silent-horizons said: Hi, I just followed you (and joined here) but I was wondering what advice you would give to a young poet writing a short story?
My poetry is usually short but descriptive (I don't put the good-ish stuff here) so I have trouble with the length of stories and the fact that I am picky about my words; when I care about a writing project each word is chosen for a reason and it is now a habit so my prose is a little slow to write, and also lacking in action.
Also I am afraid to publish anything on-line, so how do I know if I can write well?

Write one leaf is not exactly intended to be a place for giving advice… though I will attempt to answer questions when time permits. If this space becomes too full of “advice” or “writing tips,” I may have to consider moving my responses to a separate space.

For now, though, answers to questions will remain here, and I’ll do my best to keep them brief, and will always conclude with a prompt (which is the primary purpose of the blog).

To the young poet or to anybody, my advice on writing a short story is to write it. Don’t go in search of too much advice on writing it before you write it because in the end this will only keep you from writing it.

Once you have written it, try not to be too attached to it. It is a thing you have done, but it is not you. So seek out a person you can trust, a person with a kind and generous soul, a person who is not your mother or your spouse or your pet and share what you’ve written with that person. (It helps if this person knows something about stories, about how they are constructed and how they can be improved, but it is not absolutely essential.)

Make changes to this story if you can, or if you must, or if you want. Show it to more people. Try to have it published. Publish it yourself. Read it out loud to a group of strangers.

At some point, write another. And another. And do not be afraid. This is not brain surgery. If you slip? Nobody dies.

Write one leaf in which you describe something that scares you.


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