My Short Story Process

I have decided to write about my process for creating a short story. Not every writer has the same process, but most would have a variation of this creative process.

I start out with an idea that interests me. No point choosing something boring, I would either do something else or fall asleep. Ideas can come from many places and the idea for my most recent story came from a word pool exercise.

Once I have my idea, I write my first draft. My only goal at this stage is to get as much of the idea down on paper that I can without stopping to think about spelling, grammar, or anything else. The only must is a beginning, middle and end.

Next is my planning stage, this is where I write up motivation outlines for each character, character profiles and a plot outline.

I write the second draft keeping the outlines and profiles close to hand, in case there are any details I need to check. Then I hide it away for a couple of weeks. Sometimes it is hard to take that step back I need to edit my work, leaving it for a couple of weeks gives me that distance I need.

When I finally dig the story out of its hiding place I read it all the way through without stopping. Afterwards I make notes on a blank piece of paper of things that I believe need to be fixed. Then I re-read the story making notes on the manuscript as I go. The third draft is all about editing with these notes. I read the third draft and make sure it is as good as I can make it before submitting to a critiquing group. If the group suggests any changes that I agree with I will do a final draft that includes these changes.

Then and only then is it ready to send out.

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