offers anything of true value, but now I can say that I have. Julia Valenskaya’s One-Cup stories is food for the soul. The stories were very stirring and uplifting. Both stories made my imagination soar to new heights. As it turns out, Julia’s One-Cup Stories are quite addicting. I don’t see how it is possible that people can just stop at one cup, but that’s a really good thing if you are looking for a brief break from your daily routine. Even if you just have one cup, I almost guarantee that you will feel brand new after reading her amazing short love stories.