Telling the Stories of People on the Street

Everyone has a story. When people find out I’m a writer, they often “give me an idea” for a story. They find the urge to tell me a story about their past, about someone they know – a friend, mother, sister, grandfather, or about an ancestor who has survived in family folklore. I’m intrigued by these tales, yet worry that I’ll never find the time to do the plots justice. So, I collect tidbits from these outpourings, keep notes, and ponder.

These personal stories run the gamut from experiences in war torn countries, to acts of bravery in the face of political oppression, to struggles of a character to fit in when she is different from everyone else in her community, and more. Each of these heartfelt renditions is worthy of a saga. I tend to think on a broad scale when it comes to plotting – I lean toward writing novels. However, writing a novel is a marathon process – it takes years (perhaps decades).

However, lately I’m considering trying to boil down each of them to their essence. My plan is to start with a short story. Short fiction is a way for me to force myself to write it tight. I like to take a break from writing a novel-length work to focus on a story where I have the chance to feel a sense of completion in a much shorter period of time. Short stories, too, allow me to experiment with different voices, points of view, narrative styles, etc.

If you have a story you want someone to write, share it here or contact me via my website.

It’s all fodder for fiction.

Best to you,

Lisa Lipkind Leibow

Author of Smart Women’s Fiction

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