Story Writing TipsTips for writing stories
A Master Storyteller's short story tips: Doñal Ryan.
In the last weeks it was revealed that the shortlist winner Guardian Ryan won the renowned Guardian First Book Award and with a particular interest in writing shorts, as a supporter of the Writing.ie Shorts Story of the Year Award, we asked him for his best tips. Before you start writing, please make sure you have as much information as possible.
In Ireland we have a great story of writing shorts, we have always been the best in the business, and people like Kevin Barry, Mary Costello, Mike McCormack, Colin Barrett and many others keep the traditions in discourteous sobriety. My best fundamental piece of basic writing instruction I have ever gotten on writing stories is to create the first design in handwriting.
I' m also always thinking of John Boynes' suggestion - to be one jump ahead of my unconscious when writing, while paying attention to Kevin Barry's warnings that fluent speaking can be confused with inspirational. Don't be worried about the texture of your first design, just get your ideas and mix things around later.
When you have an invention for a story while on the road, try taking a memo or write a text or mail yourself about the invention. As you write and talk with your own voices, leave everyone else out of it. Don't try to get smart, just tell your story. Begin with what you know, and when you feel more secure, begin to explore what you don't know.
Just type as if no one ever reads it. The Spinning Heart's first design was written by Ryan in the summers of 2010, when the economy crashed and ravaged the state. Narrated as a series of intertwined shorts, Ryan calls on a choir of people fighting in a Limerick neighborhood to make ends meet: an unemployed leader, a lone parent who lives on a ghostly farm, a former trainee who goes to Australia to find work.
This is a first-person report exploring the struggle for work in barren Ireland and the harsh conflict that spoils homes from generations to generations. Talking on Today fm's The Last World with Writing.ie's Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin and New Island publisher Eoin Purcell last weekend, Ryan unveiled that his third volume is also a compilation of shorts....another one to see!