• Susan Sowerby

My Short Story Writer Recipe

Updated: Dec 7, 2020


I suspect everyone develops his or her own Writer Recipe. As with delicious food, we all benefit from sharing what we know. You may find an ingredient here that puts wind under your wings.

I suspect everyone develops his or her own Writer Recipe. As with delicious food, we all benefit from sharing what we know. You may find an ingredient here that puts wind under your wings.

  • When I begin to write I open myself to all possibilities.

  • I work up an excited feeling which translates into ideas and words. I get into the nitty gritty of it early, the first sentence should grab.

  • Then I let it roll and don’t think too much, trusting my subconscious knows what it wants to say. It never ceases to surprise me.

  • I dip into a reservoir of experiences that are just sitting there waiting for creative expression. Some ideas come inexplicably from beyond what I know.

  • After I’ve scrawled it out onto a page, I prune it a little, add a flower or two, salt and peppering up the drama to get the best possible flavor.

  • To taste test, I read it out loud.

That’s my recipe.

Got one to share?

NB. I’ve learned not to flesh out short stories too much. I like them skinny when they’re short.


Here are some quotes by some really great authors:

“You don’t just get a story. You just have to wait for it to come to you. I’ve never written a story in my life. The story has come to me and demanded to be written.” — Somerset Maugham
“Good fiction is partly a bringing of the news from one world to another.” — Raymond Carver
“The artist must attune himself to that which wants to reveal itself and permit the process to happen through him.” — Martin Heidegger
“A novel is never anything but a philosophy expressed in images.” — Albert Camus
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