How to Get Short Story Ideas

If you want to generate some short story ideas, you could follow a tip from a famous and successful writer. The English writer Graham Green attributed a lot of his success to the simple habit of writing at least 500 words daily whether he felt like it or not. Although inspiration can happen at any time, it’s most likely to happen when you are actually writing.

A great book for learning more about the art of writing and how to generate ideas is Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. About this book, Publisher’s Weekly said:

Lamott’s miscellany of guidance and reflection should appeal to writers struggling with demons large and slight. Among the pearls she offers is to start small, as their father once advised her 10-year-old brother, who was agonizing over a book report on birds: “Just take it bird by bird.” Lamott’s suggestion on the craft of fiction is down-to-earth: worry about the characters, not the plot. But she’s even better on psychological questions. She has learned that writing is more rewarding than publication, but that even writing’s rewards may not lead to contentment. As a former “Leona Helmsley of jealousy,” she’s come to will herself past pettiness and to fight writer’s block by living “as if I am dying.” She counsels writers to form support groups and wisely observes that, even if your audience is small, “to have written your version is an honorable thing.”

I found Bird by Bird and inspiring read and helpful to my writing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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One response to “How to Get Short Story Ideas

  1. Hi! I don’t know if it was you or one of your readers, but “Anonymous” left a comment in my 9-22-07 post with a link to your blog. My post was about writing short stories. I’ve edited it to add a link to your blog. Not that I have many readers, but I wanted to share it as a source for help with writing. My blog is called “Writing Blog” and is at http://mary-a.blogspot.com. Nice blog you have here.

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