Story Ideas Come and Could Go

write a short storyKatherine Mansfield, a prominent modernist writer of short fiction, wrote, “It’s always a kind of race to get in as much as one can before it disappears.” She was referring to a story idea that arrives and needs to be written down. It’s best not to think about it too much. Writing allows things to unfold that wouldn’t happen when one only thinks the story through. Write it down as soon as possible and as much of it as possible. It’s a first draft, a fragment, a hint of the real story that will develop eventually.

There is no how-to-manual for writing a short story. Maybe setting it aside for a while is important for the right moment to select the point of view or the succession of the events to work out. Every story has it’s own unique form. It can’t be rushed. It evolves over time if we let it. Be alert to when something emerges that we never dreamed we’d express. Don’t resist it, Embellish it. Trust it, and see if it’s right for the story.

Want a goal for 2015?  How about 52 short stories?


Published by


For over twenty-five years, I've taught elementary grades, high school, and county special education classes. Now I am a field supervisor for teachers working toward their teaching credentials. I also teach writing classes in Dublin and Pleasanton, California. I have won 5 awards in short story contests, My stories are published in The California Writers Club Literary Review, and several anthologies including four times in Las Positas College collections. I have several book projects, but the two that have my immediate attention are HADA'S FOG, which is women's fiction, LILLI, a YA novel, and NORMAN IN THE PICTURE, a paranormal mystery. I have published an anthology WRITTEN ACROSS THE GENRES that includes writings from members of my writing classes and other writers. It's available on Amazon and Kindle.

4 thoughts on “Story Ideas Come and Could Go”

  1. 52 stories a year? Are you daft? I’m floundering with one every two weeks. I think Ray just said that to get his name in print — ha!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s