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How to write a story

FOOD 2013 045

You can write a story about anything. Even something as mundane as going to the supermarket. If you want to write fiction, then writing a short story can be a good way of starting. You can make it a few thousand words or very short and try to pack it into 500 words.

If it’s about going to the supermarket. You have to decide what will happen there. It has to be something different. Why write something the same or similar to something that has already been written? Maybe, something has happened in the supermarket that inspires your story? Then you can add whatever you imagine to that and write about a series of events. A series of events that comes to an end; that is the end of the story.

I like to write comedy. Nothing funny usually happens to me in the supermarket. A woman did smile at me last week, because I bought a packet of jelly babies! Could you make that into a funny story? I think I could. That would break the ice and be as good as an introduction. The story could be written from a male point of view or from the woman’s. I usually find it easier to tell the story from a male point of view and it’s easier if my protagonist (main character) is male.

Could the protagonist in this story be the knight in shining armour and the woman be the damsel in distress? Yes, it’s been done before; but not in a supermarket! What distress could the woman be in and where would the story lead? Perhaps she could get to the checkout to have her payment refused and the gentleman saves her from embarrassment. After the initial introduction, that would be plausible. I always think that a story should be plausible, even if it’s science fiction; it should be believable.

A story isn’t a series of statements, it’s a description of what happened and where it happened. It’s also a description of the people involved and so generally speaking I try not to have too many characters. In this story, I would mention the customers in the store and  maybe the girl on the checkout. The focus would be on the protagonist and his damsel in distress.

When  the story is finished, it’s a good idea to read it out aloud. If it reads, John went into the supermarket; John bought a bag of sweets. A woman looked at John. That is a series of statements. It should read more like; as John walked down the aisle of the supermarket he scanned the sweets and felt a little embarrassed when he picked up the jelly babies and tossed them into his trolley. He was aware of the attractive young woman across the aisle watching him…

What do you think? Can you write a short story. Please comment and share your thoughts.

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