I read a page on the internet a couple of weeks ago that urged writers to start with short stories as opposed to launching in with the first novel.  The author, Joe Bunting, makes some good points – you only have to start looking through all the thousands of blogs by would be writers to know that this is an uphill struggle. Most of us will never get books published, never mind become best selling authors. So starting small and getting something,  ANYTHING published, seems like a good idea to me. Plus if we get ourselves noticed who knows what it might lead to?

With this in mind, I began to think about plots. Various ideas came to me, but I decided to look on line at some published short stories to get an idea of what I was aiming at.

I probably started in the wrong place…I had a look at an anthology of ‘ best short stories‘ (it is a book being sold by Amazon, but you know how some of the books invited you to ‘look inside’? So I looked inside…), and read the first couple of paragraphs of the first story.

It was good. Oh my goodness it was good –  how was I going to compete with this????

Feeling somewhat deflated, I went elsewhere online to look at the fanfic I had written for friends a few years ago. It was Harry Potter fanfic, but I had put my friends in it too, so they could imagine themselves alongside some of JKRowling’s amazing characters. It was easy to write – I didn’t have to explain what anyone looked like, or what sort of person they were. No character development was needed what so ever because the audience I was writing it for (my friends, Harry Potter fans like myself) already knew the characters well. So I was able to concentrate on the narrative itself, and it flowed from my fingers like…well, like magic.

English: British versions of the Harry Potter ...

English: British versions of the Harry Potter series My own collection ^_^ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Going back and re-reading them was fun. And I realised that actually I’m not a bad writer!

So I decided that rather than trying to think of new plots and stories, I’m going back to my fanfics and doing the whole thing in reverse. Before, I already had the characters and just needed a story to go with them. This time I will take my stories  and develop characters of my own.

We’ll see what happens.