What Did You Start Writing?

hands on computer keyboardWhen you first started writing, what form did you use–short stories, poetry, memoir, or a novel?

In middle school, I chose short stories and I still like to write them. Next I wrote a few novels, and then poetry. In the afternoon writing class I teach, we are writing a Haiku twice a month based on a photo members take turns bringing to class.

My preferences for short stories and poetry affect my novel writing. The shorter forms make it necessary to be aware of exactly the right words to use and to eliminate too much detail. I’ve discovered that when building character in a novel, choosing the right words is more complicated. One has to think about interspersing physical description, feelings, thoughts, and how to show a deeper, rather than a superficial character.

In my novel, Norman in the Painting, I think I’ve created minor characters that have more personality than the protagonist. I’ve written a post-a-note to remind myself to deepen Jill. She’s the center of the action, readers learn about her values by her dialogue and by the decisions she makes. However I sense she’s hiding something or resisting a close relationship with the reader. I’ll have to figure out why.

What is your favorite form to write?


Filed under Writing Tips

5 responses to “What Did You Start Writing?

  1. Like you, I started with short stories, and probably in about third grade. I’d make up stories for my younger brother.


    • I didn’t have a brother, but I had two cousins a couple years younger than me and when I’d visit during the summers, I’d make up stories for them to go to sleep. Middle school age was the first time I wrote down stories. It would be interesting to poll writers and see how many made up stories when they were really young like we did.


  2. fasterthanfaeries

    I started with poetry when I was 13, I’m 19 now and my poetry just seems to be in a perpetual state of pretentiousness. I try to write novels now but I always want to write short stories but I can’t seem to think of how to do it, probably because I have not read enough short stories 🙂 The best short story I read was by Joyce Carol Oats, called something like ‘where did you come from, where are you going?’, I think.


    • Hi,
      Thanks for reading my blog and commenting. I have found that reading short stories and novels and spending time each day to write is practice and you will get better and better at it. It’s like learning to play an instrument. Set aside a time each day to write. Also how-to-write books are very helpful. Donald Maass has a workbook that is great, so are his other books. Wired for Story is another good book. Keep at it.

      Best wishes for success,


      Liked by 1 person

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