Online Learning Blog

Short Story Course

Published on 5th March 2014 by Shelley Bowers

We've got a new course and as the title of this blog suggests, it's for those wishing to learn how to write short stories and it's perfect for beginners. So, what do you write stories about once you've enrolled? Well, inspiration can come from all over. Here are a few suggestions to help you on your way:

People watch - this is one of my favourite hobbies. Take yourself off to your local coffee shop or smoothie bar, depending on how healthy you are, and be nosey. You have our permission to listen in on other people's conversations, examine what they are wearing, observe how they are acting and make wild assumptions about what they are doing there. Are they a spy meeting their handler to pass over vital information? Are they on a secret tryst with a lover? Are they meeting a music producer to talk over a record deal - who knows!

Make up a title - making up a title can sometimes trigger the creative juices. For example 'A New Life' might make you think of a man who's given up his life, sold everything, to travel the world looking for adventure. Or it could be the story of a couple who own an animal sanctuary that is about to be closed down, and the struggles they go through to keep it open and care for the animals. Have a look through the titles below and see if they start to create a storyline in your mind:

'The Last Chance'

'Please Don't Leave'

'One More Time'

'Lovers' Leap'

'Give Me One More Piece'

Which of those would you like to read, simply based on the title alone? Now, use that title for your story.

Use Old Stories - there's nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other stories. After all, nothing is really new, there are elements of other stories in pretty much everything you read. So, get out those old magazines and stories and give them a new twist. For example, what would happen if at the top of that beanstalk there was a strange underwater world or Cinderella didn't make it to the ball after all?

See, it's not that hard is it? There is, literally, inspiration everywhere. So, get your note book out and start writing!