Increasing Your Creativity/Creative Writing


QUESTION: I am thinking on becoming a short story writer and I am a little confused on what I should write about and how to start the story. If you could please help me I will be grateful.

ANSWER: New writers often have trouble sorting out all the ideas bouncing around in their heads so this question comes up often.
The answer to that question often lies in this question. What do you like to read about? Your book selection is a good indicator of your interests and you can learn a lot from the authors of your favorite books. So, if you look mysteries, write a short mystery story. If you like science fiction, try that. If romance is your guilty pleasure write about meeting your dream man.

As for where to start the story, start in the middle. Confused? I understand but it's true. You want to start your story with the main characters doing something that shows the reader what the story is about and draws them in so they will continue to read. Don't start with the main character waking up unless something terrible or meaningful is occurring at that moment. Don't start with the weather unless the story is about a huge storm threatening to flatten the house.

Read the opening lines of your favorite books to see what I mean.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

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QUESTION: How long should a short story be?

The short answer to the question, "How long should a short story be?" is "Long enough to tell the story and short enough to leave the reader wanting more." But, that isn't the answer you are looking for so here is the long answer.

Short stories can be as short as 50 words or fewer #short shorts# or as long as 20,000 words. A novel usually runs 80,000 -100,000 so 20,000 words is considered short.  Many very good short stories run about 1,200 -2,000 words.  

If you are thinking of submitting your stories to a contest or a publication you must read the submission guidelines to find out the maximum word count and make sure you don't exceed it. Even one or two words over can disqualify you.  There is usually no penalty for writer fewer words. Just make sure your story has a satisfying ending.  

Increasing Your Creativity

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Bobbi Carducci


All aspects of creative writing including but not limited to: How to get started, creating vivid characters, establishing voice and point of view, setting a scene, writing exercises. How to publish, where to submit, how to write a query letter and what to do when submission is accepted and how to proceed when you receive a rejection. General question on the business of writing including the ever important topic of blatant self promotion.


President of boutique publishing company, Community Voice Media, (published two books of short stories written by kids in grades K-12)Senior Staff Writer for Washington,DC area newspaper. Columnist and book reviewer About Families magazine, award winning short story writer,Executive Director Young Voices Foundation -Mentoring Young Writers, writing coach and conference speaker.

Pennwriters (Board of Directors) Young Voices Foundation, Executive Director

Purcellville Gazette Newspaper, About Families Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort Anthologies, True Story Magazine, Freedom Chronicles, Byline Magazine, and more

High School - Many years of writing classes and workshops. Instructor after school enrichment program Round Hill Elementary School, Round Hill, VA

Awards and Honors
Named Outstanding Woman of Loudoun County, VA 2006

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