In this episode, we are going to talk about writing short stories that work, that people like, that readers have to get more of. On the show today is one of the best authors in the world to talk about the subject our friend, James Scott Bell.

James is an International Thriller Writers Award winner, Christy Award winner, author of Plot and Structure, (affiliate link)  and How to Write Short Stories And Use Them to Further Your Writing Career (affiliate link).


  • What advice would you give someone just starting to dip their toe in the waters of short stories?
  • What are some of the fundamental differences between novels and short stories?
  • What are the common mistakes you see in short stories?
  • Do you think about word count when you’re writing short stories?
  • If a writer really wants to master short stories … are there any particular authors you’d recommend?
    1. Depends on genre … but start with Hemingway. Maybe the greatest short story writer we’ve had.
    2. Jeffery Deaver- short stories with twists
    3. Crime- Lawrence Block- “Enough Rope”
  • How to Write Short Stories And Use Them to Further Your Writing Career (Affiliate Link) by James Scott Bell  
  • Where is the best place for people to connect with you and find out more about your books on craft?
    2. @JamesScottBell


Featured Patron

You’re the Cream in My Coffee (Affiliate Link) by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Jennifer Lamont Leo loves all things vintage, especially stories set in the early twentieth century. You’re the Cream in My Coffee and the sequel, Ain’t Misbehavin’, are set in 1920s Chicago. She is also a copywriter, editor, and journalist writing mainly on historical topics.  

In 1928, Chicago small-town girl Marjorie Corrigan, visiting the city for the first time, has her life turned upside down when she spots her high school sweetheart–presumed killed in the Great War–alive and well in a train station. Suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Although the stranger insists he’s not who she thinks he is, Marjorie becomes obsessed with finding out the truth. To the dismay of her fiancé and family, she moves to the city and takes a job at a department store so she can get to the bottom of the deepest mystery of her life …

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