In at the Deep End

In at the Deep End

I really enjoyed writing this short story.

For me, a short story starts with one small idea. Something that visits fleetingly. A passing thought. A whim.

Your passing thoughts will be different to mine. Mine are always, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if…?’ I have these sort of thoughts a lot.

I think many of us have similar passing thoughts in similar situations. Walking along a coast path, we probably all think, ‘Wouldn’t it be awful if a big gust of wind came now and blew me over the edge?’

Yes I’ve thought that many times. Mostly because one of my small thrills in life is walking a coast path – any coast path will do but the higher up a cliff the better. (Better view of the sea and horizon.)

These whimsical thoughts in themselves don’t make up a short story, but they become an intrinsic part. You have to have a meaningful character and a bit of a plot to weave around them too. And with short stories, ‘a bit of a plot’ has to be tiny. You only have 800, 1800 or 3000 words to play with. Your character can’t go far. They can’t philosophise on the meaning of life.

But they can enjoy a moment in time. A short journey of joy. Something that they can appreciate for what it is.

Which is why I like writing short stories so much. It’s my chance to put a spotlight on a tiny little everyday occurrence and metaphorically shout, “Hey everyone! Look at this! Isn’t it marvellous if you stop to look at it!”

Or something like that.

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