Learning How To Write Novels Online Cree

This lesson in serious fiction teaches you how to write good, true literary fiction on the internet.

We came across a great form on Inc.com called Short Fiction Writer’s Journey, which is a series of writing exercises you can complete online. Written by course creator Michael Silesky, it has an introduction, writing tips, a section about overcoming life’s hurdles and the actual short stories. Here is a sample story:

I fell into a spiral, all kinds of bleeding cuts and lacerations, from sin at 25, soon after my dear mother died. That wasn’t the reason. Mom was mad at Dad for not bringing her gifts. It all started when Dad lost a slug in his neck. He had this big sign, in the shape of a neck, that said “Injury.” The pain took over him, and he disappeared. Just wanted a beer, I think.

That was a smart move, then I started looking for signs, of coming in not quite the way I expected, but always fast enough to run off before anything happened. Then I saw a place called Onewaste, that was no place and that had no owner; I was fresh out of college and that was too bad because onewash seemed to be so swanky. The only thing I saw was a parking lot. The full-length mirrors had cement floors, and when I walked through the doors I saw a mess. There was garbage everywhere. A bunch of men there the night of my mother’s death. They laughed and high-fived each other, and I couldn’t figure out why they were laughing and celebrating their friend’s terrible injury. It wasn’t your usual people, it was psychotic. That’s when I got weird. The next night I was walking back home from the train station and I met a tall boy in red lipstick and leather boots. He saw me, and I got weirded out. It was like the devil was looking at me, seeing me the way I got weirded out. Then he turned around and went into his room, muttering and saying hello to me over the door; then he gave me the gift of speed. I remember telling myself, “To win over a speed demon is like passing through the portal to Hell! It’s better than nothing, even when the speed demon is an angel with glowing blue eyes!” When the angel took a pencil and wrote a word—snowflake—on my arm and then turned the drawing into a blue spiral, I broke out the cold bourbon, kissed the tar off of my teeth, and went straight to bed.

What a thoughtful story! Thank you, Michael! Would this be a good story to try? It is a good story. Bring in your student and spend 30 minutes with her. She could learn how to write a short story. If you can make this train music blog useful for another story, I would love to do that. But since we don’t have any money, I have to use this blog to burn down the neighborhood restaurant.

After an intense period of self-starvation, I found the stimulation of writing a few hours a day in my basement. I’m glad I did this, because I gave up drinking and trying out drugs. By my early 30s, I wasn’t drinking anymore, and I was a decent, if not quite great, writer—I still occasionally feel confused by the fantasy world I create in my head. When I was building my nest egg for retirement, I was writing about my trouble with Disney World—which I attended more than once. Then there was a series of amazingly vivid short stories, like Riding the Anti-Beast, with the tale of the girl who refused to let nature catch up with her or a small bird who fights the bird for the love of the woman he was training.

You can catch up with me and other writers who live for the words in my recent published short stories and the memoirs of my childhood adventures. That’s the good part, my poetry isn’t as fun. My stories are about truth and greed, honor and evil, violence and mercy. Baddie fights Baddie, and maybe Baddie kills Baddie. I’m hoping at least some of that will translate into, or stick to, an interesting story.

But if none of that happens, I’ll go back to exploring how to drink, how to use the booze, and how to get the story—or the lines—right in my head.

Now, just one more thing: OnEWash stores, I learn, sell golf cart battery chargers and remote-controlled lawn mowers. And self-destructing devices. A custom kind of drug dealer. I need this place.

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