all potatoes, no meat…

I decided to begin anew and start another short story (thanks for chiming in Wes). Yesterday, I began putting together an outline. I’m at the stage where I have a general idea of atmosphere, but I’m having a hard time figuring out where the story should go. More specifically, I’m struggling to make it interesting. I can spit-shine and polish this thing into oblivion, but if it lacks substance, well… then it can’t be very good.

Any authors out there that have faced a similar issue and want to chime in on how they beat it?


0 thoughts on “all potatoes, no meat…

  1. Have you tired comparing your idea to other, similar stories?

    Obviously you don’t want to copy, but if you can suss out how an author used similar structure, you might be able to apply that to your story as well.

    I love outlining, but find it difficult for short stories. I tend to either be way too granular or way too vague. Haven’t found that sweet spot yet.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement Oliver!

      I haven’t actively compared my idea to other stories, but I think I’m doing a bit of that subconsciously. Maybe I should attempt that in these early stages of my writing ‘career’ until I can find my own voice. I found that has helped me in the past with my songwriting structures, so why not here!

      I agree with your views on outlining as well. It’s definitely helped me generate a flow, but like you say, it is difficult to choose just how shallow or deep to take things.

      Thanks again,

  2. Have you heard the old writing advice about how to breathe life into a story? Sometime like, if your characters are standing around bored, have someone walk through the door with a loaded gun – or something like that.

    A good exercise might be to put your current characters in an absurd situation. What would they do? Write it out, and then see if that doesn’t give you some ideas for your story. Good luck!

    1. That’s a great thought. I will try that! Thank you tmso.

  3. Sometimes, you just need to answer the question “is this worth telling” Especially if we are talking about a short story, if the entire idea does not come to you easily, you may want to move on to something else. Try writing something completely different… even if it is just stream of con. You might come up with something new, or it could draw you back to the original with an epiphany. Good Luck!

    1. I agree with Jennifer – Move on. Carrots, meat, potatoes… You already did stew… now go with something else.. preferably not food.

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