The Best Of The Web For Short Story Writers — April 14, 2013

Here are the best of the articles, quotes and links I found this week for short story tellers. Enjoy!

Here’s What Makes Stories So Powerful
Benton Weyi, host of Orastories (a new site dedicated to oral storytelling), writes a passionate call to arms to each of us to value our stories and tell our stories. I defy you to get to the end of this without feeling like grabbing a pen!

The Short Story On Structuring Your Short Story
Larry Brooks, aka The StoryFixer is the host of and the author of Story Engineering, among other things (a great book that I recommend if you’re trying to structure a novel or longer work). This time he’s writing about short stories. At the beginning of the article I was worried he was going to say we should all be writing stories with some simple four-act structure and I was going to have to lose some respect for him. But of course he doesn’t. My favorite lines from the article?

Which is why short stories are so damn hard to put into a box.

Because the box comes in all sizes, shapes and colors, and can be made from virtually anything.

Which is why I love to write them. How about you?

Things That Make A Story Fail

Jurgen Wolff isn’t talking specifically about short stories here (he’s talking about a movie), but it’s an interesting reflection of good story practices that I found useful.

A Guide To Practical Contentment
Again, not directly about storytelling, but here Leo Babauta is talking about how to live a good life, how to connect to your passions and how to make small changes in your life that lead you towards the bigger ones (writing a little everyday, perhaps?)

Selected Shorts: The Sun and The Moon<
I just loved both of these short stories, one by Italo Calvino that will seem strangely familiar if you saw the Pixar short film “La Luna”, and one by Ray Bradbury about children who have never seen the sun. Sometimes listening to great short stories is so darned inspiring!


If you’re not lying awake at night worrying about it, the reader isn’t going to either.
James M. Cain

-quoted in The Paris Review

The Muse visits during the process of creation, not before.”
Roger Ebert

I suppose the more you have to do, the more you learn to organize and concentrate—or else get fragmented into bits. I have learned to use my ‘ten minutes’. I once thought it was not worth sitting down for a time as short as that; now I know differently and, if I have ten minutes, I use them, even if they bring only two lines, and it keeps the book alive.”
Rumer Godden, author

-quoted in The Happiness Project

Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already I am.
Thomas Merton

-quoted in The Happiness Project