Short Story Writing: Create Fiction from Personal Experience

A course by Shaun Levin
Writer. Madrid, Spain.
Joined June 2020
, Writer

Learn how to write stories that captivate readers by building a narrative with elements of fiction

  • 100% Positive reviews (17)
  • 1224 students
  • Audio: English
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
Short Story Writing: Create Fiction from Personal Experience

Learn how to write stories that captivate readers by building a narrative with elements of fiction

  • 100% Positive reviews (17)
  • 1224 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: English
  • Level: Beginner
  • 19 Lessons (2h 8m)
  • Available from the app
  • English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever
  • Certificate upon completion of the course

Reading stories has the ability to transport you to another world, but writing stories allows you to create them. Join writer Shaun Levin on an innovative journey to create a short story that brings your inner world and the world around you to life on the page.

In this Domestika course, explore Shaun’s creative process behind finding and writing short stories entirely from the imagination or based on personal experiences with a touch of fiction. Discover daily exercises that could lead to writing a collection of short stories, a memoir, or even a novel.

If you are interested in exploring other styles of writing, take a look at Shaun’s previous course Creative Writing for Beginners: Bringing Your Story to Life

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. How to Look For and Find Stories
  • U3
    U3. Entering the World of Your Story
  • U4
    U4. How to Make a Story
  • U5
    U5. What Happens When a Story Is Finished? Another Story!
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Begin by getting to know Shaun. Hear about his adventures as a traveler and as a writer, and see how living in different cultures has shaped his work. He shares some of the short stories that have inspired him and discusses their unique styles.

Shaun takes you through his creative process by brainstorming themes to write about. Using two main routes to composing short stories, he guides you through his process for finding compelling subject matter. Then, watch the story evolve as it takes on a life of its own.

Next, Shaun explores the inevitable hurdles of the writer's life: distractions. Discover how getting distracted can enhance your fiction, and lead to unexpected storylines. Learn how to establish the thread holding your story together, and find inspiration in art, your own memories, and the world around you.

The next unit focuses on personal experience that incorporate elements of fiction. Revisit the brainstorming process to expand the scope of your story. Shaun shares his creative process for digging deeper into your writing to draw your readers in. Learn how to write a strong ending to your story, and then make it even stronger. Then, review and edit your text to fill in the gaps, and make sure your story flows. Last but not least, discover how to choose the perfect title for your short story.

Wrap up the course by exploring the possibility of putting together a collection of short stories, expanding your story into a novel, or writing a memoir. Shaun highlights the importance of unfinished projects and how they can prepare you for deeper and more accomplished work in the future.

What is this course's project?

Write a short story based on personal experience intensified with elements of fiction.

Who is it for?

Anyone interested in short story writing who would like to explore their creative process.

What you need

To take this course, you only need something to write with. It can be a notebook and a pen, or a computer. Access to a printer is optional.


1224 Students
17 Reviews
100% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Shaun Levin

A course by Shaun Levin


Shaun Levin is a writer and creative writing teacher from South Africa, who is based in Madrid. He also lived and wrote for many years in Tel Aviv and London. Writing short stories is where he feels most at home. His love of the short story form has its roots in family stories told around the dinner table, and those stories we tell each other about who we are. His writing has always drawn on other art forms and been prompted by reading. While studying literature at university, he began to publish stories in magazines and newspapers, and has won several prizes for his short stories.

Shaun has over twenty years of experience teaching creative writing at colleges, schools, and in other diverse settings. He has published novels and short story collections, including A Year of Two Summers, Seven Sweet Things, Snapshots of the Boy, Trees at a Sanatorium, among others, and his short stories have been included in over 50 anthologies and literary journals around the world.


  • U1


    • About Me
    • Influences
  • U2

    How to Look For and Find Stories

    • Where Do Stories Come From?
    • Materials
    • Brainstorming: the Quest for Stories
    • Out of Many Possible Stories, One Story (or Three, Or Twelve)
  • U3

    Entering the World of Your Story

    • Trust the Exploration: Stories Have a Life of Their Own
    • Get Outside Help: Art and a Walk
    • The Thread of the Story: What's Holding It Together?
    • Honesty Is the Best Policy: There's No End to Stories
  • U4

    How to Make a Story

    • Preparing to Write a Story
    • Start Anywhere (but Not at the Beginning)
    • Doing the Groundwork and Going Deeper Into Your Story
    • Go One Step beyond the Ending
    • Filling In the Gaps (Going Back to the Beginning)
    • Give Your Story a Title
  • U5

    What Happens When a Story Is Finished? Another Story!

    • How Big Is Your Story?
    • The Importance of Abandoned Projects
    • Yes, It’s All About You
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Short Story Writing: Create Fiction from Personal Experience

This Is What Domestika Courses Are Like

  • Learn at Your Own Pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule. You set your own timetable.

  • Learn From the Best

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Expert Instructors

    Each instructor teaches only what she/he does best, conveying true passion and excellence in every lesson.

  • Certificate

    Certificates in all courses: when you complete a course you will get a personalized certificate signed by the teacher so that you can share it.

  • Front Row Seats

    Videos of the highest quality ensure that you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them over and over.

  • Share Knowledge

    Ask questions, request feedback, offer solutions. Share learning with other students in the community.

  • Creative Community

    More than 5M creatives and growing. Domestika is the place to share and learn what you love.

  • Professionally Developed Courses

    We selected top creatives and a team of experts to develop the courses. The result? You'll feel like you're working side by side with leading professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

  • The course is 100% online, so once they are published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

  • The courses are divided into different units, each one includes lessons, informational texts, tasks and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You will also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the instructor and other students, and share your work and your course project, thus creating a community around the course itself.

  • You can now redeem the course you received, just access redeeming page to enter your gift code and redeem it.

  • You'll get your personal certificate as soon as you complete the course. You can see all your certificates under the Certificates section in your profile. You can download your certificates in PDF and share the link online. Learn more about certificates

Short Story Writing: Create Fiction from Personal Experience . A Marketing, and Business course by Shaun Levin

Short Story Writing: Create Fiction from Personal Experience

A course by Shaun Levin
Writer. Madrid, Spain.
Joined June 2020
  • 100% Positive reviews (17)
  • 1224 students