12.8 Short Stories as Exploration, with Tananarive Due

Your Hosts: Brandon, Mary, Dan, and Howard

Tananrive Due, whose short-fiction expertise is exemplified in her collection, Ghost Summer, joined us on the Oasis of the Seas to talk about how to use short stories to explore aspects of the craft. We discuss the importance of allowing ourselves to fail, and how we can learn from those failures, and continue to push our own limits. We also talk about how we go about pushing those limits, and what we do in order to most effectively explore new techniques.


Credits: This episode was recorded aboard Oasis of the Seas by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.


Take something larger that you’ve written  and find a short story in it. Write that story.

Summer“, by Tananarive Due, which you can find in the Ghost Summer collection.

9 thoughts on “12.8 Short Stories as Exploration, with Tananarive Due”

  1. That was a wonderful episode. Very interesting with great points, both about the usefulness of writing short form and about how different it is. Also, great sales pitch for the book… something any parent can sympathize with.

  2. Note: The iTunes download appears to be munged at 9:02, part way through the Book of the Week pitch. Now listening to the online version, which is not munged.

  3. The young writer, faced with the call to adventure, set forth on his neverending trek into the woods, the jungles, the marshes, and all the lands of writing! But he soon found that he needed more skills, more practice, more ways to make the POV, the characters, the setting, and all that stuff go the way he wanted it. So, in a little valley close to home, he tried short fiction. Sketches, experiments, techniques, monologues. Quick and fun! Pretty soon, he was writing like a football player, going for the goal! And with a prompt here, two people stuck in a room with a problem there, hey, he was writing! Happily ever after.

    The fantabulous foursome, plus Tananarive Due, invite you to explore the use of short fiction in your very own writing process. And, right now, the transcript is available in the archives or over here


    So read it, and then write, write, write!

  4. Does any one else know of any other websites similar to writing excuses? It’s bloody grand but 15 miniutes ant enough for me.

    1. Brandon Sanderson also has his complete college writing class on YouTube…Much more than 15 minutes and he has multiple years worth available.

  5. Huh….my brother and I just started this past month trying to write a short story a month, with a focus on a specific aspect or topic. At this point we’re mostly just trying to develop good writing habits.

    Sort of spooky that you guys would choose this topic this week.

  6. There is a bit of a danger in your writing prompt here.

    I have often set out to write a novel. I love worldbuilding so I go through the whole process. I write a short story set in the world and then lose interest in that world and want to create a new one rather than write a novel.

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