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Flash Fiction


Beginning my creative writing journey at age 13, I naively jumped into the project of writing a novel. Bad idea. In previous articles, I’ve stressed that writing a novel is like writing a marathon. If you haven’t practiced, even good luck isn’t good enough. Having learnt this lesson I began writing short stories, and progressively they became shorter and shorter rather than longer and longer. Was this a problem? No.

A piece of writing does not have to be long to be good, or even enjoyable. My new found love in writing has been flash fiction. Much like other lengths of writing, such as novellas and novels, how many words constitute as a piece of flash fiction is debatable, ranging from 300 words to 1500. Essentially, this causes restraints on how fully fleshed out a plot or character is. But this is where the beauty of flash fiction lies – the ambiguity means that many different people can have a very different take on what is going on. Even the writer, as have often been the case in my experience, can see a million different possibilities about where the story could go.

Flash fiction is also great for me because I tend plan a lot before I write, but with this type of writing I can just go with the flow. It has helped me adapt my techniques and loosen my obsession with intense preparation. This has also helped me feel a lot more creative, just thinking on my feet and seeing where my writing instincts take me!

I encourage all writers to experiment not only with flash fiction, but any type of writing they have not yet tried. Things that seem not suited for us are also often things we haven’t tried, but some things can really take you by surprise. Experiment, experiment, experiment!

~ JLT

Flash Fiction: What I Thought I Knew


Introductory Note: Sometimes I just have a scene in my head, no more. Just a situation that goes beyond thought and reason. There is a lot of ambiguity about what has happened and what will happen between these two people, which is what I like. I hope it makes the reader interpret into a context that fits them. There are hundreds of possibilites. It could be any one of them. Who knows?

I turned my head to look at the person who sat next to me.

I had to get up. Now.

He looked back at me. Maybe it was because of this sudden frenzy that I couldn’t distinguish his eyes between imploring and threatening. I didn’t dwell on the thought for long because a thousand other questions were grabbing my attention.

“So you’re just going to walk away,” he said. I brushed past him, knowing I should be running, but my legs weren’t responding to reason.

“Why?” his voice echoed in the half empty carriage. His voice.

All the memories and moments bound to his voice rushed through my mind … and through my heart. Avoiding his gaze along with the other staring faces, I continued to walk away. “Just tell me why you did it.”

I whirled around, astounded. “You think I wanted this?”

The whistle blew outside and I managed to make my way to the doors before they shut. I watched the train leave the platform with an unwelcome knowledge that I had seen him nod a yes.

Motivational Muses #17


Motivational Muses #16


From the Experts: Writers Tips #6


16 Villain Archetypes to create three dimensional antagonists for your plot from Tami D Cowden

The TYRANT: the bullying despot, he wants power at any price. He ruthlessly conquers all he surveys, crushing his enemies beneath his feet. People are but pawns to him, and he holds all the power pieces. Hesitate before getting in this man’s way – he’ll think nothing of destroying you.

The BASTARD: the dispossessed son, he burns with resentment. He can’t have what he wants, so he lashes out to hurt those around him. His deeds are often for effect – he wants to provoke action in others. He proudly announces his rebellious dealings. Don’t be fooled by his boyish demeanor – he’s a bundle of hate.

Read more…

Never Judge a Book…


Creating Characters: #1


Characters are great beginning points to creating a story, because their life, their virtues, their flaws, their relationships and their opposition can develop into a whole journey for your reader to follow. Pick one of the three characters and write an interior monologue, a day in their shoes or a meeting with one of the other characters in the set. It will really help you to practice and develop characterisation skills.

Share Your Work: 250 words

  • For a challenge, reply below with your response to the picture with a 250 word limit

To download the complete set of prompts and ideas so far, click here: Prompts and Ideas (it’s safe!)

Premise for Plots #3: I’m Not Dead


A week after a close friends funeral you receive a postcard that says, ‘I’m not dead’

Motivational Muses #15


Flash Fiction: Holding On


The Monday morning light glimmered off the chandelier and the birds sang in its arrival. A new day. My eyes were not even accustomed to the light before I thought of Gary, and the sun’s rays suddenly seemed mocking and sinful. I dropped my head back onto the pillow and groaned, pulling up the covers over my face not knowing whether it was because I couldn’t face the brightness in the room, or the truth that he was dead.

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On the Art of Sub-Plots


A subplot is a secondary plot strand that is a supporting side story for any story or the main plot. Subplots may connect to main plots, in either time and place or in thematic significance. Subplots often involve supporting characters, those besides the protagonist or antagonist.

Personally, when planning out my story, sub-plots don’t really play on my mind until I’m actually writing – what prompts them is when I write more about my supporting characters, I feel more empathy for them and want to delve a little deeper into their lives. Your readers should feel the same – they should be compelled to your secondary cast, and be intrigued.

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From the Experts: Writers Tips #2


James Scott Bell

From ‘The Art of War for Writers’ by James Scott Bell

If you are a “character-driven” writer, spend an extra 10 percent of your writing time ratcheting up the action. How can the events of the story be made more threatening, suspenseful, fresh? If you are more on the “plot-driven” side, spend 10 percent of your writing time going deeper into the emotions of the character, how she is reacting to the events, how they threaten her inner well-being.

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