Writing A Short Story

Pen and Paper

As an editor, I don’t get to write many stories, but I sure love to read them. I have taken quite a few creative writing courses over the years and one word can sum up how to write a short story: RELAX.

First Step – Make an outline

One of the biggest mistakes a writer can make is to sit at the computer and try to write a tale from beginning to end. Rather than spend hours staring at the computer screen, humbled in frustration, make a simple quick outline. They’re easy to understand and you can even find templates for your word processor to help you organize your thoughts. Write out the plot and use that as a basis to make up the rest. It may be helpful to write out some of the more complicated scenes

Second Step – Develop your characters

  • Who is your main character? Knowing a name and that she has blond wavy hair is not as important as fears, wants, and desires. Remember that the life you breathe into a character will not only carry the story, it also lets your readers know that you have a stake in what you have written.
  • Listen to your character – Often times they will come alive in your mind and tell you who and where they want to go. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but give it a try. It actually works.

Third Step – Set the scene

Use enough detail in the introduction of your story so they know where they are. You want your reader to feel the environment and see it in their mind’s eye. While there may not be space for this in every short story, you still need to give them something. Maybe as simple as, Betty looked around her bedroom.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you creating your scene.

  • Walk yourself through the scene. Be your character as they walk through it. What do they say, think, feel, and do?
  • Know where things are. You want the area to be consistent so that your readers will know where they are at all times.

Step Four – Write the Story

This is the hard part, right?  Not if you have done the things above.  All you have to do fill in is what happens.  Here are some simple tips to get the story flowing.

  • If the story has a principal narrator, that character can start off by walking through the setting. They can relate everything to the reader in a kind of nonchalant, casual way.
  • Write the parts of the story that you know. If you can’t begin the story, why not start in the middle?
  • Get into some action quickly. Studies have shown that the attention span of the average audience is limited. They want quick action at the beginning. It is the most important thing if you want to keep your reader interested.
  • Let the words flow as you write an early draft of a story. Type your heart out. Don’t go back and edit. Type what comes to mind and then read it. You may be surprised how much you like it.

I hope you enjoyed this little Ron’s Amazing Stories seminar.  I plan to do more of these in the future. Also, if you ever need help with a story I am there to answer questions. If you are ready for a complete review I can do that as well. Head to http://editright4u.com.

This Week’s Podcast: On the podcast this week we have another edition of Ghost Stories with Sylvia. This time we talk about her very first encounter with the paranormal. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey. 
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

Crazy Sentences!

Crazy EmoteAs an editor, I have run across some crazy sentences written by authors. Sometimes they were intentional, but other times not so much. Here is a few favorites mine that made me smile just a bit.

John wood always remember and wood treasure these memories.

Aside from using the noun “wood” instead of the auxiliary verb “would” this sentence had a lot of remembering and not a whole lot of structure. It was also the opening of a short story. I convinced the author to drop it in favor of something that made sense.

This next sentence is actually grammatically correct. It came from a joke by the famous Groucho Marx. I simply love it.

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know. 

I hate run-on sentences. People get lazy and forget that someone might have to read them one day. Here is one from a book I worked on a few years ago.

We got to the cabin and we unpacked our things and we built a campfire and we made dinner and we slept under the stars for the first time and the next morning we felt like we never had before.

What can you say about that sentence? It clearly makes use of the word “and”.  If you are wondering if this one was the worst I have seen? Nope, but it does make my point. Write cleanly and clearly.

This last sentence is one that uses the word “read” and “read”. While there is actually nothing wrong with it I did convince the author to revise it.

The next morning John read in the newspaper about the man who had to read the article to the judge.

Crazy stuff, not bad …but still… What did he change the sentence to?

The next morning the newspapers told the whole story. John was happy that he didn’t have to read the article to the judge.

Of course, I have many more examples of this and maybe someday I will share them with you. Let me know if you liked this.

-Ron

This Week’s Podcast: On the show this week we have The Shadow in a story called House Of Horrors. It is a classic radio story. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday at 10:00 pm and Sunday Night at 11:00 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey. 
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

Happy New Year – 2020

Happy New Year From Ron's Amazing StoriesWe begin a new year of podcasting this Thursday. I have to say thank you to all of you for another great year. This past year has seen a number of improvements to the show and a healthy uptick in followers.  More of you are listening every week in more places. My hope for this next year is we continue to expand and tell amazing stories to the entire world!

On the podcast this week we begin 2020 with a show filled with stories.  We have a creepy story about a haunted limousine, a haunted Red Room, and I tell a true-life tale that actually happened to me. I even have pictures to prove it!

So, thank you again for listening to Ron’s Amazing Stories!

-Ron

This Week’s Podcast: You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey. 
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

Merry Christmas – 2019

Merry Christmas from Ron's Amazing StoriesMerry Christmas to you and your families. It has been another amazing year here at Ron’s Amazing Stories and I have you to thank for it. So many stories shared by you guys, so many new listeners to the show and for the first time we have sponsors. I want to say how blessed I feel to be able to bring the show to you each week. You are why I do this and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for supporting me.

Merry Christmas!

-Ron

This Week’s Podcast: As is the tradition each Christmas, I take the week off to enjoy time with friends and family. Not to worry, we will have one of my favorite Christmas stories, It’s A Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday Night at 10:00 PM (EST) or Sunday Night at 1100 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey. 
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?

The News – December 2019

AMI just learned that starting this week, Ron’s Amazing Stories can now be heard twice a week on the radio. The show will continue to be on Sunday nights at 11pm Eastern time. However, we have been added to the Thursday night lineup at AMFM247.com at 10pm Eastern. I was told that with popularly growing for the show they decided to give it a second play.  For those of you who don’t know AMFM247.com is both an internet stream and plays in twelve cities across the USA. 

Cities Include: Tampa, FL – Las Vegas, NV – Macon, GA –  Lancaster, PA – Bolder, CO – Milwaukee, WI – Pittsburgh, PA – Long Beach, CA – The Villages, FL – Colorado Springs, CO – Jacksonville, FL, and Washington, DC

My thanks to AMFM247 for this wonderful opportunity and we hope to do them proud.

-Ron

This Week’s Podcast: On the podcast, Sylvia is back with more ghostly fun and adventures. This time she digs into her personal archives and tells us four stories from her book Christmas Spirits. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
Email: ronsamazingstories@gmail.com
Blog Page: https://ronsamazingstories.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ronsamazingstories/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RASpodcast

Helpful Links:
Podcast Survey – Help the podcast by taking this survey. 
Story Submissions – Use this link to submit your stories to the show.
Podcast Archives – Looking for the first 100 episodes of the podcast?