We’d like to give you a peek into how we create our short stories. Technically, most of our stories are flash fiction, loosely defined as 1000 words or less. Short stories usually run 1000 to 7500 words.
Orion belongs to a writing group that meets every two weeks and conspires to come up with three prompts to use in a piece for the next meeting.
Once we get the prompts, we spend a day or two mulling them over. Usually, we come up with a few ideas for stories that could include all of the prompts. After a bit of discussion, we sketch out a rough outline, mostly detailing the dialogue, with a few character actions. Once that is done, we dig into whatever research is needed.
Sigh! I should tell you that research is often a black hole from which most writers have great difficulty escaping. One topic leads to another, one website to twelve others, and on and on, falling down the internet rabbit hole!
The funny thing is, much of what we find isn’t even included in our story. This research helps us to understand the character or the setting or some other aspect of the story. For example, for the short story ARROWHEAD, we did extensive research on adopting a child from China. Our research resulted in maybe eight lines in the finished story. However, the knowledge we gained about the subject influenced how we wrote the entire story and the way the characters felt and acted.