There are two ways I write short stories. The first, and this was a big part of the A Story A Fortnight group, is to write from prompts – photo and/or text. ‘Dinner in Paradise ‘ was the result of a photo prompt, an image of a man and woman sharing a meal at a table on an exotic beach. The image made me think about how people can get fixated on the stereotypical notions of romance like roses, candlelit meals, sunsets and proposals on one knee and the disappointment you can feel if real life doesn’t live up to your idealised expectations. Sometimes the most romantic moments in life are the least expected and most unusual and I wanted to capture a magical moment like that in a short story.
The second way I write short stories, and this was how I came up with my second story ‘How Deep is Your Love’, is to listen to the voices, or rather the main character’s voice, in my head. Some of my most successful short stories have been the result of a character suddenly deciding to tell me the first line. It sounds a bit weird (particularly to anyone who isn’t a writer!) but if you can hear that voice clearly and distinctively it’ll narrate the whole story to you and you just have to transcribe it! And that’s what I did. It’s a fast-paced, comic piece that plays on and exaggerates the misunderstandings and miscommunications that can happen in Internet dating world and it was a lot of fun to write.
You can read Dinner in Paradise and How Deep is Your Love in Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After now, on kindle!