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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Exploring My Ideas: Ten Short Stories Followed by the Author's Shared Ideas with a Simple and Practical Guide How to Explore and Compose Ideas into Short Stories is a collection of short stories and an educational guide for writers by Fida Abbott. Abbott is an author and writing instructor, who was born and grew up in Indonesia. She sees her stories as a way to express and share her experiences, feelings and thoughts, and she shows aspiring writers how they can do likewise with their own stories. While the conventional wisdom is to write what you know, Abbott demonstrates how writers can use written material and their imaginations to make other realities vivid enough to base a story on. She concludes each of her short stories with a section that gives “the story behind the short story.”
Fida Abbott’s short story collection and writer’s guide, Exploring My Ideas, is a well-written and thought-provoking book that analyzes and breaks down the writing process for new writers. Abbott’s voice is conversational and informative, and reading her book felt a lot like having her directly interacting with me as I read. I loved the supernatural aspect of The Rent House which was inspired by her own experiences with a haunted house. In Makeup Makeover, the reader is immersed in the world of a preteen whose first experiment with makeup transforms her into Elsa, the Snow Queen from Frozen. Abbott also includes a worksheet for creating and categorizing your story ideas and a chapter entitled Ten Guides to Plot a Short Story that analyzes in detail a short story from her collection. Exploring My Ideas is highly recommended.