I cannot write short stories

I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot write short stories. I found a folder of short story plots, from when I did a writing course: all planned out, with the different events and the conclusion. But I just cannot get them written up.

I’ve found one or two that I’ve tried. Lots and lots of telling the story rather than showing, exactly the sort of thing I pick up on when I beta read, because it is slow and uninteresting and loses the intimacy of really showing the story. I find it difficult to become emotionally involved in a character over the course of a short story; I prefer something much more meaty.

And yet… I find that even as I sit here admitting defeat, I’m thinking about what I’m doing wrong and how I could improve them. Maybe sometime when I’m not desperately trying to find something to submit to my writers’ group for the next meeting, I’ll take the time to get on and really give it a good go.

Part of the problem is that I find it difficult to recall the sort of style and pace needed without spending lots of money on magazines and getting back into reading them, and right now I don’t have the finances. Perhaps there will be similar stories on scribophile – I really haven’t poked around there much yet.

With all the pressure of having to find something to submit, I have to confess it’s the first time I have actually written in a while. It’s stupid – if I’d kept on with my writing course all those years ago, my writing would be so much better by now. I read something recently – the best time to start writing was five years ago. The second best time is now. That is so true. I don’t want to reach another 10 years or so and still be intending to get around to writing some day soon.

So tomorrow evening I faithfully promise that I’ll sit down with one of the stories I “told”, and will see about how to turn it into more of a “show”. Is it cheating to still just tell the story but in the character’s voice rather than as a narrator?


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  1. I’vebeen wwriting a lot of shirt stories lately. My problem with them use to be that I would write, and write, and write until, it wasn’t so short anymore. I think practice makes it better. Good luck in your efforts. You can do it!!

  2. I truly hate using my smartphone to leave comments. Ugh! Perhaps you could fix my earlier comment. Lol.. Thx


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