Monday, September 13, 2010


My short story, “Mydrianna,” is now available at MindFlights.

This is my tenth published story, and it completes the series featuring Cole of Arkessler.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outlining Short Stories

Usually my method for writing short stories is to allow an idea to rattle around in my mind for a while and to then start typing and see what happens. With my latest short story that I’m working on, I let the idea rattle around, and the idea led me to create an outline, something I’ve only used in writing longer works in the past.

A short story outline for me is a bulleted list of scenes. I’ll mention the basics of what’s happening, enough to trigger my memories about the scenes. In one case, I filled in a little dialogue because there was something I could hear two characters saying, and I didn’t want to forget it.

The outline is just a guide; the story goes where it wants to go as it gains strength, moving from an idea to a narrative plot with dynamic characters. I like this aspect of outlining, that the preconceived notions do not set the final course but merely guide the idea of going from Point A to Point B.

Outlining isn’t necessarily something I plan on doing with every story, but I like where it’s taken me with the current project. Whether or not it proves to be a great help will only be determined in the weeks and months ahead. So far, I’m glad I tried it.