This year has seen a great many of us look to start a new hobby or pastime and for me personally that was to start writing short stories. I always enjoyed doing this as a child but had never really considered it as I got older. I thought I’d use this spare time that I have had to get back into writing short stories. I took some tips from expert writers like Roger Wolfson and have basically seen this as a trial and error stage of writing. I have had some success however and these are the tips I would extend to you if this is something that you would like to start doing.
Writing is of course expressive and freeing, but there is still a structure which needs to be stuck to and it will important that you nail down the structure of your story from the outset. The story can of course take twists and turns but at the very least you will need the cliched beginning, middle and end. Think about what your story is about, who it features and then where it will end, the journey will be the area that offers freedom.
Given that it is a short story it is likely that you are only going to show off a small percentage of who your characters are. In spite of this however you still need to understand your character and that is why you should focus on developing who they are before you start writing. Ask yourself what you character is like in terms of personality, why they are in your story at all and what their purpose is within the story. The more believable that you have created the characters, the more relatable they will be in the story.
Unless you are writing some kind of Terry Pratchett Discworld-style fantasy novel then you are going to need to know just what you are talking about and that means research. If you are writing about a detective for example then you need to know a little about the law and what a detective does. If you go into this with just loose notions which you believe, but which may not actually be true, then you are not going to come across as believable. Put the work in before you put pen to paper.
Personally I have found consistency to very much be the key when writing and if I take a day or two off then I find it a real struggle to get going again. For this reason I would advise that you at least write something each day, even if it is just a couple of thousand words per day, anything that will keep the consistency of writing going. If you take a couple of days off it becomes very difficult to get back into the groove.
Go ahead and write a short story and see how expressive you can be.